Pelkey to Skate for Team USA in Rivalry Series
Montpelier native and Olympic gold medalist Amanda Pelkey was selected to play for Team USA in a three-game Rivalry Series against Canada this month. Pelkey, who is in her third season skating for the Boston Pride of the professional National Women’s Hockey League, will join 12 other members of the team that defeated Canada in the gold medal game at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. The three-game series will be played February 12–17 in London, Ontario; Toronto; and Detroit. Pelkey, a forward, has four goals and four assists in 12 games with the Pride this season.
No Contested Races for City Council, School Board
Barring an unforeseen write-in campaign, it appears that Lauren Hierl will be the next new member of the Montpelier City Council. Hierl, who is executive director of the Vermont League of Conservation Voters, was the only candidate to submit signatures to appear on the Town Meeting Day ballot for the District 1 Council seat being vacated by Rosie Krueger. Incumbents Jack McCullough in District 2 and Ashley Hill in District 3 are also unopposed for re-election. Likewise, Andrew Stein and Steve Hingtgen are the only candidates for two three-year seats on the School Board. Kassia Randzio and Shelby Perry are seeking separate slots on the Parks Commission; Tammy Legacy is seeking the post of School District Clerk; Shelley Quinn is seeking to become School District Treasurer; and Kimberly Cheney is seeking an at-large seat on the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority. No candidate applied for an open seat on the Cemetery Commission.
Local Businesses Support Furloughed Federal Workers
During the long (and unfinished?) government shutdown, several area businesses stepped up to support federal workers. Julio’s provided (and is still providing) free meals for federal employees and their immediate family until paychecks are received. Birchgrove Baking also offered a free small latte or drip coffee. The Vermont Foodbank invited any federal employees impacted by the recent government shutdown to join one of their free food distributions, and Northfield Farmers Market offered free food for furloughed workers.
City Pays Employees to Free Up Parking
Montpelier city employees can now see their paychecks increase by about $100 a month—if they opt not to claim an employer-paid parking space behind City Hall. That’s the initial result of a scaled back program the city initiated to help free up some parking spaces this winter, during a time construction of a downtown parking garage was anticipated to, paradoxically, reduce parking spaces in the short term. The garage construction is not happening, while the project is under appeal, but the incentive remains for city employees.
Montpelier City Manager William Fraser says city employees have been given parking in the lot behind City Hall as a benefit. He said typically 20 to 30 spaces are taken up by city employees. To make more of those spaces available to the public, the city offered its employees $50 per pay period instead. At this point, four people have signed up for the incentive, Fraser reported.
An additional incentive to free up the parking spots has been dropped, Fraser said. The city leased a lot on Downing Street—off Barre Street, about a two-minute walk from City Hall—and proposed to offer employees a choice of parking there at no charge or parking in the City Hall lot for a fee of $50 per pay period. However, with the parking garage construction on hold, the city observed “ample parking” in the City Hall lot, so the Downing Street lot lease was canceled.