Home News and Features City News Pot Sales Pass; Incumbents Hierl, Richardson Retain Seats

Pot Sales Pass; Incumbents Hierl, Richardson Retain Seats

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Montpelier City Hall on Town Meeting Day. Photo by Tom Brown

Status quo was the clear winner in Montpelier’s City Meeting election Tuesday as incumbents were re-elected in two contested City Council races and all ballot items were approved, including a vote to permit the sale of recreational marijuana next year.

In District 1, City Councilor Lauren Hierl won a second term by defeating former Bridge publisher Nat Frothingham, 618-328. The other contested race saw incumbent Dan Richardson win his first two-year term, defeating Alice Goltz, 578-222, in District 3.

City Clerk John Odum oversees the in-person voting Tuesday, March 2. Odum was elected to a fourth three-year term. Photo by Tom Brown

The following incumbent candidates for city office were unopposed: Jack McCullough for District 2 Council (789 votes) and John Odum for a fourth term as City Clerk (2,488 votes). Also winning were Darragh Ellerson for Cemetery Commission (5 years); Barbara Smith for Cemetery Commissioner (2 years); and Brent Householder for a seat on the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority. Lincoln Frasca was unchallenged for a seat on the Parks Commission.

City voters also solidly approved a ballot item that allows the sale of recreational marijuana to adults when that law takes effect in 2022. The vote was 1,981 in favor, 847 opposed. The Legislature, as part of its Act 164 legalization and regulation bill, required each municipality to vote on whether to permit the sale. By law, recreational sales by an existing medical dispensary could begin as soon as May 1, 2022. The appointment of a board charged with creating rules for the sale of cannabis has been delayed and it’s unclear if that will affect the start of retail sale.

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The city budget also passed easily, 2,398-444, despite efforts to defeat it as a way to call attention to police spending. 

Voters also approved the Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools budget, 2,068-776, and the related capital reserve fund, 1,887-907.

Incumbents Amanda Lucia Garces and Mia Moore were elected to three-year terms on the MRPS school board. Incumbent Emma Bay-Hansen won the remaining one year of a school board seat to which she was appointed. Tammy Legacy was re-elected as school moderator as was Shelley Quinn as school treasurer.

The unofficial turnout was roughly 2,850 with most of that coming in the form of mail-in or drop-off ballots. That and the bitter weather meant that in-person voting was slow throughout the day, Odum said, but the overall turnout was in line with a “normal” Town Meeting Day vote.

Full results follow:

Cemetery 5 year

Darragh Ellerson 2383

Cemetery 2 year

Barbara Smith 2311

Park 5 year

Lincoln Frasca 2295

District 1 City Council 

Lauren Hierl 618

Nat Frothingham 328

District 2 City Council 

Jack McCullough 789

District 3 City Council 

Dan Richardson 578

Alice Goltz 222

City Clerk

John Odum 2488

School Director 3 years

Amanda Lucia Garces 2132

Mia Moore 2079

School Director 1 year

Emma Bay-Hansen 2266

School Moderator (no write in candidate reached 30 votes)

School Clerk

Tammy Legacy 2219

School Treasurer

Shelley Quinn 2244

CVPSA

Brent Householder 2197

Ballot Items

Article 5 (city budget)

Yes 2398 No 444

Article 6 (school budget)

Yes 2068 No 776

Article 7 (capital reserve fund, school)

Yes 1887 No 907

Article 8 (mayor compensation)

Yes 2511 No 331

Article 9 (council compensation)

Yes 2462 No 375

Article 10 (school board compensation)

Yes 2384 No 445

Article 11 (school fund balance)

Yes 2357 No 446

Article 12 (Downtown Improvement Dist.)

Yes 1975 No 820

Article 13 (Library budget)

Yes 2457 No 404

Article 14 (CV Home Health & Hospice)

Yes 2658 No 199

Article 15 (Cannabis retail authorization)

Yes 1981 No 847