Home Commentary Heard on the Street, 11.17.21

Heard on the Street, 11.17.21


Should Montpelier’s House District Be Split Up?

The Legislative Apportionment Board, which reviews legislative boundaries after each census, has recommended by a 4–3 vote that all Vermont House districts be single-member districts. Vermont currently has 46 two-member House districts, including one for Montpelier, which has had a two-member district since 1982.

The proposal would require dividing the city into two districts, east and west, with a dividing line that would run in part along Hill Street, Hubbard Street, and Franklin Street. Both of the city’s current House representatives, Mary Hooper and Warren Kitzmiller, live on North Street and would end up in the same one-person district if the plan were to be adopted by the legislature.

However, the plan’s future is anything but clear. The Legislative Apportionment Board has sent the plan out to municipalities for feedback, and in Montpelier’s case at least, the response has been negative. At a hearing last week, the city’s Board of Civil Authority voted 9–7 to object to the proposal. In 2011, the Apportionment Board backed off a similar proposal to make all 150 House seats single-member districts after it heard from cities and towns. A final decision on redistricting will be made during the next session by the legislature, which does not have to follow the recommendations of the Legislative Apportionment Board.

Winter Warming Shelter to Open

It’s getting cold and dark, but at least one organization is opening doors to those in need. Good Samaritan Haven expects to open the proposed Emergency Overflow Shelter at Christ Church on Monday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m.

Riverton Bridge Surface Gets a Facelift

The Riverton Bridge between Crosstown Road and Chandler Road in West Berlin got a new surface Nov. 10. The notoriously bumpy ride should now be smooth sailing. All lanes were closed while work occurred that day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to information from the Vermont Agency of Transportation. But their Facebook page has announced the “paving of the Riverton Bridge on VT-12 has been completed and now open to all traffic. Drive safely.”

Correction Regarding Aromed and Cannabis Sales

The Bridge incorrectly reported in this column that Lauren Andrews would be selling cannabis out of her Montpelier store when it becomes legal to do so. She contacted The Bridge to tell us she will not be selling cannabis out of her Montpelier store. The Bridge regrets the error.

—Compiled by Carla Occaso; Phil Dodd contributed to this column.