Author: Michaela Halnon

Town manager Francis ready for road-tripping retirement

Dawn Francis traded her corner office in the Blakely Rd. town hall for a Toyota Sienna “Scooby Doo hippie van” last Thursday, the latter tricked out with food coolers, gear storage and a backseat mattress. The outgoing town manager is ready to see the world. She’s tackling the journey with her husband, who retired in October and worked on setting up the vehicle. First up? A six-week tour of some national parks, a brief stop back in Vermont and then a longer trip out west. “We graduated, we got married within a month and we started our careers. We...

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Community outreach team assembled

Four full-time social workers will take to the streets of six Chittenden County towns by the end of this month, ready to help area police departments and businesses respond to citizens with unmet social service needs. The new “community outreach specialists” are employed by the Howard Center and will each bring a different skillset to the pilot program, said Brandi Littlefield, assistant director of the center’s First Call for Chittenden County. Take outreach specialist Rachel Castillo, a former community justice center volunteer and paralegal who was fed up with the lack of legal resources to proactively help people in...

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Rep. Dakin won’t run for re-election

Rep. Maureen Dakin will not seek re-election after serving a combined 11 years in the state house, she announced in a letter to the Sun last week. Her decision comes just days after Rep. Jim Condon said he also would not run again. “I’ve never regretted a single vote I’ve taken on your behalf,” Dakin wrote. The Vermont native served in office from 1997 to 2004 but stepped down after the death of her husband to find work that paid health insurance, she said. She sought the post after her retirement 10 years later in 2014 and was elected...

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Board approves Bayside Park conceptual plan, phasing

The Colchester Selectboard unanimously approved a conceptual master plan and phasing approach for Bayside Park at its April 10 meeting, with voter approval required to access any local option or property tax money related to the project. Close to 50 residents attended the third and final presentation by DesignConcepts consultant Axel Bishop at the start of that meeting, weighing in on his suggestions for an overhaul of upper and lower Bayside Park and the town-owned Bayside-Hazelett property. “Every single thing we’ve put in the park is purposeful,” Bishop told attendees. Bishop’s latest photo illustrations did not majorly deviate from...

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Rep. Condon won’t seek re-election

Colchester state Rep. Jim Condon will not seek an eighth term in Montpelier after receiving an “unwelcome medical diagnosis” at the University of Vermont Medical Center last month, he said in a letter to the Sun. “I have been humbled by the trust you’ve given me to be a voice for common sense at the statehouse,” Condon, a Democrat from the Chittenden 9-1 district, wrote. “I hope I have lived up to your trust.” Condon serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and told the Sun on Tuesday he plans to finish out his term. A Connecticut native,...

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