BY EMMY SOBELMAN | COMMUNITY NEWS SERVICE | OCTOBER 29, 2020
Maggie Gordon has been appointed to the Hinesburg Selectboard.
Gordon said she’s honored to be a member of the select board, and said she is looking forward to engaging with the community, and maintaining transparency in her work. With budget discussions being the selectboard’s focus over the next few months, she said she’s ready to get to work.
She’s also excited to work with Joy Dubin Grossman, who is filling the role of town administrator after previous town administrator Renae Marshall moved to Colchester.
“I’m also looking forward to seeing what it’s like on the other side of the table. I’ve been attending select board meetings for a long long time, and that’ll be interesting” Gordon said.
Although budget discussions may not be the most exciting work, it’s important to the town, she said.
“The budget is the plan — it’s saying this is what’s important to us as a community, this is what we’re planning in the next year, next five years. It says a lot about us a community, where we put our money,” Gordon said.
Conversations about Black Lives Matter and police misconduct have intensified in Hinesburg after a previous Selectboard member stepped down over racial justice concerns.
Gordon says she has loved seeing Black Lives Matter signs.
“So many of us in the community are wanting to learn more about inclusion and equity in our meetings,” she said.
On the addition of another police officer, she says she didn’t take part in those discussions and doesn’t want to second guess or judge the decision that was made.
As a member of a police advisory committee in 2011, she knows what questions she would have asked.
“I would have wanted to see data showing an increase in calls and what evidence there is for a larger police department,” Gordon said.
During her time on the advisory committee, they found that the budget should be capped at eight cents per dollar of tax money, where the Hinesburg police budget is now around 14.5% of the general budget.
However, she acknowledges that much of the budget increase goes to health insurance and benefits for full time employees.
The Community News Service is a collaboration with the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program.