Many thanks - and reason for hope!

In brief

  • Many of you showed up and emailed the selectboard! Thank you!

  • Students emailed and attended the meeting - special thanks to all of you!

  • The selectboard was short one vote, so the Regional Energy Coordinator decision has been postponed. Hang in there.

  • The Green Fleet Policy that all of you helped to make a reality has directly inspired Brandon, Montpelier and Burlington to investigate creating their own.

A statement from Nick Clark

The good news is that Sharon is already budgeting about $6,000 for a Regional Energy Coordinator; Strafford, just over $7,000; Pomfret and Barnard, about $10,400 and about $11,200 respectively. The Woodstock Selectboard in October agreed to warn an Article for up to $40,000. We’re still waiting on Thetford (about $14,900) and Norwich (about $30,700) to make a decision, but budget season isn’t over yet.

The Thetford Selectboard received a lot of emails of support on Sunday and Monday (thank you) – they appeared in our individual inboxes and in a pile of printouts in front of each Selectboard member, impossible to ignore – and many of you showed up to last night’s Selectboard meeting (thank you, thank you).

If you did, you already know the results of that meeting: it looked like we were short one Selectboard vote, and so the discussion was postponed until sometime in December. That delay is the bad news, but it’s not actually bad because we didn’t fail; we just have more work to do and another meeting to attend. That’s the job. 

There’s more good news: we had more student engagement than we did on the Green Fleet Policy. The Thetford Academy Climate Alliance wrote in their support, several individual students wrote in their support, and I believe there was at least one student at the meeting. That is so GOOD! 

And there’s more good news: I came home a little discouraged after last night’s meeting, but I checked my email and there were notes from senior officials in Brandon, Burlington and Montpelier. All three are interested in pursuing Green Fleet policies in their respective municipalities, modeled after the success we had in Thetford.

This work can be exhausting and not always immediately fruitful, but we can make progress when we do good work. It takes energy, courage, and a little bit of stubborn optimism, but it can be done. I hope everyone that has engaged so far continues to engage, and anyone that hasn’t soon does. We are in a climate emergency, and it will take all of us to develop, refine, and push solutions forward. 

Thanks again to everyone in the Thetford Climate Alliance (especially to the students). Stay tuned!

Nick Clark