Change brings continuity in Ludlow
By Kevin O’Connor
Staff Writer | April 14,2014
Kevin O’Connor / Staff Photo
Newly elected Ludlow Selectman Logan Nicoll, left, listens to Municipal Manager Frank Heald alongside board colleagues John Neal and Howard Barton Jr.
LUDLOW — When 27-year-old political novice Logan Nicoll ousted an incumbent selectman in last month’s town meeting election, headlines reported “Ludlow newcomer upsets old guard.”
But when the 2010 University of Vermont graduate took his seat on the five-member board last week, the new kid on the block quickly found himself one of the boys.
The big news at this month’s Select Board reorganizational meeting: The lack of big news. Anyone expecting the new member to spur conflict with his four older colleagues instead saw him simply in good company.
First came a motion to re-elect Howard Barton Jr. as chairman. With no debate, all voted yes.
Then came motions to re-elect Bruce Schmidt as vice chairman and Brett Sanderson as clerk. With no debate, all voted yes.
And so it went. The board voted unanimously to continue to meet the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Town Hall and act according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
“I make a motion we appoint the town officers as presented,” Schmidt said of a long list of incumbents.
With no debate, all voted yes.
“You don’t want to ask the fence viewer to outline his platform?” Municipal Manager Frank Heald asked.
Sorry, Schmidt was on to his next motion to reappoint Lisha Klaiber as meeting minutes secretary.
(The board’s specific wording: “We force Lisha to stay with us.”)
An agenda item on liquor licenses sparked the meeting’s only debate when one resident asked if the town could limit “bring your own bottle” events to those involving charitable institutions.
Said Nicoll: “Is that something we actually have authority over?”
And Heald: “The proper thing is for you to get a petition.”
And Selectman John Neal: “That way we have a sense if the community is in consensus.”
With that, the board went on to approve its Local Emergency Operations Plan.
“We used to just adopt this,” Heald said, “but now they demand a signature on it.”
Nicoll campaigned on the desire to bring his generation and college degree in community development and applied economics to the table. But at his first meeting, he was content to arrive with a polite ear and a pen, choosing to listen more than talk.
“I like this,” the newcomer said after.
Could he elaborate?
“I like this a lot.”