History of Charter Votes in Essex Junction & Essex
16 Total Votes, of which 3 were non-binding
14 residents of Essex Junction petitioned the Trustees to warn a vote to separate from the Town of Essex. The vote failed overwhelmingly at Village meeting.
Three VOTES held this year to create or amend the charter of either municipality. The first vote was held in 1971 and was preceded by years of research, consultant input, planning and governance board engagement and direction, and committee-level work, starting in 1966. A straw poll vote (would be a fourth vote, but not binding) was held in the Village in 1970 that indicated a preference for separation over status quo and merger: 408 to 233 to 136. Village Trustees put forth an article with a new charter that would separate Essex Junction from the Town of Essex and create an independent city. The vote failed 1,200 to 299. Two additional petitions brought two more votes on the same article; both failed.
VOTE: Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction developed a charter and put
forth an article that would merge the two municipalities. More prominent at the time was a simultaneous article to merge the two school districts of the Town of Essex and Essex Junction. Both failed to pass. Two key issues were the lack of dedicated representation on the school board for the HS from Essex Town School District and the potential for the Essex Town School District to construct their own high school building.
VOTE: A petition, initiated by Trustees, from over 5% of Essex Junction residents seeking separation, asking the Trustees “to prepare and submit for voter approval in Essex Junction a new charter which will provide for an entirely new independent Essex Junction.” The article was put forth for a vote and failed 1,417 to 718.
VOTE: Selectboard and Trustees both brought forth an article with a new charter
that would have merged the two municipalities. Merger failed 1,677 to 1,513.
VOTE: In March, the Village voted to separate, passing a charter to establish the
City of Essex Junction by 56% in favor of a separation charter.
VOTE: In November, the Town of Essex proposed a Charter to create a new municipality that would merge the two existing ones. This vote passed in the Town as a whole by a vote of 3,284 to 1,661, carried overwhelmingly by the Town votes cast at Essex Middle School, where it passed 2,362 to 306. In the votes from the Town residents within the Village, it failed to pass by 1,355 to 922. It did not pass at the Legislature, and so did not take effect.
2000 - 2001
Both charters went to the House Local Government Committee (HLGC), predecessor to
the current House Government Operations Committee (HGOC). Mediation was required of both parties - the Village and the Town. By March 5, 2001 the Town and Village posted a job opening for a mediator. By early April, Barry Lawson was chosen to serve as the mediator. By mid-May of 2001, the mediator closed the talks, having reached an impasse. The parties were unable to agree on key important details. Representatives of both the Town and the Village voted to discontinue the talks with the mediator.
VOTE: Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction created a charter for a new municipality, the Town of Essex Junction, which would merge the two existing municipalities. Passed by a vote of 4,376 to 4,167. Passed by 2,922 to 1,085 in the Village. Failed decisively among non-Village residents, 3,141 to 1,648.
VOTE: a revote of the November 2006 merger article as a result of a petition of
over 5% of the registered voters of the Town of Essex.. Failed 2,890 to 2,699.
VOTE: Village only article on a merger plan, similar in most ways to the eventual
charter voted on in March of 2021. Passed, though non-binding.
VOTE: March, Townwide vote on merger. Failed by 19 votes, including a 3 to 1 margin
in votes cast at Essex Middle School.
VOTE: April, Townwide revote on merger as a result of a petition of more than 5%
of the registered voters of the Town of Essex. Failed by 26 votes, similar margins.
VOTE: April, Village of Essex Junction vote on non-binding article to have the Trustees write a charter for the new City of Essex Junction and hold the vote in November of 2021 to separate from the Town of Essex.