March 22, 2010

NEVIS NOTES: March 20, 2010

Participation: Linda Chagnon, Jean O'Sullivan, Jake Perkinson, Melanie Brach, Ellen Cooper, Cliff Cooper, Angela Chagnon, Lea Terhune, Vince Dober, Art Hogan, David Cain, Dick Kelly, Jim Couture, Greg Jenkins, Chuck Seleen, Jenny Davis. Nancy Kaplan, Paul Decelles, Loyal Ploof, and Larry Solt were not able to attend but want to stay involved.

Highlights:  ~Regarding polling places: Vince did a survey in Ward 7 about site preference and 85% want to return to Hunt School. He and Paul will be taking this up with the full Board of Civil Authority. We learned that the Ward 4 polling place stayed at St. Mark's because ward 4 clerk and inspectors didn't think there was time before Town Meeting to make the move. Discussion is ongoing. ~Regarding the Board of Civil Authority (aka City Council), the City Clerk's office (Ben Pacy, Lori Olberg), and Ward Clerks (Couture 4, Noyes 7) and Inspectors (Gilbert 4 , Kelley 4, Barch 4; Deliduka 7, Hossley 7, Riley 7): there could be a presentation at an upcoming NPA by the City Clerk's office about what clerks and inspectors do. ~Regarding increasing voter turnout: ideas flowed freely -- many that have worked well in Burlington in the past, and some things yet to try. Getting our stats together so we know our history and our personal best will help us set goals that are both realistic and challenging.

Feedback about Election Day:
We value all ideas, and we noted every idea expressed by every person who participated. At the next work session, we'll literally cut up the list, put like issues/ideas together in a pile, and see who can tackle each set of issues.

What next:
Most of the people present expressed interest in continuing to work on improvements, reviewing what worked in the past and in other places to find ways to inspire an enthusiastic voter turnout. The North End NPA will make this a priority in the coming year, starting with NEVIS' evaluation of election day (convenience of polling places, signage, voter information, and training of people working at the polls). Packets of information are being collected from the City Clerk and Secretary of State's Office, and an internet search for great ideas is ongoing. We'll have monthly updates from NEVIS at the NPA, and track progress. Hopefully, polling sites will be confirmed soon so chosen venues can create optimal situation (parking, traffic flow) and  there can be widespread publicity to create awareness in the community.

Next work session: 
Saturday, Apr. 17, 10-11AM, Miller Center. Contact Lea Terhune (658-1908) and Greg Jenkins (865-0249)