Aye, drunken sailors might our elected officials be, but no Essex Town budget was ever implemented without the consent of the governed. In the past, this has entailed a couple hundred voters (if we were lucky) stating “Aye” or “Nay” at our Annual Meeting in the Essex High School auditorium. This past November, Town voters resoundingly approved moving the budget question to the ballot meaning that budgets will no longer be approved by a floor vote of a small representative group at Annual Meeting. The question of approval of the budget will be in your ballot, this year right above the merger question and the slate of candidates running for Selectboard seats.
Even better, this year, because of COVID, ballots will be mailed to all active voters, so the turnout is expected to be very high. I am not sure of the timing of getting ballots mailed out to voters but it will be within a couple of weeks. Voted ballots can be mailed back to the Town Clerk, dropped off at the Town Offices at 81 Main or brought to the polls on March 2 between 7am and 7pm (Essex High School for Village voters and Essex Middle School for TOV voters).