Contested Race Connects the Community

Barnet Town MeetingBARNET - While most town's battled it out over budgets during town meeting day, a battle of its own drew in an unusually large crowd to Barnet's town meeting. Former long time select board member, Ted Faris's campaign for re-election against current selectboard member Dylan Ford brought in members from all sides of the community.



"This was a battle between two people who represent very different segments of the community. It was really a classic case of town politics," explained Barnet resident William Biddle.

Last year, Faris, who had long served on the board, lost his seat unexpectedly to Ford at town meeting. In an attempt to take back his position Faris ran against Ford this year, and with both candidates gaining support from different sides of the community, Barnet's town meeting had nearly 250 attendees, almost double the usual amount.

Groups such as Karme Choling came out to support Ford while long time farmers showed their support for Faris. Ultimately Ford won re-election as a select board member with a vote of 174 to 84. Some residents believe that Ford's win is an indication of where Barnet is headed in the future.

"I suspect there is probably a lot of concern among the traditional old-timers. They are a tremendous important part of this town. The farms are dying and the cattle herds are being sold off, it's indicative of a general direction," said Biddle.

Although not all of the community members may have agreed on that election, they were still able to come together to take care of business.

"People in this town always agree on the school budget. There has never been a fight," explained Biddle.

"The community of Barnet has been very supportive. It's always good to know that people are at least paying attention," said Barnet School Board Chair Louis Bushey.

The town approved a nearly $400 thousand increase in the school budget that was needed due to an increase in students and decrease in revenues with little argument.