BRADFORD - Bradford's town meeting played host to many hot topics this year.
The town debated police presence at school, while the gun control article was decided by a single vote.
This year, there was much more than the budget on the table in Bradford. Safety proved to be a top priority on the ballot, as it was the center of two highly debated articles. The Selectboard proposed the hiring of a police officer as a full time resource officer for the Oxbow School.
Bradford Police Chief Jeff Stiegler explained the duties of the officer. "There are issues obviously in the morning, regulating traffic as well as when school departs to regulate traffic again," Stiegler said, "then during the day… the officer would be tasked with working with school administrators, and just being another liason."
Before the vote, Stiegler informed Bradford residents that for three years 75% of the officers salary would be covered by a feral grant. The rest of that three year salary would be covered under the police budget. The proposal was shut down, by a vote of 107 No to 43 Yes. With that vote, Bradford's police force will remain at two men. Despite the "No" vote to hire a resource officer, the town approved a new police cruiser to replace their current 13 year old SUV.
Another big topic voted down in Bradford was a proposed gun control article (Article 17). The article would have instructed federal and state legislators to ban assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines, and require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America. The article also would have made federal gun trafficking a federal crime, with penalties for those who arm criminals. Article 17 was defeated by a single vote, 45 No to 44 Yes.