Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dear Select Board Members,

December 6, 2016

Dear Select Board Members, 

In April 1994, when I was a senior in high school, my cousin, Josh Cole, died in a 4-wheeler accident on Tiffany Road. He was 15, a sophomore at Black River. Despite his death & the impacts it has had on my family, I am not against ATV use. However, as their warning labels read, ATVs are not meant for travel on public roads. If you open the unpaved roads in Mt. Holly to ATV use, you will be responsible for significantly increasing the risk of accidents, severe injuries, and fatalities that occur in our town.

Please consider carefully the information presented in the articles listed below as you decide whether or not Mt. Holly's unpaved roads should be opened to ATV use. The authors of the various articles range from experts in the fields of vehicle & highway safety to doctors of emergency medicine to statisticians and policy analysts. After looking at nationwide data, all of the authors conclude that ATV use on public roads (both paved & unpaved) is significantly more dangerous than riding off-road. Furthermore, the "data reinforce the importance of laws restricting ATV road use and the need for effective enforcement, as well as the need to increase user education about ATV road-use laws and the dangers of riding on the roads" (from article 1 below).

Most of Mt. Holly's unpaved roads are connected via paved roads and though riding on paved roads will remain illegal, the numbers of ATVs on those paved connecting roads will predictably increase--especially since we have minimal ability to enforce either this proposed ordinance or the existing traffic regulations. This is troubling, especially in light of research that shows, since 1998, ATV-related deaths have increased at twice the rate on paved versus unpaved roads . However, even if my prediction is incorrect and ATV use on paved roads does not increase, 42% (nationwide average) of all on-road ATV deaths occur on unpaved roads (see article 2 below). 

Thank you very much for your time and for your dedication to the Mount Holly community.

Amanda Frank
Belmont, VT

2. On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.



The proposal to open Mount Holly’s Class 4 roads to ATVs, including uncountable and uncontrollable out-of-towners, amounts to an unfair and unjustified tax on property owners who have homes on those roads. The Town does not maintain those roads, we do. We have to pay for grading and any new road material. We have to pay to replace culverts that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. ATVs wreck dirt roads, digging ruts, causing major holes and erosion from water runoff. Taxpayers on Class 4 roads will face double taxation from this proposal – more property tax money to fix Class 3 roads and more personal money to fix the Class 4 roads. That’s just not right. If the Select Board cares at all about Townspeople, this bad proposal will be stopped and stopped now.

Alison and Rick Weintraub

Sunday, December 4, 2016

ATV information

Dear Mount Holly Community Members, 

I've compiled a handful of recent scientific articles that discuss ATV safety on roadways (published between 2013 - 2016). While it may seem like I searched only for articles pertaining to ATV fatalities, that was not the case. Using Google Scholar, my search terms were, "ATV unpaved paved roads traffic safety." 

As with most scientific papers, the full text costs money, but, the links below will take you to a free summary of each article.

Amanda Frank

On-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) fatalities in the United States. Journal of Safety Research, 50, 117-123.
All-terrain vehicles dangerous on both paved and unpaved roads: restricting public roadway use. American Academy of Pediatrics: National Conference & Exhibition
ATVs on roadways: a safety crisis. Consumer Federation of America. (2014).  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance

Hi Randy,

We are whole heartedly against the ATV ordinance, for the reasons that were outlined in your e-mail link, and also for fear of this enticing illegal activities and burglaries in our small, remote town.  On our road alone there are quite a few seasonal homes.  It's pretty obvious which ones are occupied or not.  With the drug issues going on around us, with the desperation of those that are addicted lacking the ability to refrain from stealing and hurting folks to support their habit, to break into homes to support what they are doing, seems to me to be facilitated if ATV use is available.  There is no way our constable can keep up with something like this.  And there is no way I would support any of our tax dollars for having to be responsible for additional road maintenance and police calls for accidents or break ins.  I don't see any positives that outweigh any negatives to this proposal.  I will make every effort to be at this meeting to make a plea that this ordinance not be passed, and it bothers me that so much of our towns' efforts have had to be wasted on this issue.  There are so many wonderful outdoor activities in this small neck of the woods.  ATV use should not be one of them.

Thank you for your e-mail today,
Sheila Wickham

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM

Concern for Proposed Town of Mount Holly ATV Ordinance On Tuesday Dec 13th at 7:30PM at the regular Selectmen’s meeting there will be discussion in advance of the possible signing of a new town-wide ordinance for use of ATV’s on Town roads by the Selectmen. In a previous survey, town residents responded against an ATV ordinance allowing ATV use of Town roads. So this is, at a minimum, a contentious issue that should be voted and not forced upon (requiring petition to change) the resident citizens of Mt Holly

  First off, we happen to enjoy ATV’s ourselves for off road use but we happen to live on a road with a history of ATV abuse. Currently the ATV’s are not technically allowed yet the enforcement (other than citizen enforcement) is almost impossible because the constable has to catch them in the act. We have to gate all private roads from our property to keep ATV’s from entering because signs don’t work or people can’t read. We have had ATV’s by our house at all hours of the day and night including doing donuts in front of our house. Other places on our road have been rutted to the point of being dangerous by constant high speed turn-arounds by ATV users. There are 2 blind hills on our road and ATV drivers are not as elevated or visible as regular road vehicles and can’t hear an oncoming car over their own noise. The problem is really with plenty of non resident users unfamiliar with town regulations.

 Our town gravel roads have minimal shoulders, blind hills, challenging enforcement and as rural as we are, plenty of population density compared to other towns with ATV ordinances. No ordinance like this should be enacted without consideration for proper posting, enforcement and liability, all at a potential cost to the town taxpayers for what good reason? Even with all ATV’s traveling at “appropriate reduced speed” it really is not smart to mix additional forms of traffic with vastly different speeds on the same travelled surface, particularly operators that can’t hear other closing vehicles. Most of all though, without strict enforcement, one can only anticipate the real nuisance factor of uncaring or ignorant expanded ATV use of our roads.

 We he have no issue with agricultural use or exemptions knowing that it would be a stretch to think of Mt Holly as an agricultural community, at this point. Therefore, the impact of agricultural use would be minimal and likely is already accepted without an ordinance.

 If you have had similar experiences or have similar concerns, please make it a point of attending the Dec 13th meeting to voice your concerns before this is enacted without your input. Help get the word out too.

Brett Wright & Sandra Predom

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Town Of Mount Holly Ordinance All-Terrain Vehicle Regulations PROPOSED

Town Of Mount Holly Ordinance All-Terrain Vehicle Regulations
PROPOSED Authority Under the authority granted in Vermont Title 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, 24 V.S.A Section 2291 (4) and Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31, Section 3510, the Select Board of the Town of Mount Holly hereby adopts the following civil ordinance regulating the time, manner and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles within the town. This ordinance and accompanying regulations are adopted as a supplement to and not a substitute for any Vermont statutes and regulations pertaining to all-terrain vehicles. Purpose The purpose of this ordinance is to allow Mount Holly residents, landowners, and their guests, who have the appropriate permission to travel on private land, limited approval for their all-terrain vehicles to travel on identified and approved town highways (or sections of highways), to connect to other private property, while protecting the health and safety of all vehicle operators, residents, animals, property and the environment. Definitions This ordinance will adopt the definitions of “All-Terrain Vehicle” or “ATV” and “Operate” as defined in Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31 section 3501. “Active Farming” is to be defined as anyone engaging in the cultivation and harvesting of crops, hay, vegetables or trees bearing edible fruit; the raising of livestock, poultry, fish, bees or Equines; the harvesting of maple sap and the production of maple syrup; and the management and harvesting off forest lands enrolled in the Use Value Appraisal Program (UVA) also known as Current use. “Gravel Road” is to be defined as any Town Highway or portion thereof, which Is not paved, and is maintained as a traveled road. Operation Requirements The requirements below must be strictly adhered to when operating an all-terrain vehicle on town highways. Any violations will revoke the permission from the Town of Mount Holly to operate an allterrain vehicle on the town highways and the applicable State laws will apply. 1) All-terrain vehicles must be registered and operated in accordance to the requirements of Vermont Title 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31. 2) All-terrain vehicles may only be operated on sections of Town highways that have been designated and approved by the Select Board. 3) All traffic control devices apply to the operation of all-terrain vehicles. ATVs shall obey all traffic regulations that apply to other motor vehicles permitted on Town highways. ATV Ordinance Dec 2016 Page 2 of 3 4) All-terrain vehicles on the Town highway will travel to the far right side, single file, not be operated at a speed greater than is reasonable, safe and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards there existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid collision with any person, vehicle, snowmobile, ATV, or other object on or adjacent to the highway. 5) The operator of an ATV shall drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when travelling on any narrow portions of the highway and when a special hazard exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic by reason of weather or road conditions. 6) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle being operated on a Town highway will yield right of way to all other vehicle and pedestrian traffic including but not limited to bicyclist and horses. 7) ATVs used in active farming must display a slow moving vehicle sign on the rear of the machine. Highway Approval Process 1) All-terrain vehicles will only be allowed to travel on Town highways (or sections of highways} approved by the Select Board. 2) The Select Board reserves the right to allow or deny permission to operate an all-terrain vehicle on any Town highway (or section of highway). The Select Board reserves the right to rescind any or all permissions to operate an all-terrain vehicle on Town highways at any time. 3) The Select Board reserves the right to add or remove any and all roads from the “Allowed Highways” section of this ordinance at any time. Allowed Highways 1) All Class 4 roads within the Town of Mount Holly. 2) All gravel roads within the Town of Mount Holly 3) Any road, with the exception of State highways, when the ATV is being used solely for the purpose of active farming. Enforcement This is a civil ordinance and shall be enforced by a constable/sheriff/police officer or any person(s) duly appointed by the Select Board as an issuing Municipal Officer through the Judicial Bureau in accordance with the provisions of 24 VSA Chapter 59. Severability If any section of this ordinance is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding shall not invalidate any other part of this ordinance. ATV Ordinance Dec 2016 Page 3 of 3 Effective Date This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after its adoption by the Mount Holly Select Board. If a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A Section 1973, that statute shall govern the taking effect of this ordinance. Signatures _____________________________________ Edward (Ted) Crawford _____________________________________ Raymond Tarbell _____________________________________ Tim Martin Adoption History 1) Agenda item at regular meeting held on _________________ 2) Read and approved at regular Select Board meeting on ______________ and entered in the minutes of that meeting which were approved on __________________. 3) Posted in public places on _____________. 4) Notice of adoption published in _______________ newspaper on _____________ with a notice of the right to petition. 5) Other actions (petitions, etc.).

Friday, November 11, 2016

Joseph McDonald

Below is the 100-day plan Trump's campaign released in October, called "Donald Trump's Contract With The American Voter."

What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again. It is a contract between myself and the American voter — and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington
Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:
* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:
* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure
Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:
* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back
* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:
  1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
  2. End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
  3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
  4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
  5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
  6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
  7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
  8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
  9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
  10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.
On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.
This is my pledge to you.
And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by, and for the people.