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Milton to form recognition committee

Are you a good judge of character? Well connected? Have a little free time? You might be the perfect candidate for Milton’s newest committee, tasked with finding community champions for a new awards ceremony.

The town seeks three individuals to carry out an upcoming recognition program, Community Champions, Town Manager Brian Palaia said.

The model replaces Extra Mile Day, an honor bestowed last November 1 upon seven Miltonians who took measures to improve their town. Staff learned about the day last minute and wanted more structure for this year, Palaia said.

The town switched to the new program, based on one from East Lansing, Mich., where nominations come from the community instead of town staff and are judged by a selectboard-appointed group.

But first, the Community Champion Awards Committee needs populating.

Enter Ann Janda, the town’s newest management fellow, who replaced Jake Hemmerick when he moved to the planning office. Getting the program going is one of her larger projects since starting in May.

“Being involved in your community is important for a lot of reasons,” Janda said. “The more people are involved in their community, the more people have a higher sense of wellbeing.”

Each of the three board members would fulfill one-year terms. They go through the same application process as a conservation or planning commissioner, and, once appointed, the first order is solidifying the nomination process.

The committee will choose three exemplar citizens, representing the community at large and/or a business.

The winner must volunteer, actively create a healthier Milton, act as a role model and/or inspire others to serve, the nomination form says. The public submits the forms, and the committee goes from there.

The future members will determine the prize and when it will be awarded, Janda said, but the town plans to do so at a completely new town event, not just a selectboard meeting.

The town will accept nominations once the committee is formed, Palaia said. He thinks the role is an opportunity to serve with a small time commitment.

Janda said residents who want to improve Milton would be perfect committee members.

“Those are the kind of people who are going to help encourage other people to do the same,” she said.

Janda is excited for the committee and thinks it’s important a municipality honor its outstanding citizens, saying every community-minded action makes an impact.

“That’s what municipal government is all about – it’s about improving community and making the community a great place to live,” she said. “We’d want to encourage that as much as we can.”

To apply for the Community Champion Awards Committee, contact Ann Janda at ajanda@town.milton.vt.us or at 891-8019 or fill out an application here.

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