(BURLINGTON FREE PRESS -SNO) — If you haven’t heard, Fair Haven has just elected its first mayor: a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln. On Tuesday, she had to be sworn in.
The first problem: The Mayor-elect didn’t want to come out from her field. Then there was the issue of getting her loaded into a cage in the back of a pick-up truck.
“This is the hard part,” said Chris Stanton. Then he asked his wife to grab the Mayor-elect’s head. She did so. He crouched down and scooped up the newly-elected goat and gingerly stuffed her into the cage without too much fuss.
The Mayor-elect seemed pleased to find dinner waiting in the cage.
Waiting at the Fair Haven town offices was Town Clerk Suzanne Dechame — who is also town treasurer — along with the Selectboard to administer the Oath of Office. Police Chief Bill Humphries held the door when the goat arrived.
Chair Bob Richards wore a wry smile as the goat — wearing a sash with the word ‘MAYOR’ sown on in white felt — entered the small conference room to the applause of more than a dozen assembled there. He then offered a wink to 4-year-old Sullivan Clark, Chris Stanton’s grandson, whose nomination of Lincoln was about to become election history.
But then came the second problem: How does a goat sign the necessary paperwork?
She produced an ink pad that Mayor-Elect Lincoln reluctantly stepped on with her right front hoof. She then made her ‘signature’ by stomping on the paper and it was done.
With that, on Tuesday night, March 12, just before 7 p.m., the small Vermont town officially swore in a goat as mayor.
The vote had been a close one.
Some in town are not convinced that voters made the right choice.
“It’s been baaaaad so far,” joked one municipal employee, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation — of butting heads — with the new administration.
But on Town Meeting Day, Lincoln the goat was the clear winner, beating out the pack (… or herd?) with 13 votes.
“Note the crap,” joked Mark Gutel, owner of local coffee shop Kinder Way Cafe. “It’s just like any other meeting.”
But all agreed that the mess was worth the trouble if it helped fund the town’s playground. Stanton, who teaches in town, says they plan to hold the election every year as both a fundraiser and a civics lesson for kids.
Although it might also be a lesson in waste management.