Goat sworn in as mayor of Fair Haven

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. (WCAX) It's official! Fair Haven has a new mayor.

Tuesday night, Ms. Lincoln was sworn in.

People packed the room to celebrate the new mayor. She had to take an oath, followed by a footprint of approval on town documents.

Mara Lincoln will be mayor for a year until it's time to elect a new, four-legged mayor.

Ms. Lincoln was nominated by the children of Fair Haven and voted on by the kids.

That idea to elect an animal as mayor came from the town manager. He thought it would be a fun way to raise money for the school to build a new playground and get kids to start thinking about local politics.

On voting day, the kids took to the polls with their parents and had their very own ballot with 16 candidates ranging from cats and dogs to a goat! Lincoln won by three votes.

The school in town taught the kids about voting and hope next year to add more questions to the ballot to make this an ongoing thing and of course an elect a new mayor

"What I'm hoping is they took away a little sense of civic pride, you know, taking part in the community, going down to the voting places on voting day. I hope that they got excited about it went down and took part," Fair Haven Town Manager Joseph Gunter said.

"We were really pleased to see it was a civics lesson for the students and that they could be involved and decisions made in the town and it something that we hope to continue in the future getting the kids voting with their parents on a regular basis," said Christopher Stapleton, Lincoln's owner.

Unfortunately, the fun fundraiser only raised about $100, when their goal was about $70,000. They plan to continue to raise money to reach their goal, as well as apply for more state grants to help fund it in future years.

"We certainly want to expand opportunities for families and students. And our playground is quite old but it is certainly still functioning. Make it maybe a little larger newer and more enjoyable," said Debra Smith, the assistant principal at the Fair Haven Grade School.