- Why are you running for selectboard, and what qualifies you for this position?
I am running for Selectboard because I am fortunate enough to have been raised in this great state. I've been lucky to have chosen a community where I have never felt anything but welcome. That leaves me with a sense of obligation that I should be working to make everyone who comes here feel the same way. I have the experience to bring a respectful level of communication and work ethic to a group that needs to reach a community that is growing in size and diversity. My board work with EWSD will allow me to bring a level of synergy between the schools and the municipal government that can help facilitate rapid change and avoid financial pitfalls as presently one group is forced to react to changes in the other without institutional knowledge. I see myself as a bridge between our two largest local taxing entities.
- Do you support a merger between the town and village? If no, why? If so, what do you see as the biggest obstacles and how should the selectboard address them?
I strongly support a merger between the town and the village. In a state with a declining and aging population it is very important for us to be a destination for families to settle when they're looking at Vermont. We have an amazing marriage between Vermont urban and rural communities within the town's borders so we should be rethinking competing with one another and refocus to see we are competing with surrounding towns to attract businesses and families that will make Essex their home. The largest hurdles we face now, with so much consolidated already, is the need to make sure we give a a voice to everyone on the future of Essex. The future governmental structure of our community will base its long term stability on ensuring everyone feels like they have representation going forward.
- Beyond consolidation, what should the selectboard’s priorities be over the next three years and why?
Over the next 3 years, I feel that the Selectboard's main goals should be looking into options for replacing our infrastructure on a more accelrated timetable than we currently have in place. We need to play catch up if we expect Essex to continue to grow as a community, working to provide housing for middle class families. We need to provide better infrastructure to cope with the challenges presented by the school district's transportation plan, and we need to look into how we accomplish these goals without an undue burden on the local property owners. Essex thrives when we can provide the best options for families moving into Chittenden county, which means competing with Williston, Shelburne and Colchester.