I will soon establish a regular schedule for meeting with anyone in town with concerns and gathering your input. And of course, giving you my thoughts. In that regard, I will be at the transfer station on Saturday, March 24th from about 9:30 am to Noon. Please feel free to stop by and say hello.
I am honored and grateful to have been selected by the people of Pownal to serve on the Select Board. We are blessed as a town to have had a broad field of candidates to choose from; all of whom clearly want what is best for Pownal.
As I promised during my campaign, I will strive to make our town government as transparent as possible, and to solicit input from the good people of Pownal for all major decisions. And I will make sure all initiatives are weighed fully against the costs before approval.
We are also blessed to have the experience and dedication of the current select board members. I will be looking to them to learn the ins and outs of the position, and the tasks ahead of us.
Congratulations to Julie Weber for town clerk, Ellen Strohmaier for Treasurer, Ron Bisson and Jenny Dewar for the 1 year select board term.
Thank you to all that supported me, and thanks to the other candidates for a positive race. I look forward to serving the people of Pownal.
The repeater is in a central location, and allows for longer range broadcasts of emergency information. Without it, it is difficult to hear what is being said over broadcasts.
This is a one-time expenditure. There is no on-going maintenance required.
In an emergency situation, miscommunication can be fatal. Some examples that did occur in Pownal are:
- 2 years ago where the Roost used to be, there was a fire. In trying to convey where the fire was, the on-scene person said it was the same place as a controlled fire was prior to this. All the responders heard was ‘controlled fire’. This sent the wrong message and delayed a response.
- One of the first responders for a different event was in Williamstown, and could not hear any of the specifics of emergency call.
- In another incident that was conveyed to me, someone had a chimney fire, which can often be catastrophic. The first responders arrived on scene, took care of the situation to where there was not longer an emergency. But that could not be accurately relayed to the fire department, so the responders showed up on site. Had those resources been needed for another emergency, they would not have been able to respond while tied up for the now neutralized threat.
- Often, first responders live in areas where they never hear a call in the first place, cost valuable time and resources during emergency events that are often life threatening.
In my view, this is a perfect example of what we SHOULD be spending tax dollars on. This comes down to taking care of our neighbors, and protecting lives. To me, it is not just a probability that failure to act will result in loss of life, it is a statistical inevitability. It’s just a matter of time.
And when it does happen, we will certainly act and approve this expenditure. Let’s do it NOW, before the unthinkable actually happens. We’ve already had too many close calls.
I was not able to attend the ‘Meet and Greet’ at the Pownal Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb 27. Here is the 3 minute statement that was read on my behalf:
My family has called Pownal home since the 50’s, and Vermont home for centuries.
Over the last year, I have become more involved in town politics due to my concern over what I see as the growing divide between certain factions in town as evidenced in the vision of the town plan which has a lopsided focus on the arts. This mostly socio-economic divide has created an emerging culture that embraces the vision of a few over the needs of us, the silent majority. What I see is a massive disconnect between the needs of the working class and those that have affluence who are able to live here with financial security.
Common solutions offered to struggling families are more state intervention, more social services, and more tax funded grants. Not only are these solutions mere band-aids to the needs of our citizens, the expansion of our state and local government is killing our economy. Forbes now ranks Vermont 48 out of 50 for economic outlook. Pownal needs jobs. We need large employers who offer not only entry level jobs but upward mobility, training and the kind of stability that helps struggling families meet their basic needs with a level of dignity not available from government programs.
A large employer will provide locals with more disposable income to be able to spend in local businesses. A small farm or food producer would have more opportunities to sell their goods when the base line standard of living is raised, and more people are coming to the area to work and live. Local electricians, plumbers and carpenters will have more opportunity for work when families have the income to be able to upgrade their homes. More disposable income will also create possibilities for working families to be able to afford dump fees, beautify their homes and properties and buy and maintain working vehicles.
People struggling to feed their children and maintain their living situations cannot be patrons of the arts in any way. When we try to improve our local economy by way of grants and government funding, we are using the tax money of these hard working Vermont families. The till will be empty if we do not also aggressively increase tax revenue through sources that will continue to generate money….not just spend it. Our current direction is NOT SUSTAINABLE.
The proposed town plan has 8 “requirements” that large employers would have to meet to be able to locate in Pownal. These are not just requirements, they are barriers. These barriers make it highly improbable that any large employer would ever come to Pownal again. This ensures that the only kind of employment that will be available in town is low paying with no upward mobility or benefits. This is detrimental to Pownal’s struggling families, who will either need to move to access real opportunity, or become dependent on welfare and subsidies.
Pownal citizens must have a stronger voice and less centralized control over the decisions that affect them. The people who live here are the best equipped to choose their town clerk, how their local school is run, and what kinds of businesses are allowed to exist here. We need to stop spending Pownal families’ precious tax dollars and instead create more revenue that will allow us to take care of infrastructure needs here in town.
These are my most pressing issues that I have chosen to campaign on. I also have many thoughts and ideas regarding other important questions, which I would be happy to answer and discuss.
In closing, I also want to take this opportunity to strongly recommend a ‘No’ vote on Article 28 to keep the town clerk an elected position. I enthusiastically endorse Julie Weber for that position.