Letters to the editor

Bad experience

I was surprised to see letters in last week’s Essex Reporter encouraging us to vote for our incumbents because they are “experienced.” I, like many of my fellow village residents, have “experienced” higher property taxes after the incumbents raised it 10 percent since the last election. Will they raise it another 10 percent before the next?

I have also “experienced” major problems with Vermont Health Connect, which our legislators were supposed to oversee. And I know many Essex Junction residents have “experienced” job loss, either at IBM, Huber & Suhner, or elsewhere.

If this is the kind of “experience” people want to vote for, I hope they are prepared for two more years of the same old high property taxes, poor oversight, and job loss.

The experience our legislators have has also shown up in their campaign finance report as “experience” working, not across the aisle or for Essex Junction residents, but across the lobby with PACs and special interests.

I’d encourage people to join me in voting for Paul Dame and Tim Allard this time. These are two bright young men with new ideas and a fresh perspective — but also with good old common sense. They both have experience owning their own small business, employing themselves and others, and know how we can make things better for our local businesses here in the village.

Economies are always brought out of troubled times by innovation and new thinking, and voting for Paul Dame and Tim Allard is just the kind of innovation needed in Essex Junction to make Vermont better.

Diane Tardif
Essex Junction

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Myers makes impression

Linda Myers is running for re-election to the Vermont House of Representatives. Here is why I think she deserves our votes.

Linda’s is a thoughtful, intelligent and fair voice that has Essex’s best interests at heart. She has the ability to balance fiscal responsibility with the need to provide social programs to those in need, a skill that is sorely needed in Montpelier today more than ever. She works hard to promote smart business growth and she realizes that a strong economy with good jobs is key to keeping our young people in Vermont.

For many years, Linda served Essex both as a legislator and as the chair of the Essex Selectboard. Her love of and dedication to Essex is unquestioned. She listens to our concerns and works hard to craft the best solution for the Essex community. She is dedicated, qualified, hard-working, understands the issues and she is fair. I encourage you to join me and vote for Linda on Nov. 4.

Mike Plageman
Essex          

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Support for Waite-Simpson

I urge residents of Essex Junction to vote to re-elect Linda Waite-Simpson to the Vermont Legislature. Linda has been an excellent representative for us in Montpelier. She has a deep commitment to our community and knowledge of complex statewide issues.

Linda has worked hard for us in the Legislature, dealing with diverse groups of people and perspectives respectfully and thoughtfully. She listens to her constituents and carefully considers all viewpoints.

Linda Waite-Simpson is the forward-thinking kind of leader we need to address the difficult issues facing us now and in the future.

Mary Lou Lord
Essex Junction

Re-elect Myers

I am writing in support of Linda Myers’ candidacy for re-election to an additional term as Representative of the Chittenden 8-1 District. Linda and I worked together for many years on the Essex Selectboard, and I saw first-hand that she is passionate and dedicated to serving the residents of Essex. As our Representative, Linda has continued that same level of passion and dedication in her work in the Vermont Legislature.

She listens to the opinions of residents, works tirelessly for what she believes is best for Essex, and brings many years of experience to every decision she makes. I will be voting for Rep. Myers on Nov. 4 and hope that you will join me in helping to return Linda as Representative of the Chittenden 8-1 District.

Max Levy
Essex

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Party trumps character

I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with Liz Subin, and she is a person of integrity and heart. Unfortunately, it’s party philosophy, rather than personal character, that seems to be the driving force in Montpelier. This is especially true for newcomers. We’ve had an overwhelmingly Democratic majority in Montpelier for the past 10 years. Since the start of the Shumlin Administration, we have seen the overthrow of long-standing energy resources for “green power.” We’ve seen a spike in gasoline prices and yet an increase in the gasoline tax. And now we are grappling with the introduction of a single-payer health care system that we still do not know how we are going to pay for.

Martha Heath voted overwhelmingly for all of these initiatives. It is not likely that another Democratic representative is going to change course.

As Vermonters, we might agree on many of the goals of these initiatives. But how we get there can make a huge difference in the cost of living here. I’ve also been working with Bob Bancroft who is running for the Vermont House in Chittenden 8-3. Bob is currently on the Westford Selectboard. He has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics, has run a dairy farm, and now has a business in economic consulting. More to the point, Bob is an economist with a down-to-earth way about him. His focus for this campaign is “affordability”.

I hope our community will take a good, hard look at the direction we are headed and how we are going to pay for it. Most of all, I urge every one of us to talk to our neighbors about local issues, and to get out and vote!

Ron Lawrence
Essex

Liz’s legacy?

In a recent Public Access Forum held for House Candidates in Chittenden 8-3, Liz Subin stated that she wanted to follow in the legacy of Martha Heath. I had to wonder what legacy she was referring to?

Martha Heath and her Democrat super-majority passed the school funding legislation that has led to uncontrollable property taxes that are currently burdening our residents and leading to people leaving the state in droves. Martha Heath and her super-majority have also increased spending by hundreds of millions in the past five years.

Is it the tax-and-spend legacy that Liz Stubin is hoping to emulate?

We do have an alternate legacy to pursue. That legacy could be to bring Vermont back to a place that is affordable for ourselves and our children. In order to do that, we need to make changes in our Legislature and elect people, like Bob Bancroft, who will restore balance to our Legislature. We need to have people in Montpelier with common sense who will truly represent the interests of the people, instead of party allegiances.

Bob Bancroft is such a person. Bob has been involved in the community as a selectboard member in Westford. This has allowed him to understand the burdens on our towns and citizens. His professional career as an economist will allow him to make positive and judicious decisions on issues that affect our everyday lives. He will use his background and personal attributes of empathy, character and integrity in his decision-making in Montpelier.

So, it is time for us to decide our legacy. What will that be? Tax and spend or growth and Stability? Choose the latter and elect Bob Bancroft in November.

Patricia Crocker
Essex

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A record of courage

Linda Waite-Simpson is a courageous legislator, who stands for the safety of children and the rest of the community.

Linda is in favor of reasonable regulations that will prevent someone, in the heat of passion or the depths of depression or mental illness, from having easy access to guns. Her proposals are so moderate compared to laws in neighboring states.

During my 30 years as a school counselor, I have known many Vermonters who hunt. They are just as concerned about hunter safety and the safety of their children as the rest of us. Reasonable guidelines will not prevent them from their sport, and might prevent a tragedy.

The domestic violence attack that happened at Essex Elementary in 2006 is a tragic example of what can happen. The 2009 suicide at the high school is another. After the Essex Elementary shooting, Linda was completely in agreement with our superintendent that our district use capital dollars to re-orient the door swing at all our schools so that teachers could close and lock the door without stepping in to the hallway. This was an important change and enhanced safety in our schools.

Linda has worked with local groups to bring attention to the circumstances around a tragic suicide at the high school in 2009, particularly with children and youth having unsupervised access to firearms.

In Vermont we can take a stand, if the Congress is not able to. It takes courage to take a stand, knowing that some attack groups will go after you. Linda has that courage, and the vision to represent us well. We need her voice of reason in Montpelier. I am grateful for her service on the school board and in the Legislature,

Barbara Bloom
Retired school counselor
Albert D. Lawton School