Thank you, Essex
I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to give back to Essex, by serving as an elected Selectboard Member.

I would like to extend my gratitude to all who supported me: all who wrote letters, lent a listening ear, allowed me the space to figure out how to go about all of this and, most importantly, to those who voted for me. Thank you for your trust and support.

I’d also like to thank Irene Wrenner and Patrick Murray for a kind, thoughtful and gracious election/campaign season. A privilege to share a passion for Essex with you both.

I look forward to governing positively, with an open mind, alongside of my fellow Selectboard Members.

Annie Cooper

Keep abortion law as it is
At its most fundamental level, what is the dispute about abortion all about? It’s one person interfering with another person’s doctor-patient relationship, isn’t it? Who would tolerate that with any other medical situation? What would you say if your doctor was prevented from giving you all the relevant information about your medical condition? You’d be outraged.

  Leading medical groups such as the American Medical Association and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose political attempts to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. They prevent health care providers from giving their patients the best health care possible in an individual situation. That only makes sense.

H 57, a bill in the Vermont legislature, puts into law current State of Vermont practice, which has no restrictions on a woman’s access to reproductive health care services, including abortion. It ensures that women’s access to abortion stays the way it is—unrestricted, and gives women certainty under the law. It’s the first step in ensuring Vermont women have the same access to reproductive and abortion care that they have had for the last 46 years.

Don’t be confused or distracted by the focus on late term abortions. They are extremely rare, involve severe fetal anomalies and serious threats to the woman’s health. And most fetal anomalies can’t be detected before 20 weeks. This is a non-issue.

When women have access to the full range of reproductive health care it helps them control their lives, health, and future. And their personal and family economic situation remains within their control. Not someone else’s political agenda.

Guaranteeing a woman’s reproduction rights contributes to making a Vermont that works for all of us. And that surely includes treating all women like adults, capable of making their own decisions, not just a few with resources to arrange special treatment or travel.

I support H 57, the bill in the Vermont legislature that ensures these rights. Call your state senator. Urge her or him to support this bill.

Bill Kuch
Springfield, VT

Wrenner: Thank you
I want to thank everyone in Essex who has supported me for various causes over the past 14 years.

You know who you are.  And I could not have accomplished so much — despite the hurdles placed before me, and there were so very many — without your encouragement and activism.

I tuned in to local government back in 2005 because I didn’t want Essex to wind up looking like other places I’d lived.

That year I was appointed to a Merger Task Force, which eventually met 40+ times.

The MTF heard from every Town and Village department about what they did and how they might merge with their counterpart.

In 2006 the MTF presented a merger proposal that I found to be inequitable, but other challenges also became apparent in the course of the MTF meetings.

For example, I realized that Village residents were also Town residents, but no Village resident served on the Selectboard.

I got in touch with FairVote (a non-partisan champion of electoral reforms) and commissioned a report published in April, 2006 called “The Missing Half, Fair Representation in Post-Merger Essex”:

It was one of the handouts offered, as I tabled outside Village Annual Meeting 2006 behind a banner purchased with personal funds:

The issue of equitable representation was one I drew attention to as a private citizen, concerned about equity for my friends in the Village, long before running for town-wide political office was ever suggested to me.

Fast forward to today: Inside-the-Village residents outnumber Outside-the-Village residents 6:3 (soon to be 7:2) among the elected officials at joint board meetings, such that I’ve been compelled to speak up for the other half of the town.

Some Village residents have taken my recent advocacy for representation of the Town-outside-the-Village to mean that I’ve forgotten about them.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, I’ve officially and readily represented all residents since the day I took my first oath as a Selectboard member in 2007.

You’ll often hear me say at meetings: my Village constituents seek x; my outside-the-Village constituents seek y.

The reason I have a pretty good handle on a variety of perspectives? Knocking on doors all over town for well over a decade.

Although everyone asks for these outcomes in their own way, fair taxation and equitable representation for every Essex resident remain the answer.  They are what I’ve worked toward this entire time.

I am so grateful to all who elected me to four terms as a Selectman plus those who supported me for a fifth.

Irene Wrenner

Thanking Irene Wrenner
Thank you, Irene Wrenner,

Thank you for your dedication of nearly 14 years of service without missing a meeting.

Thank you for your citizenship and participation in so many Essex community organization activities.

Thank you for your devotion to transparency and keeping the community informed.

Thank you for your tireless energy, researching and studying each and every proposal.

Thank you for your courage and the conviction to follow your conscience and speak out even if it means standing alone.

Art Kilmer

A letter to the Burlington Free Press
Can Gannett explain to me how 7 Days and Essex Reporter can thrive, cover the news, have advertisers, and Vt Digger blows you out of the water, when the King of Papers in NW Vermont, the population center of the state, Is going to rack and ruin, covering failed restaurants, new bars, downtown bar fights, Church Street di$aster, limiting their usual spectrum from UVM to the Waterfront?

Could the Free Press survive without Gannet, could it thrive without Gannet?

Is Gannet purposely $ucking the life out of the daily newspaper

that NW Vt has supported for 150 years?

Does our $90 a month all go to the executive suite at Gannet?

Is $90 month the reason for declining enrollment?

50 year Subscriber, 2 GENERATIONS WOULD BE 100 unbroken YEARS !!

What say you?

Doug and Pat Richmond, 
Essex, then Underhill