Support for Redmond
I want to share why I support for Marybeth Redmond, a candidate to serve the voters of Chittenden 8-1 in the Vermont Legislature for 2019-20. If you live in 8-1, you vote at Essex Middle School.

I met Marybeth as she was contemplating a run for the Vermont House. Here is what I learned. She is very confident in her analytical and writing skills she will bring to the table as a Vermont legislator. During her career as a journalist, Marybeth has reported locally and internationally on public policy issues. As she talked about her reporting in Central America on refugees and their immigration issues, I sensed her capacity to analyze complex international issues and her deeply-held concern for those impacted. Already, she is serving us as an appointed member of the Vermont Commission on Women, using those same journalistic skills to improve the lives of Vermont women and families.

All this said, Marybeth is new to campaigning and legislative process. Based on what I have seen, she immediately started asking thoughtful, insightful questions to figure out what she doesn’t know. And then started using what she learned to guide her campaign and preparation to serve. As she knocks on doors throughout 8-1, Marybeth is using her active listening skills to digest the views of her neighbors and future constituents. I have no doubt that she will use what she hears to guide her work in the Vermont Legislature.

Marybeth Redmond’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious. I hope you are able to meet her, share your views, and vote for her on November 6 at EMS or anytime via an absentee ballot.

Greg Morgan
Essex Jct.

 

Re-elect Linda Myers
The town of Essex benefits from the experienced leadership Linda Myers provides as state representative. As a member of the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, Linda ensures the needs of town employers large and small are represented. Last session, she co-sponsored forward-thinking bills relating to innovation in captive insurance and blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. She also co-sponsored consumer protection legislation like the Fair Repair Act.

Linda’s work has impact on education and workforce training. As a supporter of dual enrollment, she has helped ensure our high school students have funding to take college classes while still in high school, earning college credit and reducing student debt. She has co-sponsored numerous workforce training bills that help Essex workers and CTE students obtain the skills they need to secure good paying jobs.

As the town of Essex continues consolidating, we will be in need of seasoned and strong representation in the State House. I encourage Essex voters to re-elect Linda Myers.

Please be sure to vote at Essex Middle School on Tuesday, Nov. 6. If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, that’s OK – early voting is underway right now, and ballots are available at the town offices at 81 Main St.

Elaine Haney Sopchak
Village Trustee, Town Select Board Member

 

Vote for Redmond
I’m writing to you to in support of Marybeth Redmond run for the Vermont House of Representatives for Essex (Chittenden 8-1). I’d like to share why I believe folks should vote for her.

Marybeth is a fresh voice for the community of Essex. She has been a resident for 15 years and she and her husband are raising a son who attends the Essex public schools.

Marybeth has already been involved in statewide policy making that focuses on those living in multi-generational poverty; men and women coming out of incarceration, underemployed and unemployed women, equal pay for women, and workforce development. She is a commissioner on the Vermont Commission on Women, representing Essex.

She taught journalism at St. Michael’s College for six years where she came to understand the pressures upon students and the financial burdens on families to afford higher education. That experience left her understanding the importance of gaining livable-wage employment after graduation.

Marybeth is a servant leader who helped to create the Essex-wide “Serve Our Neighbor Day” for Holy Family-St. Lawrence-St. Pius X parishes. This twice-annual community service Saturday engages team of volunteers to support elderly and in-firmed neighbors in raking leaves, cleaning gardens and garages, and providing companionship against isolation. Each year more than 150 volunteers work on up to 25 projects.

In short, I believe that Marybeth is exactly the person needed in the House of Representatives in Vermont, representing Essex and especially people living on the margins of society, and I have great confidence that she will continue to serve all of us.

Joanne Nelson
Essex Jct.

 

Re-elect Houghton
Now that early voting is available, I want to encourage you to use one of your votes to re-elect Lori Houghton.

Lori is a good listener and is great to make herself available in private and public forums to keep this community informed. For the past two years, at the end of the legislative session, Lori has come to the senior group at First Congregationalist to bring us up to date on legislative actions as well as the state of the village.

Lori has a compassion and dedication to this community that I find to be without equal. Give Lori a big thank you and show her how grateful we are to have her represent us by giving her your support.

Tom Helmstutler
Essex Jct.

 

Giambatista has my vote
As a member of the school board, I am so very glad to see Dylan Giambatista in the audience at our school board meetings. I know he is listening, observing and learning about how our local schools are running. When a legislative snafu caused a hiccup in how EWSD School Board were placed on the ballot, Dylan spearheaded the legislative Band-Aid to the process making next year’s ballot procedure what we have come to expect.

As a member of the House Education Committee and a trustee on the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees, Dylan is in touch with educators and employers and is plugged into conversations about how to grow jobs and economic opportunities for all Vermonters He was one of the lead lawmakers who advocated for, and passed, a new universal tuition benefit for members of the Vermont National Guard. Under the law, Guard members can access postsecondary education and training as part of their service, opening new doors to college for our citizens. I, too, believe in giving our future the resources to reach their highest potential. Having Dylan in the House, I feel he will be there to create and shepherd programs and legislation to fulfill this goal.

As a justice of the peace and the presiding officer for the Essex Jct. polls, I am so appreciative to have my fellow JP and BCA member Dylan phone me to ask how he can pitch in. I am so thankful for his public service.

Dylan has made transparency a top priority. He sets a high bar for communicating updates to the community during the legislative session. In addition to holding regular forums in partnership with fellow state Rep. Lori Houghton and attending community meetings and gatherings, he shares updates on Front Porch Forum, in The Essex Reporter and on Twitter and Facebook. He makes it a point to return every phone call and email he receives; I can’t say enough about his attention to the needs of our community.

We need to re-elect Dylan so he can continue to focus on ways to grow our economy the Vermont way. Please remember to vote – either now by absentee ballot or in person on November 6.

Diane Clemens
EWSD School Board, EJ Planning Commission

 

Houghton is the best
Lori Houghton continues to amaze me with her great energy and impressive skills as Vermont rep, trustee and community volunteer. Her commitment is to make EJ better for all, including businesses, families, schools and community organizations. It’s so refreshing to have reps who truly listen and focus on the issues that matter to us. We are incredibly lucky to have Lori working for the village.

Please help re-elect Lori Houghton as our Vermont representative – she’s the best!

Yes, your vote makes a difference! Make a plan, mark your calendars and your to-do list: vote November 6 at Essex High School, or vote any time by contacting Essex town offices at 81 Main St. or 879-0413.

Toni Morgan
Essex Jct.

 

Support for Houghton, Giambatista
As we see the tumult on the national stage of politics, I find myself feeling extra grateful that not only have Lori Hougton and Dylan Giambatista been willing to represent us in Montpelier, but that they are willing to continue to do so. We are fortunate to have their thoughtful and respectful representation and leadership. Over the course of their two years in the House, I have found them both to be responsive, introspective, and gracious with their time and attention. Each has taken the time to explain complexities from their respective committee work (Lori on Health and Dylan on Education) when I have had questions. Both hold regular community forums and are readily accessible.

Taking on the task of serving our community in the Vermont State House is a tremendous commitment and it will bring me joy to cast my ballot for Lori and Dylan on November 6. Please remember that you can get an absentee ballot at town hall if you would prefer to vote early.

Kelly Adams
Essex Jct.

 

Support for Dylan
I am writing in support of Dylan Giambatista and his re-election campaign to the Vermont State House of Representatives. Dylan represents exactly what we need in an elected official: a person who listens, who hears and who acts on behalf of the people he or she represents. For these reasons, and many others, I will be voting to re-elect Dylan on November 6.

I have met Dylan numerous times throughout our community of Essex Jct., and I am

impressed by his commitment to transparency – something sorely lacking in many elected officials. For Dylan, communication is a two-way street. Be it Town Meeting Day, his regular forums, or just in passing at On Tap Trivia Night, Dylan is willing and able to communicate with those he represents. In addition to holding regular forums and attending community meetings and gatherings, he shares updates on Front Porch Forum, in The Essex Reporter and on Twitter and Facebook. Dylan’s presence and approachability are a vital connection between our community and the state legislature and serve to keep us informed as to how state and national issues impact Essex Jct. He listens to his neighbors, he learns from us, and he brings our concerns to Montpelier. This is what we need – and what we should expect – in our elected leaders.

More than ever, local elections matter. We need representatives like Dylan as our voice in

Montpelier. By re-electing Dylan Giambatista, we can count on another term of open communication and transparency and fair and equal representation of the needs of our community. But regardless of whom you support, please do not miss the opportunity to make your count.

Nathan R. Tykocki
Essex Jct.

 

No good choice for lt. governor
The choice for Vermont’s lieutenant governor between Rep. Don Turner and David Zuckerman is no choice at all. Both want the revenues from state-sponsored commercialization of marijuana. I applauded the bills for decriminalization and medical marijuana. But as a father of a child whose life was dramatically derailed by mental illness, I can tell you that high potency cannabis was a determining factor. Although many scientifically peer reviewed studies, like that out of Kings College of London, have shown links between high potency cannabis and mental illness, the Vermont Legislature chooses to ignores its findings. Brave advocates from momsstrong.org, a group lobbying against cannabis commercialization, tried in vain to present evidence of its dangers to Gov. Scott, that now plague their communities in Colorado. A Vermont doctor of pathology, who has run a gauntlet of smear campaigns, has relentlessly tried to educate the Vermont legislature on the link between cannabis and mental illness but her evidence has fallen on deaf ears.

You see, the Vermont Legislature is willing to sacrifice an “acceptable” amount of young adult’s minds to find a new, critically needed revenue stream. When a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness confronted our lieutenant governor regarding marijuana commercialization, she was told in so many words, “Just tell me how much money is required to help the potential marijuana induce psychosis victims, and we’ll set aside the funds from the tax revenues of the commercial sales.”

Rep. Turner’s view is driven by the overwhelming support commercialization has in the Vermont Legislature, even though he was originally opposed. He agreed with my postulation that untold permanent mental illness will result from commercialization therefore the tax revenue is vital. It needs to pay for social services, police, food stamps, Section 8 housing and homeless shelters for the ones permanently affected.

This letter is an attempt to reach the parents in our community. Director Michael DeLeon has produced a movie titled “Marijuana X” that I urge all concerned, pro and against, to view on YouTube. Our medical professionals have started presenting the evidence-based facts of this new drug to high school audiences throughout Vermont and the workable techniques that other countries have used to safeguard their loved ones from exploitation. Don’t expect Vermont lawmakers to protect the vulnerable few. Find out now what I wish I knew back then. An ounce of prevention is worth a lifetime of cure.

Ron Coppola
Essex

 

Turner is best choice for lt. governor
The November 6 election approaches fast. Vermonters have an important decision to make when they vote for lieutenant governor. History tells us how easy it is to vote for the incumbent or to vote the “party line.” I want to urge you to vote for the best man for the job at this critical time in Vermont’s history, Don Turner Jr.

I grew up in Milton. I’ve known Don my entire life. I’ve witnessed his long list of successes. Each were the result of hard work, talent and persistence, but most importantly caring for others and always seeking solutions to problems that were effective and frugal.

In Don’s role as fire and rescue chief, he excelled at molding and leading two critical town departments, keeping the rosters full of talented volunteers ready to provide community emergency services 24/7 and did so in a budget-conscious fashion. Lives were saved under his leadership.

Don built a strong team and has accomplished in one year as Milton town manager a very long list of critical tasks and projects which for many years had only been goals. He is a problem solver with a unique skill set that finds solutions where others can’t and does so always remembering his duty to serve the taxpayer. He so fully respects where the funds come from in our municipality and spends them wisely.

He worked tirelessly and rose to leadership during his 13 years in the state legislature. Vermont truly needs his continued service to the state. Please vote for Don Turner Jr. He is the best choice.

John Bartlett
Milton (John Bartlett is the human resources director for the town of Milton.)

 

Assistant judge, probate judge, side judge
I have encountered many voters who seem confused about the difference between an assistant judge and a probate judge. I would like to help clarify the differences between the two judgeships, so that Chittenden County voters can make an educated and informed choice in the upcoming general election on November 6.

A probate judge is required to have a law degree (not a requirement for assistant judge), and deals with “matters of law” including decisions regarding adoptions, guardianships, estates and trusts. An assistant judge, commonly called a side judge, deals only in “matters of fact.”

In hearing a case where there is no jury (often family court cases), there are two assistant judges sitting on either side of the presiding judge to represent the citizens, (thus the term side judge). Together, the three judges decide on the facts of the case, determining whether to rule for the plaintiff or the defendant. The resulting decision is considered to be “a matter of fact” and must be agreed upon by at least two of the three judges. The presiding judge then takes this “matter of fact” and applies it to the law when coming up with his or her decision.

Assistant judges also have administrative duties – setting the yearly county budget to keep county properties running effectively and efficiently. These include the sheriff’s office, the probate court and the civil court. Assistant judges are also responsible for hiring the county clerk, the sheriff’s secretary and the sheriff’s bookkeeper.

I hope I have cleared the air regarding the differences between probate judge and assistant judge (side judge), and defined for the voter the duties of the assistant judge, a position I have been honored to hold for the past eight years.

Connie Cain Ramsey