I’m voting for Redmond
Recently, I had the pleasure of taking my friend, Marybeth Redmond, around my neighborhood to introduce her to my neighbors. Marybeth is running to represent the Chittenden 8-1/Essex Town District at the Vermont House of Representatives, and I couldn’t be happier to ask my neighbors and friends to vote for her on November 6.

I am a longtime Essex resident and have known Marybeth for several years (we used to be neighbors). I am thrilled about her candidacy and am eager for her to bring a fresh voice to our community. Marybeth has lived in Essex for 15 years and is passionate about her community. She has worked as a journalist, educator and a nonprofit professional and has dedicated her career to organizations that serve those in need. Currently, she serves on the Vermont Commission on Women working on issues that impact women and girls in Vermont. She is also a partner and consultant with the Vermont Story Lab, helping nonprofits increase their impact in their work.

Through her work at the Vermont Commission on Women, Marybeth is already familiar with statewide policy-making focusing on issues such as generational poverty, offender reentry, unemployed and underemployed women, equal pay for women, and workforce development. Marybeth will bring a fresh voice to Montpelier on behalf of our community and will fight for livable wages, affordable housing, equal pay for women, a safe environment for all and thriving public schools. Marybeth has served her community in other ways, volunteering for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and hosting a New American family in 2003. She has also used her journalism and writing skills to run a program for Vermont’s incarcerated women to help them use writing as a tool for self-change.

Marybeth and I share similar values that will strengthen our community. As our representative, she will work to bring our community together and change the systems that only benefit a few. She is a superb communicator with a vision for common sense solutions. She is open and responsive and wants to hear your concerns and will work to build consensus.

It is time for Essex to have a fresh voice! I hope that you will vote for Marybeth either through absentee ballot (which began on September 21) or at the polls on November 6.

Rey Garofano
Essex Jct.

 

Fair could use improvements
Thanks for another year of fun filled adventure at the Champlain Valley Fair. The venue has grown over the years, and the street front is indeed a welcomed showpiece for the community. The agricultural displays and selection of rides and food fare remain the mainstay of the fair. The concerts including country standouts Old Dominion, Billy Currington and Rick Springfield were good selections of second tier bands and promising future talent.

Unfortunately, the concert venue is jeopardizing the future of the fair. It’s a well-known fact that in the past, the fair lost money on bringing headline groups to the fair. I’m OK with the more profitable choices of acts, but what I can’t tolerate is the lack of concession access, the old seating, and the lack of big screen TVs. The seats in the grandstand are original to the venue when the generation of people were 5 feet 4 inches and weighted 145 pounds. Sitting in the grandstand today is cruel and unusual punishment, akin to the pillory which was a wooden device erected on a post with holes for securing the head and hands used for public humiliation.

Because no alcohol is allowed in the grandstand, most of the seats are gladly vacant electing all to stay in the endless line available for beer at the one and only concession within the concert area. The antiquated seats and the archaic concession rules are deal breakers for many. Maybe the town should incentivize the fair to upgrade for the community’s sake instead of granting more and more hotel permits that only enrich the private sector few. I’ll always support my community, but in the future, I’ll elect to spend my resources on venues that can accommodate 21st century conveniences and social etiquettes. The community deserves better.

Ron Coppola
Essex

 

Time to vote!
Hard to believe but early voting has already begun leading up to election day on November 6. In Essex Jct., we are very fortunate that Dylan Giambatista and Lori Houghton are seeking re-election. As predicted, both rose to the top of the “freshman class” of new legislators in 2017-18.

Dylan is well-situated on the education committee and has worked closely with local educators on his committee’s work over the past two years. Lori has been a key addition to the health care committee and brings a unique perspective as a parent and small-business owner. Both have held multiple community forums and communicate issues in plain language. Both are thoughtful and expert at really listening to people’s concerns and acting on them. They are highly respected in Montpelier and have earned our vote for another two-year term.

I don’t usually comment on candidates in other districts at election time, but Marybeth Redmond is an exception. She is a great choice in the town 8-1 district, bringing a variety of relevant experience to the legislature. It’s another no-brainer to predict that she will be a star in the next biennium and a great new leader for the town. Our vote is our voice, and now is the time!

Tim Jerman
Former state rep. 8-2
Essex Jct.

 

A vote for Myers
I am proud to be able to recommend voting for Linda Myers as a Vermont State Representative from Essex District 8-1. Completing her husband Marty’s term in 2001, Linda has served 17 years in the Vermont Legislature, having been reelected eight times by her Essex constituents.

Linda is firm in her convictions, but, at the same time, is open to respectfully considering all viewpoints with an open mind, in her focus on representing all her constituents. She has served on several committees during her time in the House, putting the time and energy into each assignment to ensure the best results for all.

Linda’s reports on the House activities in The Essex Reporter are not only complete in their details, but she shares some of her thoughts about the various aspects of the issues, often explaining why she voted a certain way on key issues.

As a former managing editor of The Essex Reporter and member of the Essex Town Selectboard, Linda has long served our community with love and distinction, as well as developing many critical skills that have served and will serve us well.

Please vote for Linda in November so that she can return to Montpelier and continue to provide the stellar representation of our community that she has demonstrated in the past.

Randy Pratt
Essex Jct.

 

Voting for MB
I am writing to share my views on why I am voting for Marybeth Redmond and why I am encouraging others to as well.

Marybeth has been a close friend of mine for 15 years – since we both first moved to Essex. When you are friends with someone that long, raising your kids side by side, you learn a lot about them and bear witness to their life. Marybeth is truly one of the most honest, thoughtful, genuine people that I know. She lives her truth and her values every day in both her professional and personal life. She is an advocate who fights for justice, equality and equity, as evidenced by her work on the Vermont Women’s Commission where she advocated for a livable wage and paid family leave or as a community advocate who helped incarcerated women have a voice in being provided gender specific rights within the prison system. She fights for the dignity and wellbeing of all as evidenced by her efforts to lift incarcerated women up by helping them to find their voice through telling their stories of their own trauma and path towards healing and redemption or her continued friendship and support of a refugee family she hosted many years ago when they first arrived in the U.S. or annually helping in her church’s “Serve Our Neighbors” day.

She stays abreast of what is happening in Vermont’s education system, both locally and statewide, and believes every child deserves the best education possible. Along these lines, she works to understand what aspects of our education system will help prepare our youth to be competitive as they leave high school and pursue higher education or stable jobs.

She believes in caring for the environment today so that we leave future generations with a healthier, cleaner planet as evidence by her efforts to be knowledgeable about climate change on a local and national front and to consider her own carbon footprint by shopping local, driving a hybrid vehicle, and using products that are least likely to damage the environment. She loves Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains, recognizing that a healthy outdoors also brings thriving tourism.

Over the past 15 years, I have been privileged to be a witness to all of these amazing acts of altruism and advocacy. I am hopeful she will be able to bring her spirit, her voice, her experience and wisdom, and her sense of pragmatism to the Statehouse in January to continue to help the lives of Essex residents and all Vermonters. It is this authenticity we need in our legislature now more than ever.

Jody Kamon
Essex Town