Vermont has changed a lot in the last 25 years and the pace of change is increasing. To have the future we want, we need to be very intentional in how we address the issues we face. Our environment and economy are seeing the results of global climate change. Our farmers are competing in a global economy. We have an aging workforce and declining school enrollment. The internet has had a profound effect on our education system and our economy.
I believe in discovering and analyzing successes and developing ways to foster and promote those solutions. Some local examples include Bristol Works!, the Starksboro mentoring program, the Friends of Lincoln School, and the work being done at the Monkton Central School in innovative science and design technology teaching practices.
I believe that solutions must also be thoughtful and resolve not only the problems of today but move us towards a sustainable future for everyone. Clear, consistent and authentic leadership is required if we are going to maintain the trust of the people we serve.
With strong roots in Vermont and a history of public service, I look forward to representing the Towns of Monkton, Lincoln, Bristol and Starksboro in the Vermont Legislature.
With your help, we can create solutions to these and other pressing issues. I look forward to listening to your advice and perspective on how to move Vermont forward.
For the last 8 years as a member of the Town of Monkton Selectboard I have worked to make the budget process more transparent, kept the municipal tax rate flat and added an estimated tax rate for the next year to the Town Report. I also instituted a Conflict of Interest policy to ensure that all decisions made by municipal officials are based on the best interests of the community at large.
Vermont has one of the lowest unemployment rates and yet wages have been stagnant for 20 years. Progress was made in the legislature by raising the minimum wage over 5 years to $10.50 in 2018. However, this is still below the Vermont Livable Wage as determined by Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. The Vermont Livable wage is the hourly wage required for a full-time worker to pay for one-half of the basic needs budget for a two-person household, with no children, and employer-sponsored health insurance, averaged for both urban and rural areas. The Vermont Livable Wage is $13.00 and I have advocated continuing to raise the minimum wage over time to equal the Vermont Livable Wage. Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit is another way of helping reduce poverty in Vermont.
In addition to serving on the Selectboard, I’ve also been involved in various projects and enterprises both within Monkton and throughout Addison County. For the Addison North East Supervisory Union, I serve on the Act 46 Study Committee investigating the best governance solution for our Five Town school district. I’m also an alternate delegate to both the Addison County Solid Waste Management District (ACSWMD) and the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC). Both of these organizations are a great resource for, and have an impact on, our district. The Solid Waste District voted to allow Bristol to join the district at no cost, allowing Bristol to enjoy the lower tipping fees and ensuring that Bristol’s trash and recyclables were handled in the best possible way. At Regional Planning there has been a lot of work done on developing solar siting standards and distributing those standard to solar developers and to member Towns. I am also the Emergency Management Director for Monkton. Finally, I’ve been delivering Meals on Wheels, been a mentor in the Monkton Central School and I am the Treasurer of the Monkton Community Coffeehouse.
As a computer engineer for over 35 years, and a self employed consultant for the last 20 years, I have seen the growth in the importance and pervasiveness of technology. Being fluent in technology is a necessary skill in today’s world, especially in Montpelier. My engineering background is valuable in analyzing systems and in uncovering solutions and has taught me to solicit ideas from different sources and to use those different perspectives to reach stronger conclusions. I firmly believe that everyone has a piece of the solution and nothing is worse then not listening to, or being unwilling to discuss, ideas.