February 26th, 2014
An open letter to the Middlebury Selectboard:
When you treat voters as participants to be consulted rather than obstacles to be managed, you foster a very different process from the one you created for the municipal site proposal. An open discussion that welcomes all views lends itself to respectful exchange of ideas and fruitful collaboration, even when opinions are strong and differ.
We have all recently been hit with an all-out attack by the combined forces of Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz, Angelo Lynn, and the majority of the town selectboard. They are pressuring voters to support an expensive bond proposal, hatched in secret, that would sell off the prominent site of our municipal facilities, demolish these historic structures, and create two inadequate buildings in bad locations.
Through my work over the past year as a public official in Middlebury, it has become abundantly clear to me that many in people in power in our town are unwilling to respect or include the voices of women in their work. Our selectboard has rarely included more than one woman among its ranks, and many times that lone woman has been shut out of deliberations. Women in leadership positions in Middlebury are often treated with disdain or simply ignored.
I will vote YES to support the selectboard plan and bond request for a new town hall and gym. My YES vote is my “Thank You” to our elected and appointed officials for their thoughtful and prudent deliberations. My YES vote is my “Thank You” to Middlebury College for another generous offer of financial support to our town. And, my YES vote is my “Thank You” for a plan that will keep our tax burden to a bare minimum.
I recently attended the candidates’ forum in Brandon and found the word “transparency” used repeatedly. I held the question back that I wanted to ask to find out if the candidates truthfully thought the proposed budget was, in fact, “transparent.” The reason I held back was because three of the four candidates are incumbents. Of course they would think it is; they approved it.
CHITTENDEN — The Middlebury Union High School girls’ and boys’ Nordic ski teams ended up taking fourth and fifth, respectively, in Division II at the two-day state championship meet that was completed this week.
The Tiger teams hosted the freestyle legs on Feb. 20 at Rikert Ski Touring Center in Ripton, and the classic races were held in Otter Valley’s back yard in Chittenden at the Mountain Top Inn on Tuesday.
Woodstock swept both the girls’ and boys’ titles.
BRANDON — A Mount St. Joseph boys’ basketball team with a misleading 6-14 record and No. 11 seed in Division II knocked No. 6 Otter Valley Union High School out of the playoffs on Tuesday, 60-32, in a first-round game at OV.
The Otters led just once, 3-2, at 6:40 of the first period on a Connor Gallipo three-pointer, and could never get going offensively against the box-and-one defense that the Mounties used to keep high-scoring OV junior John Winslow in check and off the offensive boards.
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vergennes and Mount Abraham union high school boys’ basketball teams were set to open Division II postseason play on Wednesday after the deadline for this issue of the Independent, while Middlebury will host a D-I first-round game on Thursday.