February 26th, 2014
My wife Sarah and I will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary this October, and we decided to mark the occasion with an epic road trip through the Southwest. Sarah, a great lover of hiking and the outdoors, has never been to the Grand Canyon, and I wanted to take her there. We would fly into Las Vegas, pick up a campervan and drive first to Zion National Park in Utah, then to the Grand Canyon, then on to Santa Fe and Taos in New Mexico before heading back across Arizona to Las Vegas.
You might say I’m an expert on home exercise videos. After all, (a) I have a degree in exercise science, (b) I’m so fit Jennifer Aniston calls me for over-40 workout tips and (c) I have a three-decade history of home fitness programs.
OK, (a) is false, and (b) is more of a half-truth; Jennifer Aniston only calls me for fashion advice. But (c) is kind of true, if you go back to the early ’80s when, as a gangly middle schooler, I would join my stepmother for the Jane Fonda Workout on audio cassette.
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.