Two vying for Starksboro board

STARKSBORO — Two newcomers are running to fill the Starksboro selectboard seat being vacated by incumbent Alice Dubenetsky, who is not running for re-election.
Mathew Norris and Peter Ryersbach both seek the three-year term on the selectboard that will be up for election on Town Meeting Day.
Norris, 37, grew up in Starksboro, and worked as the postmaster in town until he was promoted to the position of postmaster in New Haven.
He thinks that his long history in the town, as well as his postmaster’s memory of the town’s roads and residents, will be an asset if elected to the selectboard.
“I mainly wanted to have a little more involvement in the direction (in which) the town’s moving,” Norris said of his decision to run for the position.
He sees one of the biggest issues facing Starksboro in the near future as being the new draft of the town plan, which the selectboard will likely vote on during the next year. Norris wants to focus on what he calls “sensible development” in Starksboro, which would protect the town’s character while still making sure that landowners’ hands aren’t tied if they wish to develop a piece of their property.
Norris’s opponent, Ryersbach, has lived in Starksboro for 35 years. Ryersbach is a retired high school teacher who worked at Middlebury and Otter Valley union high schools before retiring. He’s also worked in human services for various community action agencies, and has some experience in accounting. Last summer, Ryersbach kept the books for Starksboro’s Lewis Creek Farm.
Ryersbach also served on the town’s volunteer fire department for 17 years, and reached the rank of lieutenant in the department before stepping down.
He thinks that financial concerns may be the town’s biggest challenge in the years ahead, and is interested in working on creative ways to keep down costs at the town offices and on services like plowing and road maintenance.
The paramount question, he thinks, will be, “How can we, in an economically difficult time, save some money?”
Ryersbach suggested looking at business a little bit differently than usual, and said he’d like to see Starksboro’s selectboard sit down with leaders from neighboring towns to consider collective purchasing as an option for bringing down costs.
“I feel very strongly about being part of the community and serving,” Ryersbach said. “I’m hoping that I can be of help to the town.”

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