Letter to the editor: Support urged for Benton in re-election bid for mayor

I am writing to encourage Vergennes residents to vote, once again, for Bill Benton as their Mayor. Though I am a resident of the neighboring town of Ferrisburgh, I have the privilege of enjoying the fruits of the little city’s robust downtown every day. As a member of the Vergennes Opera House Board of Directors, I have witnessed the effects of Mayor Benton’s leadership firsthand. With Mayor Benton’s encouragement, support, and respect, the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House worked to get the Opera House back on strong financial footing and become, once again, a healthy and integral part of the community’s cultural and economic life. 
Mayor Benton has an intense pride in the community of Vergennes and an unwavering belief in the people who call the little city their home. He also has faith in the individuals who travel to Vergennes to work and are part of the thriving business community. His leadership is encouraging to the many volunteers who involve themselves in a variety of events, organizations, and non-profits that are so important to a vibrant community.
Mayor Benton understands that a successful community is one where the citizens are engaged in the important discussions and decisions that can affect the community for many years. Some of the efforts he has been championing involve road safety within the downtown, recreational opportunities, especially around the Otter Creek Park and multiple projects affecting economic development.
Mayor Benton possesses a rare but welcomed quality in that he not only listens to what you have to say, but he asks more questions to ensure that he has as many considerations collected as possible. He is also a consensus builder who pulls in other opinions on issues so that everyone has a voice and that their voice is heard. 
Vergennes is a unique and wonderful community because of its citizens, its eclectic offerings within the downtown, its natural recreational resources and its historic buildings and services provided by the Bixby Library and the Vergennes Opera House.
Because of the dedication of people like Mayor Benton, Vergennes is no longer a community to drive through, as it was in the 1990s, but a community destination for local community members and for tourists alike. Please vote for Mayor Benton so that he can finish the important work needed to set the community up for continued success over the ensuing years. 
Gerianne Smart

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