Middlebury Selectman Farhad Khan to run for first three-year term

MIDDLEBURY — While one Middlebury selectboard veteran will not run for re-election on Town Meeting Day, the panel’s newest member says he will seek voter approval to stay for three more years.
Selectman Farhad Khan on Tuesday said he will run for the post to which he was appointed last March. Selectwoman Susan Shashok confirmed she won’t run (See story, Page 1A).
Khan — owner of the One Dollar Market on Court Street Extension — was the board’s pick to replace former Selectwoman Donna Donahue after she resigned 10 months ago. He said he continues to have the energy and enthusiasm to serve on the selectboard.
He’s now aiming to win a three-year term on Town Meeting Day, March 6.
Like Shashok, Khan has learned a lot about Middlebury during his time on the board.
“When you are an outsider, you don’t really know what goes into running a town, especially with the (rail) bridges project,” Khan said. “I had no idea about all the intricate details they had to go through to make it happen … When you get into the physics of the project, it’s very complicated.”
He’s enjoyed being part of selectboard debates.
“The process itself is very fascinating to me,” Khan said, citing as an example the board’s discussion last year about whether to take a position on the potential legalization of recreational marijuana in Vermont. Members heard from multiple people with strong opinions on the subject. Some urged support for legalization as a personal freedom and a potential new revenue source for municipal services. Others urged rejection, noting potential difficulties for police in enforcing driving under the influence of marijuana laws.
“I have my own set of values, but when I represent the town, sometimes I have to look beyond my personal beliefs and see what benefits the town,” Khan said.
If granted a three-year term, Khan would like to continue work on the rail bridges project and other major issue now before the board. As a businessman, he’d also like to encourage more growth of the local economy. If that is to happen in a big way, Middlebury will have to bring a major department store to the community, according to Khan. He believes businesses like his could benefit from the shopping traffic a major, local retailer could generate.
Many Addison County residents are now traveling to major commercial hubs in Chittenden and/or Rutland counties to do most of their shopping, Khan believes.
“We need an anchor store to bring people into town,” Khan said.
Candidates for elected local offices in Middlebury must gather at least 30 signatures on their petition papers and file them at the Middlebury town clerk’s office at 77 Main St. by the end of the business day on Monday, Jan. 29.
The Addison Independent will present an overview of the candidates in its coverage leading up to Town Meeting Day.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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