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Two vie in Lincoln selectboard race — again

BAY DANFORTH JACKSON, left, and Ellie Bryant are vying for one two-year seat, the only contested race for Lincoln selectboard this year.

LINCOLN — The election for the two-year seat on the Lincoln selectboard will feature the two top vote-getters in last year’s selectboard race. The big difference is that this year both names will be on the ballot.
Last March, long after it was too late to file an election petition, Bay Danforth Jackson decided she wanted to run for a spot on the Lincoln selectboard. So on Town Meeting Day she stood outside the town offices and lobbied Lincoln residents to write her in on the ballot.
Already on the ballot was incumbent Ellie Bryant, a recent appointee running to keep her seat.
Bryant won the election that day, 223–90.
This year, as Bryant’s first full year on the selectboad wraps up, she filed papers for the two-year seat on the panel. Jackson also petitioned for the same seat, so her name will appear on the ballot under Bryant’s.
It is the only contested race for Lincoln selectboard this year. Selectman Bill Finger is running unopposed for a three-year seat.
Both Bryant and Jackson have deep ties to the town.
Bryant, a novelist and former writer for the Burlington Free Press, has lived in Lincoln for 20 years. Before being appointed to the selectboard in August 2018, she took notes for the board for more than a year.
Jackson, who lives on a farm and runs her own business, was born in Lincoln and has lived there most of her life.
The Independent reached out to each and asked them about their vision and plans for Lincoln.
ELLIE BRYANT
I have several reasons for wanting to stay on Lincoln’s selectboard. As Sally Ober says, this is the best board she has worked with as town clerk. When I was appointed to the board two years ago, I worried that I had no experience in town governance. The four other members of the board assured me that they would coach me as they were coached when they began the leadership journey. They have held to that promise, and my learning curve has been a steep one.
Serving at the helm is challenging, but I got involved because I believe there is no greater honor than contributing to my community. Being on the selectboard has taught me what an amazing community we have and what dedicated citizens make up the components of the town’s organizations.
My most significant accomplishment has been in fundraising. Members of the selectboard are also on the board of the Burnham Foundation, and I meet with Burnham Committee members every Tuesday morning over coffee at Burnham Hall. I have written and been awarded grants for more than $10,000 for repairs to the 100-year-old building and helped with a town-wide fundraiser that brought in more than $7,000 for maintenance and repairs.
On the selectboard, I have been in charge of safety and installed two radar speed signs to help slow traffic on the River Road. I wrote a successful grant for $1,200 last year to paint pedestrian and bike lanes on Quaker and Creamery streets. Most significantly, I received a grant of $32,000 from VTrans for a study of the feasibility of continuing the downtown sidewalk to Lincoln Community School so that children may travel safely to school and to the new playground. The VTrans grant is the first step in a multi-year project. Next year, should I be re-elected, I plan to apply for a larger design-build grant to get sidewalk construction under way.
The sidewalk is paramount among my projects, but I’m also trying to get a mentoring program off the ground. I’ve spoken with Lincoln United Church pastor Justin Cox, Lincoln librarian Wendy McIntosh, Lincoln Sports board member Josiah Jackson, and members the Burnham Committee and selectboard about the need to get young people involved in leadership roles. There’s a lot of work ahead to make mentoring happen, but younger Lincoln citizens will see that participation in community is rewarding and enlightening.
During 2019, the centennial year for the Burnham Foundation, I sponsored a $500 community award for a junior or senior high school student who volunteers with Lincoln town organizations. Last year the award went to senior Roman Mayer, and I look forward to more students being involved this year. Information about the award is available at the high school and on the Lincoln website.
I understand that Bay Jackson is also running for a seat on the selectboard, and I know her to be intelligent, energetic, and committed to community work. I am delighted that in March voters will have a choice. That’s the way an election should work, and I applaud the process.
BAY DANFORTH JACKSON
I am an artist, lifetime local and a mother of three with a deep appreciation and love for Lincoln. I value the quality of rural living and I feel passionate about participating in the process of governance for the future of Lincoln. I have no current experience in local politics; however, I am a dedicated local and global citizen and will embody the tenets of good governance.
Why did I decide to run?
It was a fueling and exciting experience last year to run as a last minute write-in. I was charged up by connecting with people on voting day and standing out in the freezing cold on behalf of showing up for community and showing up for walking the talk of getting involved.
The decision to get on the ballot this year is in line with my initial inspiration, and actually there have been many people in town requesting that I run again.
I feel that good governance works for its residents, that there is power in cooperation and consideration of all sides of an issue without personal agenda. That listening well, prioritizing the best interest of the town, provides an informed opinion that can translate into action for the town and its residents. When we base our decisions on the collective voice of the people and prioritize the town’s current and future well being, we all win.
Why should Lincoln residents vote for me?
I was born in Lincoln at home and have lived here pretty much all of my life. My husband Josiah and I decided to build a house and raise our children here because of the sense of belonging and roots that we have and how that has positively set us up in life. I believe this gives me a unique perspective on what the important issues are, and how I can best participate on behalf of what is best for the town. I care about this town, its residents, its land and its future with great honor.
Reach Christopher Ross at christopherr@addisonindependent.com.

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