Letter to the editor: Road fixes, changes in Goshen appreciated

What’s the big fuss? Changes in Goshen are for the better.

We are writing this letter in response to the article that was published about Goshen in the July 6 Addison Independent.

We have been Goshen residents for over 25 years and have seen many changes for the better since we elected our newly appointed officials in March.

Elected officials for the town at present are Tammy Walsh, Thomasina Magoon and Bill Mathis. All have been instrumental in recent changes for the good of Goshen.

Magoon has a background in sales and marketing, Walsh has a thriving landscape business and Mathis used to be the school superintendent; there could not be a better group of people running the town of Goshen. All have been longtime residents and know how the town functions and what it needs to thrive and navigate complex issues that come along. Since being elected the board has been addressing fundamental issues such as lowering taxes, having decent roads that are passable, and offering a safe haven for Goshen residents and other positive numerous projects as was written in the July 6 article.

First, we would like to address the town road tax. They have been going up every year. It took 15 years to get the paved roads repaired. Potholes were so big that someone had to put orange cones in them to alert the drivers to dodge the huge craters in the middle of the road.

After the election the new selectboard immediately addressed and improved the roads with grading and ditching. The selectboard is showing they are concerned about making our roads safe. I don’t think I will be dodging potholes in the middle of the road with orange cones anytime soon. It seems to me our tax road money is being well spent.

Secondly, the town officials that left did so on their own merit as stated in the article. It seems to us if they really wanted to instill their beliefs about how the town should be run then they should have stayed in office or ran again for re-election. If they did try to run for re-election and didn’t get in, then they should try to work out their arguments with the newly elected selectboard members. Isn’t that what democracy is about?

Residents also have opportunities to stay informed of town government policies by voicing their opinions at open selectboard meetings that are held throughout the year. There is time set aside each meeting for open discussion on community concerns. Furthermore, if anyone wants to know what was discussed at the meetings you can go to the town website, goshenvt.org.

Thirdly, other issues mentioned in the article were about surveillance cameras and ballot boxes.

The surveillance cameras in the town I assume were put up in the town municipality to monitor the buildings for possible theft. It was to my understanding that some town items had been stolen and the selectboard members were unable to see the video footage of who might have been the culprits because they were denied access to the footage. So, the selectboard members took the camera down.

If we had secured a private company to monitor our property and weren’t allowed to access the recordings, we certainly would have removed the cameras ourselves and put up our own.

Moving town ballot boxes to a better drop off spot to make them more accessible seems logical and not a threat to the voters as long as the box is within the municipality and secure. It most likely seems to us like an innocent mistake. If someone is worried about their vote being tampered with, there are other ways to avoid drop off votes, such as absentee ballots or in-person voting. Vermont also has an online VT Portal for the disabled persons that can’t get to the polls. We are questioning the motives that are being discussed about moving the ballot box.

There are many issues that we could debate in the article, but we will only argue one more point because it would make this letter much longer than it already is. It was stated that persons were unable to hold functions in the Town Hall. We understand that the Town Hall is available for civic or individual community groups or community members as stated on the web page. An applicant must fill out a form to make arrangements to rent the space. The selectboard then reviews the application to make sure there aren’t any scheduling conflicts. There is a security deposit required for damages and the sum is returned to the applicant after use and inspection of the facility. This doesn’t seem like anyone is stopping people from using the facility. Getting a security deposit and submitting a form to use the hall seems like good business sense to us.

To sum up we would like to point out that Goshen is a small town and has approximately 200 residents, there are bound to be disagreements amongst the locals, but we should all try to come together to promote building a better working town and not put blame on others with inconsequential arguments. Goshen needs people to step up to promote positive changes to the fundamental workings of the town. What better way to do this than through our newly elected town officials? We look forward to seeing more Goshen town improvements.

Concerned Goshen citizens for the truth.

Lee and Sue Baker


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