October 27th, 2016
Elections are around the corner. Many of us are looking forward to simply having them over, at the same time more than a few feel anxieties with how they may come out. We may have had deeper divisions in our country in the past, but I cannot recall one in my nearly 70 years, outside the ’60s and the Vietnam War. The Democratic and Republican parties remain dominant on the political front, yet both are divided beyond their usual differences and the candidates for president are the least popular on the ballot for as long as I have been voting.
Right out of the blocks, as a freshman legislator, Fred Baser rolled up his sleeves and went to work. Thoughtful, hard-working. I particularly enjoyed his regularly published reports back to us as he learned the ropes. Frequently, but not always, he was “right” on the issues, which is fine by me. Not a supporter of the Republican Presidential candidate, which is great by me.
This election year the presidential race has taken the lion’s share of the country’s attention.
As important as that race is, we are keeping our eyes on our local races. We have important choices to make when it comes to the challenges of global climate change.
As a member of the ANESU Act 46 Study Committee I have spent the last year carefully considering the pros and cons of school unification. For me there are three simple reasons to support the school unification proposal put forth by the committee: School unification will increase local control and accountability by allowing the school board and tax payers to vote on the ‘central office’ spending; it will simplify our governance model allowing greater focus on educational outcomes; and it will make our schools less sensitive to population changes.
I am supporting Dave Sharpe for re-election and Mari Cordes in the Addison 4 District race for the Vermont House. They are the most qualified candidates to carry our state forward in supporting renewable energy projects, protecting our environment, providing healthcare for all, quality education for our schoolchildren, bringing the kind of well-paying jobs that we need, and promoting recreation and tourism opportunities for visitors and residents — a main driver of our economy.
Worn-out Pat Leahy is approaching the finish line for another six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He won in 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010. He has clung to that job for seven terms, for 42 human years, or 294 “dog years.” Enough!
Leahy has proven to be as bitterly partisan as they come, which only contributes to the federal gridlock problem. Pat lives in a Washington, D.C. suburb most of the year — except for election season when he tries to still appear as a Vermonter.