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Many Town Officials Serve to Give Back (Video)

  • Photographed on February 17, 2017, Euclid Farnham, of Tunbridge, Vt., has been the moderator at Town Meeting for 35 years. He stands on the stage of the Town Hall building, where meetings where held until 1993. “I do this because I love my town,” Farnham said. “I feel this is the cleanest and best form of democracy that we can possibly have, especially for a small town.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Photographed at the Ray School library in Hanover, N.H., on February 24, 2017, Kelly McConnell, of Hanover, has been a member of the Hanover, Dresden and SAU 70 school boards for the past two years. McConnell has been chair of the Hanover board for about six months. “There are ways I have to spend my time,” McConnell said. “I always try to carve out a little bit of time to give back. This has been a really valuable way to do that and to meet some wonderful people.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Photographed in the balcony at Damon Hall on February 22, 2017, Mary O'Brien, of Hartland Four Corners, Vt., has been a member of the Hartland Selectboard for 14 years. “My parents raised me with the phrase ‘to those who have been given much, much is expected,’” O’Brien said. “Public service is important to me because it's a way to give back to the community that's given me a lot.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Photographed at the Lebanon School District office’s library in West Lebanon, N.H., on February 27, 2017, Jeff Peavey, of Lebanon, has been a member of the Lebanon and SAU 88 school boards for about 14 years. “It's been a privilege to give back to the community of Lebanon, especially the children,” Peavey said. “Public service is time-consuming but it really gives you a good feeling inside.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Photographed in her office at the Windsor, Vt., Municipal Building on February 21, 2017, Lister/Assessor Marianne A. Blake has been reelected to the position every three years since 1992. “I like the job, I like what I can do for the citizens in Windsor,” Blake said. “We know the people well. We try to be very very fair…This is our community, we work for our community. There's a good connection there.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Phil Carter, of Canaan, N.H., stands at Wells Cemetery on Canaan Street on February 20, 2017. Carter has been a cemetery trustee in town for the past decade. “Being retired I thought I ought to do a little more for the town,” Carter said. “I think a lot of people should do more for their towns.” (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



BY GEOFF HANSEN
Monday, March 06, 2017

As a newspaper photographer since 1989, and a homeowner for the past 16 years, I have been to my share of meetings in the Upper Valley.

I have seen passionate and engaging discussions about the issues at hand, but I also think about the hours and hours officials commit to attending meetings, preparing budgets, planning projects and carrying through with them.

Why the heck would you put yourself through that?

“I like the job. I like what I can do for the citizens in Windsor,” said Marianne A. Blake, who serves as lister-assessor. “We know the people well. We try to be very, very fair. … This is our community. We work for our community. There’s a good connection there.”