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Forum, Feb. 27: Kelly McConnell has experience

Published: 2/26/2021 10:00:06 PM
Modified: 2/26/2021 10:00:04 PM
Kelly McConnell has experience

On Tuesday, Hanover residents will vote on the Hanover and Dresden school budgets, as well as for School Board members. Given the multiple challenges of the pandemic, continuing work on the district’s strategic plan, and ongoing efforts at the state and local levels to control what and how teachers teach, it is critically important that we consider experience and continuity in selecting board members. With six years of service, if reelected, Kelly McConnell will be the longest-serving member of the Hanover board. Her tenure also exceeds that of every single administrator in SAU 70.

Both of my children attended Hanover schools, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, and I retired two years ago after teaching for 27 years in the Lebanon School District. I am a strong supporter of public education and of electing individuals with perspective, experience, an understanding of past decisions and a clear commitment to educational principles. I encourage Hanover voters to go to the Hanover High School gym between 7a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday and reelect Kelly McConnell to the Hanover School Board.

DEBORAH H. BACON NELSON

Hanover

A focus on Hanover kids’ education

Hanover School District voting is on Tuesday. Voting is for eight articles, including the school budget and School Board members. I am running for a seat on the School Board and am very interested in doing what I can to help ensure the kids get the best education possible. I have particular interest in issues related to policy, better information sharing with the public, increased opportunity for public engagement and infrastructure.

I have lived in Hanover for 11 years, am active in coaching youth sports and am an active volunteer with the Ray School. I have the time and interest to devote to School Board activities and see it as an important way to contribute to youth development and our community.

If you are interested in our schools, please take the time to vote on Tuesday. Voting will be at the Hanover High School gymnasium, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and also by absentee ballot. Absentee ballot information is on the SAU 70 website. Ballots must be received by Tuesday.

Thank you for your support of Hanover School District issues.

KEVIN KNUUTI

Etna

Pamela T. Smith has pragmatic view

I am writing to support Pamela T. Smith for Norwich Selectboard. A longtime resident of Norwich with deep community ties, she has decades of finance experience which, given the budget challenges facing our town, is an absolute necessity. I am a lister and a trustee of public funds and, working alongside her, I’ve seen her commitment to Norwich and her work ethic firsthand.

She worked with me to create and establish a Green Lending Fund, which can help Norwich for-profit and nonprofit firms change from fossil fuel systems to green heat. She was instrumental in getting the town to shift from purchasing Chilean road salt to domestic road salt, thus eliminating CO2 emissions that were greater than the savings on the proposed and rejected Tracy Hall geothermal project.

The incumbent may highlight the development of affordable housing in Norwich, but after six years on the Selectboard, not one unit of affordable housing has been added to town.

Tenure is not a reason for voting for a candidate. The reason to select a candidate should be based on how the candidate can add value to the town and serve residents. I am voting for Smith because of what she can do for Norwich, and because of what she has done for Norwich. Astute fiscal knowledge and a pragmatic view on problem-solving and putting Norwich first is why I encourage voters to join me in voting for Pamela T. Smith.

DOUG WILBERDING

Norwich

Impressed by Pamela T. Smith’s background

Norwich’s election will occur on Tuesday. There will be a number of important questions for voters to decide. During these difficult COVID-19 times, absentee ballots are available and encouraged to limit exposure. But you’ll need to apply to both the town and Dresden office to get the appropriate ballots. Please don’t delay requesting your ballot if you intend to vote remotely.

These times have been especially hard on those who have lost their jobs or businesses. It is most unfortunate that there seems to be a long wish list for expenditures in Norwich that make it hard for residents to distinguish what is actually needed. The large budgets and tax increases that always seem to pass play a significant part in Norwich losing our native Vermonters, our blue-collar workers, our farmers, our single parents and others who can no longer afford to live here.

I intend to vote for Pamela T. Smith for the contested seat on the Selectboard. Her comments at Candidates Night were well-articulated and informative. I couldn’t help but be impressed by her background in finance and accounting and her many years of work for both nonprofits and for-profit businesses. In addition, I’ve been reading what she has to say about fiscal restraint, responsibility, accountability, due diligence, transparency, long-term planning and investing in our future, and it seems to make a lot of sense. I’m hopeful that the close attention she pays to finances in Norwich will be extremely helpful to her fellow Selectboard members.

Please join me in voting for Pamela T. Smith, and I’d like to thank past and present Selectboard members for the time and effort they expend to do a difficult job.

STUART RICHARDS

Norwich

Alan Patterson Sr. will advocate for most vulnerable

Please join me in voting for Alan J. Patterson Sr. as an at-large candidate in the upcoming Lebanon City Council election on March 9.

Patterson is a hard-working small-business owner, retired police officer with more than 22 years of service, and an 18-year Navy veteran. He is a man of service and integrity who truly wants the best for Lebanon. In addition, he has served on the School Board, Zoning Board and Carter Community Building Association board of trustees. He will serve the City Council with the same passion he exhibits in all of his endeavors.

In a time of extreme uncertainty, when our local businesses and restaurants are struggling to survive, families are challenged with reductions in their compensation and benefits, and retirees are struggling to make ends meet on razor-thin fixed incomes, I believe Patterson will advocate for those who are most vulnerable and in need.

Please join me in voting for Alan J. Patterson Sr. for the Lebanon City Council on March 9. Please visit alforleb.com to learn more.

RAMZI HRAIBI

West Lebanon

Karen Liot Hill is a champion for economic vitality

Karen Liot Hill’s continued steady, seasoned leadership is more important than ever.

She has garnered a wealth of experience on a wide range of issues during her 16 years on the Lebanon City Council. She has been a longtime champion for economic vitality, including her term as mayor during the global recession. She has advanced issues such as the cleanup of the Westboro Rail Yard and downtown revitalization.

As a leader in the fight against climate change, she helped found the city’s Energy Committee. She has advocated for social justice, including voting for civil rights protections for transgender city employees and welcoming refugees and immigrants in Lebanon. Her consistent voice for public health and safety, supporting high standards of our police department and coordinating with neighboring communities is an important asset to the City. Karen Liot Hill’s institutional knowledge is paramount and we should send her back to the Lebanon City Council.

NANCY GRAHAM

West Lebanon

School supporters for Lebanon board

I write to support the candidacies of Lilian Maughan and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen for the Lebanon School Board. During this time of distress for the children of Lebanon, it is imperative that we show our kids that we support them in their educational endeavors, no matter what those learning opportunities may be. Through our civic responsibility as Americans, the vote empowers the Lebanon community to demonstrate to our children, and their educators, that we value them, their futures and our community.

I have worked with both candidates in volunteer capacities for over five years. They are dedicated to the people and schoolchildren of Lebanon. They have both contributed to SAU 88 in many ways, tirelessly, with grace and humor, and on an entirely volunteer basis. Lisa Vallejo Sorensen brings expertise around communications, marketing and public relations. Lilian Maughan has been an educator and editor for much of her career and is a consummate collaborator and organizer across various subsets of the Lebanon population.

On March 9, the people of Lebanon have an opportunity to vote on a pro-school platform. By casting your vote for Lisa Vallejo Sorensen and Lilian Maughan, you put your support behind the future of our community. Please vote.

For more information on these candidates please visit: lisavallejosorensen.com and lilmaughan.wixsite.com/my-site/about-me.

CARA DeLURA

Lebanon

Dennis Girouard for Selectboard in Plainfield

Plainfield town and school elections are fast approaching. Voting is on March 9, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may still be able to vote via absentee ballot. Please don’t miss this opportunity to vote. Every vote is essential. You can make a major difference in the future of our town.

I have been actively participating in the Plainfield Selectboard and various town committee meetings. I’m now much more aware of the town politics. My goal is to be involved, be informed and help to make a difference.

It’s important I vote for someone who will support my beliefs. I’m concerned with rising property taxes, frivolous spending and having a solid town governance. I want people to be able to continue to afford to live here. I don’t want higher taxes that make it difficult to sell a home or prevent people moving here.

I am voting for Dennis Girouard for Selectboard and School Board. I have gotten to know him over the years. He truly has a passion for the betterment of this town. I’ve witnessed and learned from his extensive involvement at the Selectboard meetings. I am highly confident he will work tirelessly for every tax dollar being spent. He will ensure good decisions are being made with a full understanding of the impact and consequences. He is honest and I’m confident he will keep his promises.

I vote for being fiscally conservative. I vote to stop wasteful spending. I vote to bring good value to every tax dollar being spent. I vote to support needs, not wants.

Again, I encourage you to vote. Join me and please vote for Dennis Girouard for Selectboard and School Board. This is your chance to help shape the future of our little town.

VERNON BRASWELL

Plainfield

Lilian Maughan highly qualified for School Board

Lilian Maughan is highly qualified and has my vote in the election on March 9. I encourage you to read about her extensive involvement with the Lebanon School District and her experience as a post-graduate educator at lilmaughan.wixsite.com/my-site/about-me. Her firsthand knowledge of education and familiarity with our school district’s functions set her apart from other candidates. We need to infuse evidence-based decision-making and student-centric progressive change in our schools and Maughan champions this platform. She is personally invested in the well-being of our students given that her own two sons attend school in the district. As a father of two girls in the district myself, I desire the improved communication and transparency she will bring to the School Board.

As a physician and surgeon working in the Upper Valley, I am deeply invested in the well-being of our educational system and the future of our community. I have known Maughan for five years and can attest to her genuine character. She is honest, reliable, knows what she stands for and is not afraid to speak up. The Lebanon School Board Member Ethics Policy highlights the expectations of board members, including being informed about current issues, working respectfully with other members, engaging in the community, establishing communication channels with students, staff and the community, as well as seeking opportunities for student growth. I know that Lilian Maughan will strive for and excel at these ethical standards. She is an example to the community and will maintain our students’ interests as her main objective.

BJOERN D. SUCKOW

Plainfield




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