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Forum, March 4: In Lebanon, vote inclusion, innovation and involvement

Published: 3/3/2021 10:00:16 PM
Modified: 3/3/2021 10:00:14 PM
In Lebanon, vote inclusion, innovation and involvement

I encourage everyone reading this letter to vote for my mother, Karen Liot Hill, for Lebanon city councilor at-large, and Lilian Maughan, Stephen Kantor, and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen for School Board.

I have lived in Lebanon for almost 20 years, graduated from Lebanon High School in 2017 and am currently finishing my senior year at Dartmouth College. I serve as an adviser to the Lebanon Students of Color Collective. My years in the Lebanon School District were marked by frequent changes — I attended the School Street, Hanover Street and Seminary Hill schools, Lebanon Junior High, Lebanon Middle School and Lebanon High School. I served on Student Council for my four years at LHS, served two years as student representative to the School Board, and was moderator (similar to president) of the Student Council my senior year.

My personal involvement with trying to help the climate and culture at Lebanon High School become more inclusive and welcoming was motivated by my experience as a Black female student growing up in Lebanon. I can attest that there is still a lot of work to be done to make every student feel comfortable and welcomed in the district. I believe the Lebanon School District is at the precipice now of deciding what type of climate and culture its schools will foster. I am confident that Maughan, Kantor and Vallejo Sorensen will bring a commitment to inclusion and foster greater involvement of our community in School Board decisions.

It is hard to sum up the enormous, positive impact my mother has had on Lebanon. Since joining the City Council in 2005, her ideas have been at the forefront of innovation, inclusivity and sustainability. As the longest-serving city councilor in the history of Lebanon, her consistent, progressive, pragmatic leadership has been an asset to us all. If reelected, she will continue to bring vision, passion and hard work to the council. At the core of her service, my mother values making local government more accessible.

Get out and vote for Karen Liot Hill, Lilian Maughan, Stephen Kantor and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen.

MARINA LIOT

Lebanon

Patterson is dedicated to the Lebanon community

It gives us great pleasure to write in support of Alan J. Patterson Sr. for Lebanon city councilor-at-large. He brings to the table a depth of experience in the administrative side of city governance, having served on the School Board and Zoning Board. He understands the impact of decisions made by city leaders though his decades of service as a law enforcement officer and firefighter, as well as being a small-business owner and taxpayer in Lebanon. He appreciates the value of broader community relationships through his service on the board of trustees of the Carter Community Building Association. Add to that his dedication to the welfare of our community and nation as evidenced by his service as a Navy veteran.

One of us has known him for more than 30 years, and indeed served alongside him in law enforcement. He was the first Black police officer in this area. His character and personality have consistently been reflected in his approach to people in a wide variety of situations — calm, supportive, caring, sometimes humorous, always nonjudgmental and, perhaps most important, willing to first listen and then process a situation with an open mind before making a decision. Specific to his candidacy for City Council, we find this willingness to listen to all parties and ask probing but respectful questions about the issues facing our city a valuable and needed asset.

Like Patterson, we believe in a vibrant, forward-looking Lebanon, and here we emphasize Lebanon as a total community, not divided into “Lebanon” and “West Lebanon.” Indeed, he believes in the concept of our city as a whole in its planning, growth and development. Directly related, as senior citizen property owners on a fixed income ourselves, we deeply appreciate his commitment to carefully weighing the need for improvements and projects with consideration for the sustainability of our city and the cost to taxpayers, especially in these uncertain financial times. His approaches to this topic and others are well detailed on his website, alforleb.com.

Please join us in voting for Alan J. Patterson Sr. on Tuesday.

DUFF and SANDY CUMMINGS

West Lebanon

Liot Hill is an energetic supporter of Lebanon

We are writing to support Karen Liot Hill’s campaign for reelection to the Lebanon City Council.

We have followed her efforts on the City Council since she first ran more than a decade ago. She understands Lebanon and understands the issues that many different sectors of the community confront. She has been an energetic supporter of the people living in Lebanon from the very beginning. We have occasionally taken somewhat different positions from her on one issue or another, but like us, her goals have been to make the city of Lebanon a livable place for everyone.

We are all looking forward to the end of the pandemic, but we need local government leaders to step up to the plate and do what they can, as she has from a knowledgeable and experienced position. We will be voting for Karen Liot Hill on Tuesday.

ROBERT L. WELSCH and SARAH L. WELSCH

Lebanon

Lebanon needs someone like Patterson on City Council

As a lifetime resident and taxpayer in the city of Lebanon, I would like to endorse Alan J. Patterson Sr. for the at-large seat on the City Council. His background as a police officer, past School Board member, Carter Community Building Association board member and small-business owner is exactly what is needed on our council. We are at a time when we need someone to ask the tough questions everyone else is thinking. Patterson is the right person to do just that.

Please vote on Tuesday. Information about voting absentee, including how to obtain an absentee ballot and the procedures and deadline for returning it, can be found at lebanonnh.gov, by calling the city clerk’s office at 603-448-3054, or by visiting City Hall.

Please vote on Tuesday. I will be casting my vote for Alan J. Patterson Sr.

GARY R. SHEPARD

West Lebanon

Devin Wilkie committed community leadership

Lebanon is an excellent place to live, but is not without its challenges. Many residents struggle with the cost of living. Approximately one in five residents under age 18 live below the federal poverty line, which is higher than the national average. The entire city is struggling with the social, mental and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We need city councilors who will rise to these challenges, roll up their sleeves and do the hard work needed to make our city the safe, welcoming and healthy place that we all want.

Devin Wilkie, running in Ward 2, is the right candidate for this moment.

It is hard to imagine a more dedicated member of the Lebanon community. Over the years, he has volunteered his time to the Lebanon Arts and Culture Commission, the Lebanon Housing First Working Group and the Lebanon Welcoming Ordinance Committee.

He also knows that community leadership means more than just showing up to meetings. He showed us this in January when he was out trudging through the snow to connect with our unsheltered residents to help get them the support and resources they need. He has shown that he will be a committed voice for all members of the Lebanon community, especially those who are struggling the most.

In Wilkie, Lebanon has a candidate who is committed to hard work, inclusivity and creating a welcoming community. I strongly encourage Ward 2 voters to cast their vote for Devin Wilkie.

LUKE HOWARD

Lebanon

Candidate backs Maughan, Kantor, Vallejo Sorensen

For the children of our community to grow and thrive, leading to further flourishing of the Upper Valley, we need qualified, passionate leadership willing to dream about the future, yet firmly grounded in today’s reality. To keep cutting-edge businesses in our town, our kids must be prepared to learn and lead in this ever-changing, ever-advancing world. However, as we navigate a world of limited resources, and especially so after 2020, our investments must be judicious. I believe Lilian Maughan, Stephen Kantor, and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen possess such vision and restraint, and I am putting my support behind them.

Topping my list of candidates is Maughan. A former college professor and longtime volunteer in our schools, she is currently the Lebanon Middle School PTO president. A year ago, she became intentional about learning the work of the School Board and is well-prepared to make wise decisions about the specific issues requiring immediate decisions, as well as those in the coming months and years. Her desire to offer Lebanon students the best possible education our district can offer is coupled with an understanding of and respect for the investment required by the community to achieve this end.

Kantor, through his medical training and practice, is well-positioned to serve our community and schools as we wrestle with questions of personal and communal health relating to in-the-classroom education during, and beyond, this season of COVID-19. His career experience as a physician would enable the board to ask the best questions of expert consultants and interpret their input.

Vallejo Sorensen brings experience as a teacher, a parent whose children have attended elementary, middle and high schools in the district, and as an involved volunteer for many years — including founding the middle school’s PTO. Her extensive experience in communications will bolster the ability of the board and community to engage together.

I encourage you to learn about the School Board candidates and make your voice heard by casting your ballot on Tuesday (or by absentee).

JASON GILLESPIE

West Lebanon

The writer is a candidate for Lebanon School Board.

Supporting compassionate, collaborative candidates

On Tuesday, I’ll be supporting Karen Liot Hill for Lebanon City Council, and Stephen Kantor, Lilian Maughan, and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen for Lebanon School Board. These candidates embody what I am looking for in a fellow civil servant: They are compassionate, collaborative and are looking for sustainable, long-term solutions to allow us to continue to invest in the city of Lebanon and its future.

Liot Hill has an outstanding track record as a city councilor and as an active volunteer in Lebanon. Time and again she has dedicated her time and energy to Lebanon. She has served as part of the Economic Development Commission, Westboro Rail Yard committee, and the Lebanon Middle School PTO, to name only a few. She and I share the same goals of revitalizing downtown West Lebanon, focusing on affordable housing throughout the city, investing in energy efficiency, and leveraging state and federal funding sources to reduce property tax bills. She understands the vital role played by a stable, thoughtful municipal budget in ensuring a vibrant future for our city.

Kantor, Maughan, and Vallejo Sorensen are dedicated to providing the best education for the children of Lebanon. As a slate of candidates, they are committed to evidence-based, science-backed decision-making as we work to meet the educational, social and emotional needs of the students in Lebanon schools. They have pledged to seek out and listen to the underrepresented voices in our community and to strengthen our schools by focusing on the needs of our families, students and teachers.

I look forward to working together with Karen Liot Hill, Stephen Kantor, Lilian Maughan and Lisa Vallejo Sorensen to move Lebanon forward.

DOUG WHITTLESEY

West Lebanon

The writer is a candidate for Lebanon City Council from Ward 1.

We must work to diminish the power of racism

We cannot change the past, but if white Americans want to make a future that secures the blessings of liberty for all, it is their responsibility to fight against those who promote white supremacy. Not being racist is not enough. White people must actively work to diminish the power of those who consider their whiteness as somehow superior.

The town of Hartford is grappling with the fact of white supremacy in a difficult but necessary way at the local level. Some have contended that a selectboard should be more concerned with fixing potholes than the racial health of the community. But they are mistaken.

What good is a fixed pothole to a Black woman who must go through her day on guard for racist epithets hurled at her or micro-aggressions to remind her of her “otherness”? A pothole she can avoid with care and skill. Racism is unavoidable if her community does not actively condemn and punish its perpetrators. Even with the street fixed, our neighbors of color have to navigate the broken infrastructure of our society.

If we continue to look to someone else or some other entity to fix the problem of racism in America, we will certainly succumb to its dreadful intent — the maintenance of white supremacy through violent action. There is no peaceful American future with the continued ascendancy of white supremacy and racist ignorance. There is no peaceful future for our New England towns without a true reckoning of our racist past. Our willingness to perpetuate white supremacy for our convenience has brought us to the dilemma we face today.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is slowly being realized, but many white people are still asleep. Let’s wake up to the task that confronts us. Let’s do the work of ending racism, not simply by being nice people, but by dismantling the power structures, local and national, that allow racism to persist.

JAMES GRAHAM

Lyme




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