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Forum, Oct. 13: Vermont needs these fiscal conservatives

Published: 10/12/2020 10:00:36 PM
Modified: 10/12/2020 10:00:23 PM
Vermont needs these fiscal conservatives

This year, a vote for fiscal conservatives is in the best interest of all Vermont citizens. Bill Huff (Senate), Samantha Lefebvre (House) and Rodney Graham (House) each recognize the importance of Vermont’s economic future, and will demand frugality from Montpelier. Instead of partisan divisions over social issues, Vermonters must come together to restrain government from runaway spending.

As an airline pilot for some 20 years, Huff has demonstrated he can lead in stressful situations. As a financial consultant, he has studied the accounting and economic data that are being neglected in Montpelier in favor of esoteric policy ideas that cost money without a guarantee of effectiveness. You may have seen him around over the past months, as he has campaigned tirelessly. He will represent us with similar determination.

Lefebvre is a business owner, mother and former EMT. She supports local farms and businesses and seeks to improve economic and educational opportunities for all Vermonters. She possesses remarkable energy and enthusiasm, and her passion to help improve our future is visible.

Graham has faithfully served us for six years in the Legislature, where he has kept an eye out for farmers and regular Vermonters. His dairy-farmer work ethic and integrity remain available to us in 2020, and we are fortunate to have him.

Vermont’s economy is in big trouble. Our schools and pensions were in fiscal crisis before COVID-19. Vermonters must set aside the social issues that are dividing us and unite to address dramatic budget shortfalls, escalating taxes and closing businesses.

Bill Huff, Samantha Lefebvre and Rodney Graham are the team to send to Montpelier in 2021 if Vermonters hope to restrain government expansion and restore affordability.

Please examine these candidates’ outstanding qualifications to serve all constituents faithfully and competently — regardless of party affiliation or political ideology. They will not disappoint you.

JOHN KLAR

Brookfield, Vt.

How New Hampshire mirrors the dysfunction of our nation

In recent months, I have become increasingly aware of how New Hampshire is a microcosm of our nation in terms of the workings of our Legislature and leadership.

The U.S. legislature did not or would not compromise to deliver the second coronavirus relief act. It did not produce a medical and economic recovery bill to provide relief to everyday Americans.

Is the U.S. legislature dysfunctional? Yes.

Likewise, our New Hampshire Legislature could not vote on bills resulting from months of online, bipartisan legislative work. The legislative process was derailed by the Republican use of a procedural blockade. Seeking an alternative way to do their legislative work, the Senate then bundled many bills, despite Republican opposition. Gov. Chris Sununu then flexed his veto muscle, terminating 79 bills written and negotiated for the people of New Hampshire.

Was there a great divide in the New Hampshire Legislature this session? Yes.

In leadership too, New Hampshire mirrors the U.S. administration. Our governor is less bombastic and brazen than President Donald Trump, but he has also quietly gone about dismantling public education, climate initiatives, fairness in voting districting, and help for working families, including raises for state employees. As my father used to say, “You can tell much about a person by the company he keeps.” This is especially true about these two men.

We the people try to engage in civil society and make our voices heard. We vote for executives and legislators who we think best represent our values. It is government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” right?

But recently, the work that we expect these elected officials to accomplish simply does not happen. The work is either enmeshed in partisan gridlock, or the leadership terminates negotiations, stokes the partisan fires, strong-arms members of its own party, circles the tribal wagons, or flat-out vetoes bills with bipartisan support.

Is our democracy broken? Yes, I fear that it is.

And it will remain so until we elect leaders committed to working across the aisle on behalf of all their constituents. That’s why I am voting for Joe Biden and Dan Feltes.

MAUREEN PROHL

Elkins, N.H.

Sue Prentiss will be an effective senator for NH District 5

As the chief of emergency medical services for New Hampshire, Sue Prentiss led a collaborative effort with New Hampshire public safety and public health officials to develop a protocol and training for paramedics to deliver flu vaccinations, starting with H1N1.

As a result, firefighters in Lebanon and throughout the state were able to deliver this vaccine widely and rapidly throughout the state.

Ten years ago, Lebanon firefighters conducted vaccine clinics in our public schools, something that was possible because of Prentiss’ work. As we address COVID-19 and prepare for deployment of a vaccine, her leadership in this area is more important than ever.

On behalf of the members of the Lebanon Permanent Firefighters Association, Local 3197, I am writing to share our full endorsement of Sue Prentiss’ candidacy for the New Hampshire Senate from District 5.

Our community and communities throughout New Hampshire have benefited from her work, including when she teamed up with stakeholders, including the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, to overhaul the patient care protocol system and shepherded that through the legislative process.

Her work inside state government and her experience with the state legislature will make her an effective state senator.

In addition to her background in public safety and public health, she has been a Lebanon City Councilor for more than a decade, serving two terms as mayor. We have seen her dedication to her constituents firsthand, and while we may not always agree with her specific positions, we know that she is always willing to listen and weigh all sides of an issue before making a decision.

Her common-sense approach to solving problems has earned her a reputation as a fair-minded policymaker. For this and many other reasons we are pleased to have this opportunity to support Sue Prentiss.

MATTHEW MOORE

Lebanon

The writer is the president of the Lebanon Permanent Firefighters Association.

Sarah Copeland Hanzas deserves reelection to Vermont House

I am writing in support of Sarah Copeland Hanzas’ reelection to the Vermont House, representing Bradford, Fairlee and West Fairlee.

I have known her since she was a student of mine at Oxbow High. I have not been surprised by her public service, as even back then she demonstrated caring for others and for the well-being of the school community.

Her experience as a parent, teacher, and local business owner is reflected in the values she has taken to the House since 2005. She has supported legislation to benefit working and middle-class families, including efforts to raise the minimum wage and to provide better childcare for Vermont workers.

She understand the challenges of owning a business and paying a liveable wage.

As the parent of three daughters (two now in college), a former teacher and school volunteer, she is a strong advocate for local schools. Her pleasure in hiking and the natural world moves her to help develop climate and energy plans to benefit Vermonters.

Sarah Copeland Hanzas has earned the privilege of being reelected as Vermont House representative. I encourage you to vote for her.

NESSA FLAX

Ryegate, Vt.

Sue Gottling has been a longtime supporter of the town of Sunapee

This is an important election for Sunapee. I have been a Sunapee resident and successful small-business owner since 1981. I am an independent.

I am asking Sunapee residents to vote for Sue Gottling for the Sullivan district 2 seat in the New Hampshire House.

Gottling has the common sense and experience and she is involved, professional and moderate. A member of the Sunapee Selectboard who has also previously served in the House, she has championed Sunapee by submitting numerous bills recommended to her by a town committee, local nonprofit or private citizen.

She believes in working toward bipartisan solutions, as shown by her record of working cooperatively with local representatives and senators of both parties on issues of mutual concern. Over a three-year period, 75% of bills with her name attached had bipartisan sponsorship.

Serving on the House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development, she worked to keep our lakes clean through bills limiting phosphorus and the spread of invasive aquatic species.

Other issues on which she worked, and will continue to work, are providing broadband internet access for Croydon and much of Sunapee and finding enough money for our highway fund to fix potholes and make bridges safe. She supports all of our children through fair funding of New Hampshire schools. A former principal and educator with a doctoral degree, she is well equipped to achieve this goal.

On the other hand, the opposition is divisive and appears more connected to out-of-district and out-of-state libertarian alliance groups. Sunapee does not need that. Sue Gottling has been working for Sunapee and New Hampshire since 2006.

She is a treasure and a champion, not only for Sunapee but the state as well. I ask you to vote with me for longtime resident and Sunapee supporter, Sue Gottling.

DOUGLAS C. WINDSOR

Georges Mills

Sierra Club backing of Liza Draper impressive

As we near Nov. 3, a lot of the election focus is on the presidential campaign. However, in many respects, the individuals we vote into local and state offices can make the most impact on policies.

There are many different factors to consider when evaluating which candidates to vote for. For me, a crucial component is a candidate’s position on protecting our natural resources and promoting sustainable living.

When I found out that Liza Draper, who is running to represent Claremont’s Ward 3 in the New Hampshire House, was recently endorsed by the Sierra Club, I was very impressed.

For those who are not familiar with the Sierra Club, it is the most influential grassroots environmental organization in the country. This organization has helped pass legislation to protect wildlife, people’s access to clean water, keep our national parks undeveloped and more. Whether we are aware of it or not, the Sierra Club has helped protect the beauty of the natural world that is our refuge here in New England.

So, I implore my fellow voters, regardless of what party you stand behind during this election, vote for candidates dedicated to protecting our natural world.

And if you live in Ward 3 of Claremont, please give your vote to Liza Draper. She is a long-term resident of Claremont, a parent who has raised her children here, a former Maple Street teacher, an organic farm owner and activist.

She has supported our community as a private citizen and I believe will be dedicated to doing even more for our community if she is elected to the House of Representatives.

MELISSA COLE

Claremont

Larry Satcowitz open to perspectives of others

Larry Satcowitz is running to be elected as one of our two Vermont state representatives representing the towns of Braintree, Brookfield, Granville, Randolph and Roxbury.

As a resident of Brookfield, I have had the good fortune to develop a friendship with him, mostly by attending the Randolph Union High School soccer matches and gymnastics meets of our respective daughters, who are also friends. The character trait of his that strikes me the most is his natural ability to unselfishly listen to other people.

His heart and mind are always open to the perspectives and concerns of others. I have never known him to be anything other than respectful, humble, intelligently thoughtful, caring, considerate and committed to the service of all of the people who live in our district.

Larry Satcowitz is experienced and a hard worker and would be a very extraordinary state representative on our behalf.

ANDREW LAKE

Brookfield, Vt.

Josh Adjutant fights for his constituents

I have had the honor of sharing the representation of Enfield in the New Hampshire House for the last two years with Josh Adjutant.

During the pandemic, while I have stayed fairly isolated, he has worked tirelessly campaigning for the rights of workers, public education, property owners and renters. His work ethic has poured over to his work in Concord, where he is constantly fighting for his constituents, both in committee and on the floor.

I highly recommend supporting Josh Adjutant with your vote for his reelection to represent the good, hard-working folks of Enfield, Grafton, Alexandria, Bristol, Bridgewater and Ashland.

ROGER W. DONTONVILLE

Enfield

The writer represents the Grafton 10 district in the New Hampshire House.




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