Vermont Town Meeting day is next week, Tuesday, March 1. I love Town Meeting Day and the annual opportunity to delve deeply into local budgets and issues with neighbors. Many towns are again holding their meetings remotely and early voting has already begun. Contact your local town clerk’s office for more information about the details for your town. As a former school board member, I cherish the importance of serving in local office and am grateful for everyone who steps up for their community. As a state legislator, I try to attend town meetings to listen and learn about what’s important in the towns I serve, and I don’t generally weigh in on local decisions, unless I can offer relevant assistance, information, or expertise. I endorse local candidates sparingly when I have a personal connection or important reason to do so. See below for my 2022 endorsements and don’t forget to vote on Town Meeting Day or before.
As a founding board member of the Addison Central School District, I care deeply about the preservation of the unified school district, the success of its schools, and most especially the education and welfare of all of its students. I am endorsing Amy McGlashan as the Ripton representative on the Addison Central School District Board. Given the turbulence of the pandemic and array of contentious issues facing local schools, it is a critical time to ensure our school boards are led by dedicated public servants committed to meeting the needs of students in all schools and communities. Amy McGlashan is such a person. She has served the ACSD towns and schools for many years as a school board member and community representative on various school committees. She is thoughtful and knowledgeable and shares her expertise by teaching a class on Vermont school finance and governance each year at Middlebury College. Particularly during this period of transition for the Ripton School, it’s imperative that the District and Town have continuity of leadership and an advocate dedicated to a fair outcome for everyone. I have worked with Amy on the school board and at the College and know that she’s a person with integrity, a deep respect for our schools and community, and a genuine desire to do the right thing for all students. If you are a voter in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, or Weybridge, please join me in voting for Amy McGlashan for the ACSD School Board.
As a Middlebury resident who as has been deeply involved in efforts to diversify and strengthen local politics and town government, I am endorsing Esther Thomas for Middlebury Selectboard. Esther was elected to fill a vacancy on the Board last year and has served the Town well, providing an important voice at the table for young, working families and people of color in our community. Esther is thoughtful and dedicated to ensuring that Middlebury is a vibrant, supportive place for everyone to live. She also serves as a bridge between the students she works with at Middlebury College and the permanent residents in the Town of Middlebury, ensuring that we balance the needs of both. I have been so impressed with Esther’s approach to community service that I nominated her for the Emerge Vermont training program that I used to lead and invited her to be a speaker at my Women in Politics class at the College this past fall. As she gains more experience, I know she’ll become an even bigger asset to our town government.
I am also endorsing Heather Seeley for Middlebury Selectboard. Heather has served our town well for several years on the Selectboard and deserves to be re-elected. She brings the valuable perspective of a working mother with deep knowledge of construction, agriculture, and finances through her family’s maple sugaring and construction businesses and her work in non-profit finance. She’s led important work to improve Middlebury town facilities and equipment inventories and bring insightful evaluation to resource allocation. Heather is honest, smart, and hardworking and cares deeply about her neighbors, community, and the Town of Middlebury. In Vermont, women make up fewer than one-third of all town and city governance board members, so it’s especially important to elect and support women running for selectboards. If you’re a voter in Middlebury, please join me in voting for Esther Thomas and Heather Seeley for Selectboard.
Finally, I want to thank Lorraine Morse for her many, many years of service to our local schools. Lorraine has served for over two decades on local school boards, including the Middlebury elementary and high school boards, the former ACSU board, and finally the ACSD Board. This year she has decided to retire. I served for eight years on local school boards with Lorraine, and while we didn’t always agree, I always knew that Lorraine wanted what was best for our schools and our kids. Nobody has been more dedicated to local school board service in Middlebury during the 21st century than Lorraine Morse. Thank you, dear Lorraine, for your incredible service and dedication.