Saturday October 27, 2012

Election Day is almost here

Editor of the Reformer:

Election Day is Nov. 6 and most voters are well aware of the candidates at the top of the ballot, including those for President, Congress, and Vermont State government. But most have little awareness of duties of the office or the candidates at the bottom of the ballot, notably Justice of the Peace.

Most people think of the caricature of the JP as a bible toting "Marrying Sam" whose primary task is to officiate at civil marriages. While that is a "discretionary" function of the JP, it is a minor role and, in fact, many do not perform these services.

The true and critical roles of Justices are service on the Board of Civil Authority that oversees the conduct of elections, the Board of Tax Appeals and the Board of Tax Abatements.

On Election Day, ballots will include up to 15 candidates for Justice of the Peace. Voters should consider these candidates as serious, community-minded individuals who provide towns with important services that generally happen behind the scenes but are none-the-less critical. Be sure to vote for those who you feel can best serve your community by taking the time to find out about these candidates, including background and past participation fulfilling their responsibilities.

Elliott Greenblott,

Brattleboro, Oct. 26

Scott's stance on Death with Dignity

Editor of the Reformer

I was so saddened to hear Phil Scott state on public television that, should he have the casting vote on a Death with Dignity (aka Physician Assisted Suicide) bill, he would vote against it.


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For your information, I am appending an email I have just sent to the Lt. Governor.

Dear Lt. Governor,

I was very interested to watch you debating on television the other evening. I was very impressed at the way you have kept your campaigning respectful, not denigrating your competitors but arguing the issues. I wish all political discourse was as enlightened.

While respecting your personal views on this, my wife and I (who have been Hospice volunteers for many years) feel very strongly that all of us should have the fundamental human right to choose when and how we wish to depart this life.

We know you and others with different belief systems would argue otherwise. However we would reiterate that this Death with Dignity concept in no way negates your choice to follow your own path; just that we would plead our case to be allowed to follow our path.

Thus we were so sorry to hear you say you would actually vote against such a bill, should you be in the position to have the casting vote.

We would urge you therefore, for the sake of fairness to - we understand - a majority of the citizens of Vermont, to allow this Bill to pass if and when it reaches the House floor.

Thank you for everything you have done to make Vermont the wonderful place it is.

John and

Penelope Simpson Adams,

Putney, Oct. 25

In support of Pearce

Editor of the Reformer:

Our State Treasurer, Beth Pearce, was enormously helpful to our communities in the aftermath of tropical storm Irene, especially the actions she took to help our towns through the cash flow burden we faced to repair our municipal infrastructures so badly damaged that day.

I represent two of the towns which suffered the highest financial damage in the State, Wilmington and Halifax. Beth Pearce worked creatively and tirelessly with Legislative leaders, the Governor's office and with banks and other financial institutions to identify financial resources to help towns until insurance or FEMA funding came through for our municipalities.

It isn't just her skill in managing large sums of money that I value, it is also that she cared enough to stay in touch with Town Managers, Clerks and Treasurers to be sure that they were ok, to see how she could help them solve their problems.

One of the other things I especially like about Beth Pearce is her commitment to enhancing financial literacy of people of all ages, but particularly the program she created which last year was used by 124 elementary schools.

I admire the skill, experience and commitment I have seen in Beth Pearce, and I am pleased to support her to continue as Vermont's Treasurer.

Rep. Ann Manwaring,

Windham 2, Representing,

Halifax, Whitingham

and Wilmington,

Oct. 21

Support for Dunbar

Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing to express my support for Emmett Dunbar as state representative. I moved to Vermont five years ago. Prior to that I was a chef in Boston and in New York; but my passion for a local food economy prompted my move to South Londonderry.

I met Emmett several years before my move here at the farm-stand on his land, Anjali Farm, in South Londonderry. I was immediately impressed with his energy and inspiration for the local food and agricultural economies in Vermont.

Soon thereafter, I decided to leave New York, because I wanted to learn how to grow food organically. So I contacted Emmett, and he agreed to let me stay on his farm for a full growing season.

This was not my first stay on a farm, but Emmett is an excellent teacher and an accomplished farmer, so I learned more from him about growing crops than I had during any other farming experience.

I also participated in the local distribution that he helped create through farmers markets, restaurant sales, direct sales on the farm, and the making and marketing of value-added products. Emmett continues to support my efforts as a new young entrepreneur in this area, and I credit him greatly for my ability to live here and contribute to the local economy.

I recently started a small business selling handmade pastries and products at several area farmers markets. I source nearly all my product in Vermont, with most of it coming directly from farmers at the market. The most rewarding parts of my work are my direct contact with farmers across Southern Vermont, and what I learn every time I speak with them or visit their farms.

There is now a new generation of young farmers following in Emmett's footsteps, and in the path of the great agricultural traditions of Vermont. It is these traditions that inspire people to come here and learn a sustainable way of life, and it is people like Emmett Dunbar who make it possible for us to stay and to give back to these amazing communities.

Michael Noyes,

Slow Sun Foods, Oct. 24

Support for Gekas

Editor of the Reformer:

I recently watched Daryl Pillsbury's interview of the Lt. Gov. candidate, Cass or Cassandra Gekas on BCTV. I was quickly impressed with her vision and passionate articulation of issues of great importance to Vermonters from all backgrounds. She was able to connect issues, which is not always done but is important to achieving results, and in a reasoned manner. She has my vote and I hope you will consider giving her yours as well. See you at the polls on Nov. 6.

Lorie A. Cartwright,

Brattleboro, Oct. 26