The Readers Write
|October 31, 2012||Filled under Our Town, The Readers Write||
Vote for George Schiavone
George Schiavone has always had the interests of his fellow Vermonters as his top priority and, in my estimation, is one of the finest people we could ever have to represent district 5-2 in the Legislature. I have known him for many years, and know that he is not afraid to tackle difficult issues and will continue to prioritize his efforts to make the best decisions for the majority of Vermonters. He routinely crosses the aisle to work with all sides in an effort to hear all opinions before he makes up his mind.
His accomplishments are many and his service to his constituents has been excellent in the past. I trust him completely with the multitude of decisions he must make in the legislature. A vote for George Schiavone is a vote for common sense, hard work, enthusiasm, and complete professionalism.
Beverly Remick, Shelburne
We need Joan Lenes
I write this letter in support of my friend and colleague, Representative Joan Lenes. I have had the privilege of seeing her deep and thoughtful work in the State House on a daily basis.
I watched Joan work long hours to find resources for Vermonters following Tropical Storm Irene. Her solid work up front and her ability to listen to opinions different from her own resulted in a final product that earned unanimous, bipartisan support from the members.
Joan’s direct work in corrections is helping to keep communities safe, reduce costly and wasteful recidivism, and save money. Her efforts will also improve evaluation and treatment of those incarcerated individuals who also suffer from developmental disabilities, mental illness, and drug addiction.
Joan is highly valued in the State House for her thoughtful consideration of issues, her ability to listen, and her hard and productive work. Please vote to return Representative Lenes to Montpelier. We need her.
Representative Kate Webb, Shelburne
Vote for Lenes, against Super Pacs
I have known and worked with Joan Lenes and enthusiastically recommend that residents in Shelburne and St. George vote for her.
The last time her opponent, George Schiavone, was elected to the House he resigned part way through the last term to hand the seat over to someone he favored.
Some of his supportive letter writers state that he was respected in the House and was known for working in a bipartisan way, but, as I understand it, that view is not widely shared among representatives.
Schiavone’s voting record when he was in the House and his positions are on the far right – especially on social issues like health care choice and equal civil rights for all.
Equally disturbing is the involvement on Schiavone’s behalf in this local election by the conservative Super Pac “Vermonters First.” They are sending voters glossy postcards with misleading attacks on Joan Lenes. This Washington, D.C.-style Super Pac is funded by a wealthy person who is spending almost a million dollars on aggressive political tactics to promote her agenda. Records show that she is supporting extreme Tea Party candidates including Michele Bachmann.
A vote for Joan Lenes will send a loud and clear message that Vermonters can’t be bought–not now or in the future.
Joan has worked tirelessly for her constituents. Recent letters from people who know have described her correctly: a warm, personal smile; a deep listener; compassion; commitment to her community; straightforward; not-self-serving; she considers all perspectives.
Joan is running in good faith, plans to serve her full term, and will represent all of her constituents regardless of their political persuasion.
For all the reasons stated, I strongly endorse Joan Lenes’ candidacy and urge voters in district 5-2 to call their friends and spread the word.
Dick Walters, Shelburne
Elect George Schiavone
Next Tuesday Shelburne District 5-2 voters need to choose carefully between two highly qualified candidates. Both have served in the Legislature and represented their constituents responsibly and well.
The question, however, is not who is the more dedicated but rather who will help to guide the legislature back to a balanced, practical, fiscally responsible position? Who will ask the difficult questions and challenge the State administrators to create conditions for a sustainable, robust private sector economy? Who will ask the important questions about single payer health care – what will it cost, who will bear the cost burden, and what will be the effect on Vermont businesses? Who will address concerns about the near term and, equally important, the future of our state, its fiscal sustainability, and that of its stakeholders?
George Schiavone represented District 5-2 for 6 terms and proved during his many years of service that he can provide the leadership we need, ask the right questions, and reach across the aisle when needed to win consensus on issues of great importance for Shelburne and Vermont.
Nancy and Alex Bryan, Shelburne
Re-elect Joan Lenes
Our consciousness as a society continues to evolve in important ways. Many of us have become more aware of the importance of conserving our open spaces and natural resources. We care more about those who have had fewer advantages and understand that helping those fellow Vermonters helps all of us; we understand that discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation is harmful; we understand how it costs all of us more if some cannot access basic healthcare. Joan Lenes has supported progress on these issues in the Vermont legislature.
When we get scared, we risk losing our expanded consciousness and acting from a perspective of scarcity: We can’t afford to help those who are less fortunate; we don’t need laws that prevent discrimination; caring for the environment will hurt us economically. It is important, however, for the long-term benefit of our society that we retain a perspective of expanded consciousness.
Between 2010 and 2011, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found that Vermont was the only state that showed an increase in median household income. Both the percentage and number of people in poverty in Vermont actually declined. The survey also found that Vermont had the highest increase in healthcare coverage among the young adult population, increasing from an insured rate of 75.2 percent in 2009 to 89.1 percent in 2011.
We are on the right track. We can ill afford to let any fears that may stem from the recent global economic recession turn us back from the progress we are making. Let’s retain our expanded consciousness and keep moving forward to make Vermont the best place we can. Let’s re-elect Representative Joan Lenes.
Steve Dickens, Shelburne
Voting the consensus is not representation
After serving on many boards during the past 20+ years including 9 years as a Shelburne representative on the CVU Board of Directors, I feel strongly that a representative’s “voting the consensus” or following the party directive essentially shuts out the opinions of a large part of their constituency. By exclusively following the path of one’s party affiliation, the representative is, in effect, not fulfilling their obligation to reflect the voices of all of their constituents. We currently have too many representatives in Montpelier that are more concerned about staying the party course than making the hard choices and possibly taking a tack against the party stance. We need to be represented by those that are willing to cross the aisle and develop solutions for our problems and forgo the party directives. We do not have that representation currently in Montpelier. I believe George Schiavone will be that voice of reason and concern with the drive to find solutions within the varied opinions in Montpelier.
I am confident that had George been a Legislative Trustee on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees, he would not have supported the outrageous and unjustified severance package for outgoing president Dan Fogel. As an alumnus of the institution I am ashamed of the decision to support such expenditures when the costs to our resident students are one of the highest in the country for state universities. How can anyone concerned about the rising cost of a college education find it reasonable to have supported this vote? In my opinion this was a telling example of our representative not willing to vote “no” against the board leadership and the severance package – what I believe my fellow Shelburne residents would have expected their elected leadership to do.
We need a new voice in Montpelier. A voice that will be concerned about the views of the constituency they represent and not necessarily the administration or party with which they are aligned. Please vote George Schiavone on Nov. 6.
Jeff Parker, Shelburne
Support George Schiavone
This is to express my support for George Schiavone as our representative in Montpelier.
George’s experience and his strong advocacy for responsible government is vitally needed. Our State is faced with decisions on single payer health care, education funding, energy cost management and other issues that require a person who will dig into the details, consider all sides of the issue and support an outcome that is in the best long term interest of Vermont in general and Shelburne in particular. George has the experience needed to get up to speed quickly and the integrity to drive to resolutions, not on the basis of political expediency, but because they are the right things to do.
Adam Lougee, Shelburne
Endorsement for Joan Lenes
George Schiavone does not support women’s choice. George Schiavone as Representative voted against civil union and years later lobbied against equal marriage. George Schiavone does not approve of the health care bill; however, he offers no other option that would provide affordable and accessible healthcare to Vermont citizens.
I endorse Joan Lenes for the House of Representatives 5-2.
Maria Horn, Shelburne
Re-elect Joan Lenes
Joan Lenes is a businesswoman with a strong understanding of complex budgets, financial issues, and the state’s economic health. The Capital Budget bill is one example of her work as a legislator in this arena as was her work as a School Board member monitoring school budgets. A lot has been written about Joan’s civic service to which she has devoted so much time, energy, and thought, but it is important to remember her strong business background that allows her to serve her district and state so ably.
It is also important to remember that George Schiavone is extremely conservative on issues of civil justice. He opposed the civil union bill and worked to try and repeal it. He believes the legislature is in a better position than a woman and her doctor to make reproductive health decisions.
So I encourage you to re-elect Joan Lenes as our state representative. She is smart, she listens, she understands the issues, and she works well with others.
Debby Bergh, Shelburne
Vote yes for form based zoning
Please note the form-based zoning bond item at the end of your voting ballot. This bond will fund implementation of zoning changes for the Route 7 corridor which includes Shelburne’s largest commercial tax base. This area has underperformed since before I served on the Selectboard some eight years ago.
Simply stated, form-based zoning is a zoning approach that defines how the buildings or the area will look (form) versus prescribing what is inside the buildings. Structures are well defined for appearance and character and may represent a “village” look or other architectural style. Form-based zoning will allow better outcomes in the corridor as investors have creative options for redeveloping outmoded buildings and properties. There will be significant public outreach by the consultants for input and vision from all of us during the process of developing and implementing the zoning parameters referred to as “code.”
As you are likely aware from meetings in town and articles in the Shelburne News, Shelburne has won grants providing for comprehensive studies that have led us to this point. Property owners on Route 7 support the new zoning approach as well as many residents, and there is a renewed interest in what this corridor “might be” in the future. Kate Lalley’s “Vision for 7” team, the Planning Commission and the Selectboard believe that such change will reinvigorate Shelburne Road aesthetically, community-wise, and business-wise. Form-based zoning is good for Route 7 and our town.
Please vote YES for the funding to develop the much needed form-based zoning.
Jim Dudley, Shelburne
George Schiavone for Vermont House
I am very pleased to support George Schiavone for his candidacy to the Vermont House of Representatives. Having known George though Red Cross activities and as board members of the Burlington Emergency Shelter, I have found him to be a very wise leader and also a very compassionate and capable leader. He understands the increasing taxes is a burden for many citizens in Shelburne. George has the ability to work across the aisle to work toward responsible budget decisions. Please vote with me for George Schiavone on Nov. 6.
Tina Kurrelmeyer, Shelburne
Vote for Lenes
I am writing to endorse Joan Lenes’ re-election to the Vermont legislature. She has demonstrated her care and commitment to our community and the State of Vermont by her ongoing service on the CVU Board and in the legislature.
She is a hard working, honest, concerned, and insightful person and a true public servant.
She is helpful to her constituents and is a wonderful example of the citizen legislator. Shelburne should be proud of what she has done and will do in the future.
Carole C. Obuchowski, Shelburne
Joan Lenes for District 5-2
We would like to urge everyone in the Shelburne/St. George 5-2 District to re-elect Joan Lenes as our Representative. We have known Joan since our children were in school together, recognizing her then as a tireless supporter of our schools. During Joan’s tenure at the Statehouse, we’ve only had need to call on her a couple of times, but Joan’s response was immediate and thorough.
This past year, our family suffered a tremendous loss; due to the inaction of the Vermont State Police, our nephew, Levi Duclos died of hypothermia. Our family was determined to make sure this never happens to another family in Vermont. When the bill for Search and Rescue Interim Protocols went to the House, Joan championed the bill and helped with its initial passage. Things got snarled in the Senate, sending the bill back to the House for a vote on the amended bill. Joan helped our family through all of this; crossing party lines, introducing us to important contacts, and advising us through the process. On the last day of the legislative session, the bill passed. Crafting legislation and passing it into law in the final few months of a biennium is almost unheard of, yet, with Joan’s help this very important bill became law. Gail’s parents, after spending a day in Montpelier, told Gail, “We hope you realize what a gem you have with Joan.” We do, and urge you to reelect Shelburne’s gem, Joan Lenes, to Vermont’s House of Representatives.
Gail Duclos Lapierre and Claude Lapierre
Form-based code ballot item crucial to future of Shelburne Road
Voters on Nov. 6 will find a bond item at the end of their voting ballot, asking if the Town should spend funds for Form-based Code, a new type of zoning, in the Route 7 corridor. By voting for form-based zoning voters have the opportunity to revitalize our town’s largest commercial tax base and transform an underperforming commercial strip into a vital business area and a place of community identity and pride.
When I first came to live in Shelburne in 2003 I was struck by the contrast between Route 7 and the rest of the town. This large area was so unlike everywhere else in Shelburne it was hard to believe it was even a part of the town; it certainly wasn’t a part of town that anyone cherished. Subsequent new development in the intervening years has not improved the look of Shelburne Road. Residents in 2012 still do not feel pride in this area.
Now, property owners in Route 7, many residents and town officials have renewed interest in what this commercial corridor “might be” in the future. The time is right to capitalize on this growing momentum and recapture the value of our largest commercial area.
It’s important to understand why Route 7 became so underperforming in the first place. Bizarrely, the strip pattern of development that frustrates and disappoints many in our town and has led to the poor visual impression we see today is the legal and logical product of our current zoning. To get a better quality of place on Route 7–development that is attractive, pedestrian-friendly and that says “welcome to Shelburne, won’t you stay for a while?” to the tourists who visit and commuters that pass through the town–we need different zoning. It’s that simple!
By voting on the form-based code question, residents have an opportunity to say what they value most about the town of Shelburne; and these values can be the basis of a new community vision for Route 7. Should the bond pass, at public meetings residents will be asked to identify the features and qualities they prize about the town. The consultant team will translate the ideas of residents into a clear and detailed vision of what Route 7 could look like in the future. Ultimately, this vision would be the template for the new zoning rules that will drive the corridor’s redevelopment. (Since the town shares jurisdiction with the State over Route 7 decision-makers from VTRANS and other relevant agencies will also participate in shaping the final vision). The resulting zoning changes would bring “Shelburne” character and identity to Route 7, give property owners and developers clear and easy to follow regulations, and streamline the development approval process for new projects.
In summary, changing to form-based zoning would let us proactively revitalize and undervalued part of our town to achieve desirable patterns of development and to harness the foreces that generate economic resilience and value. Please vote on Nov. 6.
Kate Lalley, Vision for 7 Committee Chair and Shelburne Planning Commissioner
Shelburne needs Schiavone
I have known George Schiavone since I came to town 20 years ago, and George is who Shelburne/St. George needs in the House of Representatives! He is a fiscal conservative and will be the bi-partisan representative that we need in Montpelier.
He has a proven track record and he has served our towns faithfully in the past, it is time that we bring George back to represent us. He has an excellent understanding of the issues that face all Vermonters, on both state and community levels.
A vote for George will insure a superb job well done for us in Montpelier.
Bob Lake, Shelburne
Joan Lenes? No way!
If you want a state government that thinks it knows how to spend your money better than you do…vote for Joan.
If you want someone that thinks you can afford a continual increase in taxes and fees…vote for Joan.
If you want someone that looks the other way when welfare abuse is right before her eyes…vote for Joan.
Remember the Dan Fogel fiasco? Joan voted to give Dan Fogel an obscene golden parachute when he was leaving UVM – even Governor Shumlin was so appalled that he suggested that Dan Fogel put some of his largess into a scholarship fund for needy students – Dan Fogel said no. Dan Fogel gets the golden parachute while the students and taxpayers get the shaft. If you want a Santa Claus in Montpelier…vote for Joan.
Remember the CVPS ratepayer rip off? Some years ago power company CVPS had their hand on their backside and needed a rate increase. The public “service” board allowed the rate increase with the condition that if CVPS was ever sold the rate payers were to be repaid some 22 million dollars. Later CVPS was sold and Joan sold out the rate payers by going along with the public “service.” CVPS was allowed to repay rate payers with some unknown energy conservation measures, no money, just a promise. If you want someone that sells out rate payers to the public service board and reneges on a promise…vote for Joan.
Have you hired a plumber lately? Perhaps you’ve gone to a dentist or had your car repaired. Did you suffer sticker shock when you got the bill? Joan and her friends in Montpelier want to tax professional services. If you think you are not paying enough for professional services…vote for Joan.
If you want someone with integrity, honesty, and backbone…vote for George Schiavone.
Bruce Elmore, Shelburne
Send Lenes back to Montpelier
At a time when many are often frustrated with the inability of our representatives in Washington to work together, it is refreshing to have a representative in Shelburne who is so willing to reach across the aisles and work towards achieving solutions to benefit all Vermonters. Joan’s commitment to education is amazing. She has been re-elected to the CVU School Board for more than 20 years, been elected by her fellow representatives to the UVM Board of Trustees, and also has a Community Service award named after her at the Shelburne Community School. Her background in business helps her to understand the needs of small businesses. I have been impressed with Joan’s open approach and her ability to listen to citizens no matter what perspective on the issues they might have. Joan is dedicated to finding solutions which will benefit Vermonters for generations to come and I am proud to support her re-election as the Chittenden 5-2 state representative.
Chris Chiarello, Shelburne
George Schiavone for House of Representatives
We are writing to support George Schiavone for our 5-2 representative in the Vermont Legislature.
George has been our friend and neighbor for over 30 years. He has served us very well in the past both in the legislature and in many local and county organizations.
He will provide a much needed balance in our one sided House of Representatives. George has the know-how and experience to make a real difference.
Hugh and Ruth Moore, Shelburne