It should be the policy of our town to provide open and transparent government. It just makes sense that town staff and the Selectboard disseminate information to town residents before forcing change upon us. Why weren’t the residents of Davis Park given the opportunity to speak on the removal of more than 100 street lights before they were removed? Why weren’t the volunteer boards of the library and the Board of Civil Authority consulted before the Selectboard mandated sweeping changes that would have dramatically impacted their operations? Why wasn’t the Town Clerk consulted before dramatic changes to her office were attempted? Why, over the past several years, have our town volunteers not been afforded the respect they deserve? Why does the Selectboard have so many non-public executive sessions?
I join in the growing call for an open and transparent local government. That’s why on March 5, I will vote for a change. I will vote for Bob Lake and Antoinette “Toni” Supple for Town Selectboard. I will cast my vote for them because we deserve the opportunity to be heard before major changes in town take place. I will vote for them because the residents of Davis Park deserved the opportunity to speak on the removal of more than 100 street lights before they were gone. I will vote for them because the volunteers on the boards of the town library, the Board of Civil Authority, the Fire Department, the Rescue Squad, and more should have been respected – in particular, they should have been consulted before huge changes were attempted to be thrust upon them. If baseball fields are going to be moved, shouldn’t people know in advance?
I will vote for Bob Lake and Toni Supple because these are not events in the past. Even now, plans are being made, and as reported in the Burlington Free Press, private meetings are taking place for a Loop Road that will cost $1.5 million or more and increase Shelburne residents’ property tax responsibility–all without first seeking input from local business owners who would be directly affected.
Bob Lake and Toni Supple recognize that our town’s residents too often are left out of discussions. Like you, they see a history of inadequate notice and they understand that a Selectboard should consider all sides of an issue. And as experienced local business owners, they know how to listen and how to make fiscally responsible decisions. It’s time for an open and transparent local government. I will cast my vote for Bob and Toni on March 5 and ask that you consider doing the same.
Tina Kurrelmeyer, Shelburne