Friday January 11, 2013

Oldham will not seek another term on Select Board

After returning to Bennington from college, I knew that I had to get involved. I wanted to help as many people as I could and give back to a town that I love. At 23, I ran for Bennington Select Board promising to be the voice for those who did not have a voice. I wanted to be in a position to support our nonprofits, our youth and our elderly, and professionals of all ages.... I wanted to fight for affordable housing and beat the homeless issue, keep taxes from spiraling out of control, support growth while keeping our historic and unique character all while supporting clean energy. After nine years and three terms on the Bennington Select Board, I look back and can be proud of my contributions and our achievements. I am very proud of the votes that I was able to cast that made positive impacts on our community as well as those initiatives that did not pass. Most of all, I am proud of the people of this town. I have had an opportunity to work alongside some of the most caring and compassionate people and for that, I am able to say that I have grown leaps and bounds.

Of course, I can also say that there was more that I could have done to be a better advocate, but I will not dwell on that. I will only learn from it. I have learned that the people of Bennington are the most generous that I have come across. I have seen people come out of the woodwork to lend a hand to the town, to families, and to strangers. I get such an amazing feeling knowing that whether it is a business or the citizens, the people in this town are eager to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. Groups like Better Bennington Corp. and the Bennington Chamber of Commerce are by far the most exceptional business organizations in the state Hell, country! They break their backs promoting Bennington.

I am honored that the people of Bennington allowed me, trusted me, and supported me for the last nine years. I would be lying if I said that it was always fun or easy. It is often tiring, discouraging, and stressful. It's frustrating when you are being counted on to make changes but face so much resistance. It is also sad when you work so hard for something and are unable to see it come to fruition. Not to mention the time that it takes away from your personal life, family, and friends. With all that said, I WOULD NEVER TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD!

Like books, once a chapter ends, you move onto the next. So, with this bittersweet message, I am announcing that I will NOT be seeking a fourth term on the Bennington Select Board. My term ends in March and I will respectfully decline another run for my seat. Last week was the start of the town's budget process. I will be working on this budget one last time before my departure but my service and dedication to the town will not end. I will continue my work fighting homelessness as well as the housing issues in this town. I will continue to work towards creating a vibrant downtown. But most of all I am looking forward to finishing and promoting my children's books, producing a local television series with CAT TV and working with WBTN. So, my service to this town will only change course.

Thanks again for your support over the past nine years! I am honored to have had the privilege to represent you on the Select Board. I hope I did not disappoint! God Bless.

CHRISTOPHER OLDHAM

Bennington

Carmody's employee thanks customers

As a long time employee of Carmody's Restaurant, on behalf of my fellow employees and TJ, I want to thank all our wonderful customers, and offer you a hug and good-bye that we were not able to do in person.

It was not just our business to make you feel comfortable and welcome, but a genuine feeling. We enjoyed both seeing and serving you. Carmody's was family, friends and food. Hopefully we can continue the same at Carmody's in Hoosick.

CINDY SPRAGUE

Hoosick Falls, N.Y.