I would like to announce my candidacy for the three-year seat on the Shaftsbury Select Board.
I was born and raised about 45 minutes north of Shaftsbury. I earned my bachelor of science degree in computer science from SUNY Plattsburg. For the last 30 years, I have worked in the financial information technology spectrum, running my own consultant business for 18 of those years.
In 1999 I settled in Shaftsbury with my wife because we love the natural beauty of Shaftsbury. Living here, I have been able to enjoy some of my favorite activities; hunting, fishing and hiking.
With so much of our nation's founding centered here in New England, I joined the Shaftsbury Historical Society to learn more and become a steward of Shaftsbury's history. I am starting my 2nd year as its president. Last year the Historical Society had a successful year with multiple events, concluding with "Colonial Days" at The Governor Galusha Homestead. This was a joint effort with the Town, the 250th committee and the historical society.
As always, fiscal responsibility and accountability must be our highest priority. The current select board has done a great job in this respect and I will work to continue that effort. Costs will continue to climb. It is essential to keep those costs that are within our control at an acceptable level, while at the same time maintaining our roads and essential town services.
The town recently installed a computer network to help the town's departments work together efficiently. With my years of experience working in information technology, I can help Shaftsbury shape its computer systems, policies and practices. Computer technology will help town government run more efficiently and can be used to provide greater public access to the town's records.
Since moving to town I have attended many planning commission, development review board and Select Board meetings and I have a good understanding of how the town works. As a public citizen, I have participated with fellow citizens and the planning commission in creating and rewriting zoning bylaws. My wife and I have witnessed town government become more inclusive and transparent over the past several years. I would continue to promote openness and transparency as a member of the select board, because these values are critical to maintaining the public's trust.
My neighbors and I speak about the issues that face all of us. It is important for the citizens of Shaftsbury to feel a part of the process. The talent in Shaftsbury is boundless. Let's harness that positive energy and move forward with a sense of pride in how we started as a town and how we can go forward. It is important to work together to balance the interests of all of us for the betterment of the whole community.
I would like to serve as your representative on the Shaftsbury Select Board, and I hope you will consider voting for me on March 5th.
Donate to local shelters
A whopping 70.8 percent of Vermont residents own pets, according to a new survey from the American Veterinary Medical Association. That puts Vermont at the very top of the list of pet-owning states. While pets continue to face problems, such as a declining pet ownership and 4 to 8 million dogs and cats being put down in shelters every year, there's some other good news: Giving to Vermont pet shelters increased 6.88 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to IRS data.
Unfortunately, national surveys reveal that the majority of Americans still mistakenly think that donations to national animal groups go to help local groups shelter animals. However, little of the money given to national groups -- including only 1 percent in the case of the Humane Society of the United States -- is sent to local shelters.
In 2013, Vermonters can continue to make strides in helping pets by making sure their donations go to local shelters directly.
Director, Humane Society for Shelter Pets