I would like to speak with you about who will hopefully be your next Select Board Woman, Rachael Fields. This is an intelligent, resourceful, and caring lady. She has dedicated herself to making sure the most vulnerable among us have a voice. She will stand up for the things that you, as Bennington citizens, truly care about. It is time for the citizenry to change the "status quo." Let’s move forward and elect a more responsive and efficient town government.
She is my daughter, and I know what she is capable of doing. She will move mountains out of the way, with your help. If you really want to move forward, let her speak on your behalf. She will fight for you, your jobs, and your town!
Mike Bethel on why he’s running again
Yes, I am running for a seat on the Bennington Selectboard again. I believe this will be my fifth attempt over the last 15 years.
"Why would you do it again, Mr. Bethel?" one would ask. Let me tell you: I believe Bennington can be great again, like it was when I lived here as a kid. But we need strong and determined leadership on our Selectboard to turn things around.
Let me give a few examples of what our town leaders should be doing, whether I am elected or not. First, for the downtown, we must revamp or dissolve the Better Bennington Corporation. This organization gets $70,000 a year from the downtown taxing district. I ask you, has it brought new businesses? Have they just watched as businesses left?
Bennington County Industrial Corporation needs the same type of adjustments. Our industrial corporation has one and a half employees to handle improvement and retention. The recent news of Plasan leaving Bennington, creating a loss of 143 jobs, is a major blow to the economy. What did the town do to help?
In contrast, Brattleboro’s version of our BCIC has 14 employees and handles commercial and industrial recruitment. Brattleboro has a smaller population than Bennington.
Thirdly, we need to look at our town plan and zoning restrictions. We need to make the town plan more inviting for businesses to invest in Bennington. We need to change the zoning on the Johnson Control site. It must be developed commercially, and it can’t be allowed to remain idle for another 20 years.
Even if I’m not elected, Justin Corcoran needs to be re-elected. He has tried to be pro-active to the issues that face Bennington, but he has run into a roadblock with the other members of the board, who just don’t seem to have a clue.
Some may not think I would be the best candidate, but let me assure you, it will be must-watch-tv if I get on the Bennington Selectboard. I will be the proverbial dog with a bone to push these issues and more, bring jobs to Bennington, and try to keep tax rates steady or lower. I want to serve, and I will do my very best if you choose me.
Supports Bethel and Corcoran
Being a member of the local business community, it is sad to see the direction of the town in regards to the support and fostering of local entrepreneurs. It is my opinion, of the candidates running for Select Board, the ideas and viewpoints expressed by Mike Bethel and Justin Corcoran are the ones most closely aligned with my ideas of what is good for business in the Town of Bennington.
On March 4th please vote for Mike Bethel and Justin Corcoran.
MARY LOU ALBERT
If you feel that the Bennington water/sewer bills are too high, then vote no on March 4, Article 2.
Discord in Woodford
In the Feb. 21 news article in the Bennington Banner, there were several items reported that were incorrect. Ryan Thurber stated, "This town’s finances are fishy." It would seem to me that as a selectman, if he thought finances are out of line, he would have a fiduciary responsibility to call for an audit. Coincidentally, the Town received a preliminary draft of the 2011 audit that has been underway for 14 months just last week. There was no mention of any "fishy" discrepancies or any other kind of discrepancies.
Regarding the Town Report, the Town Clerk prepared the town’s portion of the report and the Supervisory Union prepared the school’s portion. Ron Higgins received a bid from a local printer for the report and was prepared to have them print it. Ryan Thurber took the information to a printer in Manchester to have it printed. Ron Higgins and I did not take it to a printer without the board’s approval. As treasurer, I had nothing to do with the Town Report.
Ryan also stated that as chairman he is tasked with asking the difficult questions that "are coming in through both ears." I have never had a problem answering a question, but the problem is often in the way in which it is asked.
JAMES V. HORRIGAN