Letter to the editor: Time to vote on a mayor

Time to vote on a mayor

As a Bennington resident/homeowner for more than a decade, I have quietly watched while our town is slowly decomposing. I can no longer see & hear about the current state of Bennington with a blind eye and deaf ear. Therefore, I feel it is time to speak up and speak out about the continued deterioration of "Main Street"; as evidenced by the closing of many of our small businesses; the lack of new businesses taking their place, the obvious lack of industry and good paying jobs, and the lack of transparency in our town leadership/government; to name just a few of the issues.

I suppose in recent years we should have seen Bennington as falling victim to neglect. The obvious sign on the wall should have been the closing of Greenberg's. And, now we will see two more staples in town leave, with the closing of Evan's News and Panache. If this doesn't suggest Bennington is in need of a new vision and leadership, and improved economic and social change and development; I don't know what does. And, sadly with every business that closes or relocates out of Bennington; it leaves an economic burden on the residents and businesses they leave behind. I hope this explains "why"; since owning my home, I have continued to see nothing but my taxes and water/sewer bill increase.

I can remember a Bennington where "industry" was prevalent; I don't see that Bennington anymore. And when "industry" left, unfortunately, it took many of the good paying jobs with it. I suspect, as like myself, many residents must leave Bennington to find work. I think there is something really wrong with this picture. An individual should have the opportunity to find a good paying job in the town in which he/she lives and raises their family. As far as I am concerned; there really is no excuse and, only another obvious sign a new vision is necessary for Bennington.

I think the time has come for change and new leadership. I think the residents and businesses of Bennington deserve stronger, more transparent leadership/government. I am certainly not trying to punch anyone in the eye; however, I strongly believe if as a community, we truly care about our town; where we live and where we raise our children and grandchildren, we need to reconsider the current state in which our town is governed.

We need to question our leaders and challenge them to do what is best for the residents of Bennington. And, I mean what is best is to provide residents the opportunity to decide for themselves how they wish to be governed; by "town management" or by a mayor. With town management, the people have little or no say; however, a mayoral form of government may be considered a government where the power is vested in the people and exercised by the people, directly or indirectly, through a formal system of representation.

In closing, I challenge the Select Board to put this on the ballot, and let the voters decide. And, I appeal to the residents of Bennington to stake a claim; to what we all so richly deserve a town that is run by the people for the people. Thank you.


— Jacqueline Boucher Bennington


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