Letters: Running for seat on Shaftsbury Select Board
My name is Ken Harrington and I am running for the 3-year seat on the Shaftsbury Select Board. I am a lifelong resident of Shaftsbury. My wife Alanna and I have run our construction business Ken Harrington Construction since 1986. I was a member of the operating engineer union for 20 years. I am a life member of the Hale Mountain Rod and Gun Club. Alanna an I have been married for 43 years. I was highway foreman for the town of Shaftsbury from 1973 - 1977.
I believe that there are ways to keep town expenses down. I feel that the town highway crew can and should be cut by one or two employees and thereby reducing payroll and medical benefits by nearly 100,000 dollars a year in labor costs if two jobs are cut.
The town has added few miles of highway to the road system since the 1970’s. At that time there were three full time employees and part time workers were hired as needed. I think that could be done again. In this time of ever growing taxes at the Federal, State, and local levels I feel that every dollar that can be saved must be saved.
I feel that every citizen who comes before any town board should be heard with respect and honor no matter their view point. I feel that the commercial and industrial zones should be expanded to improve the tax base and lower taxes on home owners. When I built my home taxes were around $400 per year now they are nearly 400 percent more then that.
Everything should be done to keep current businesses here and to encourage them to expand. With the constant expansion of more federal and state rules and regulation on business everything to lessen local regulations should be done to help promote and encourage more business growth in town. Having been in business for the last 27 years I know what those regulations do to hurt growth.
To close I will say that if I am elected I will watch every expense and spend every dollar like it was my own. I would appreciate your support on March 5th.
Make life in Pownal richer for all
I have lived in Pownal for 40 years. We bought an acre of land at a time when it didn’t cost $20,000 or more. And, oh yeah, I live in what is basically a mobile home. We have taken care of our home, have a beautiful yard, and it actually looks like a real house! We pay our taxes and our assessment has gone up thousands of dollars over the years. I feel we deserve to live here.
Yes, I agree the mobile home parks in Pownal could be better. I also understand how most of those residents who live in one are unable to get out. I’ll bet there is hardly a person in any of the parks that wouldn’t love to have a home or an apartment in a nice location. Look around folks! Are there any affordable places these people could move into? No! And now it seems someone wants to make it even harder by making Pownal a place for only rich people to live.
When these parks were constructed in the 1970s, long before our current select board or zoning board were in office, it gave people who moved here a place to live. How can you blame them for being there now? The economy and the loss of jobs in this area make it hard to live a better life. There is no affordable housing in Pownal -- Mr. Brownell is right.
It must be a good life to live in your own big house on your own land, but for just a minute, put yourself in their shoes. You live in a mobile home too small for your family. It is in need of repairs, but you need food and clothing for your children more. The park is crowded, not a lot of yard for your kids to play in, and every day you dream of getting out. And then someone writes an article that the best thing to do is just get rid of you!
Let’s help make Pownal a better place to live for the unfortunate, not only for the rich who live in the fancy big houses. Imaging being one of the residents some don’t feel deserve to have a better life in Pownal. I, for one, don’t want to be one of those people. Let’s be Vermont Strong and make life in Pownal richer for all.
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