Letters: Tim Scoggins for Shaftsbury School Board
Tim Scoggins for Shaftsbury School Board
I am Tim Scoggins and I am running for school board because the time has come for me to take a seat at the table.
If you know anything about Shaftsbury Elementary School (SES), you know that I have taken an active role in the school for the six years I have lived in Shaftsbury. I have attended nearly every school board meeting, often as the lone member of community. From my seat in the audience I have influenced the debate on topics ranging from funding for Nature's Classroom and educational field trips, to the cost of Special Education. As a parent volunteer, I have been involved on a number of levels:
- Organized volunteers to paint the school's exterior (remember the brown and gray?)
- Lead the effort to make The Intersection safer for our kids by lowering the speed limit on 7A
- Coordinator for the Safe Routes to School Program
- Member of the principal search committee after Jim Harwood's retirement
- Member of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) Technology Committee
- Taught in the After School program
- Lead an Hour of Code demo for the 5th grade
_ am pleased and proud that so many of you have joined me in volunteering to help make our school great. I am proud that our school and our school board are responsive to this kind of input from the community. However, local influence is likely to change under Act 46, the school district consolidation law. Encouraged by the law's promise of tax cuts, SES is involved in discussions ranging from staying in the SVSU, minus our local school board, to forming a new district with Arlington and North Bennington. Deciding how Act 46 will affect our school is the next big challenge.
My daughter attends Shaftsbury Elementary School; it couldn't be more important to me. Furthermore, our school is the social center of our community, and a vital part of our ability to attract population and commerce. The next couple of years under Act 46 are critical to our school's and our Town's future.
I have demonstrated my commitment to our school with my involvement as a parent volunteer. I have demonstrated my ability to lead as chair of the Selectboard. I ask for your vote so I can apply my passion and my skills to the challenges that lie ahead.
Vermont should divest
Thirty-five years ago, I was the secretary of a noted conservation committee in New York State where we studied the effects of acid rain in our region and its effect on aquatic life. Coal fired plants in the central mid-west transported acid rain to our area, and at times we felt powerless to prevent it. To examine the effects of acid rain in otherwise healthy lakes and rivers is tragic. Lakes and rivers once teeming with life were now dead.
A few weeks ago, Governor Shumlin announced his support for the divestment of Vermont's pension funds from fossil fuels. I urge the Vermont Pension Investment Committee to follow and act on the Governor's actions.
Of note: more than 500 institutions around the world have already committed to divestment. A recent study commissioned by 350 Vermont indicated that investments in the top 20 oil, gas, and coal companies cost Vermont pension holders more than $77 million in foregone returns over the past three years.
Vermont is making great strides to protect it's waters and forests, and it should be able to continue its commitment to climate change while protecting the financial future of public employees from carbon risk.
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