Letter: Thank you, Bill Botzow

Posted

To the Editor:

Monday night at the Pownal Town Meeting, Bill Botzow, Linda Hall and Bruce Martel were honored for their years of service. Linda Hall's contributions to this community were acknowledged in a proclamation from the Vermont State House of Representatives and the Vermont Senate. Bruce was remembered for his often behind-the-scene efforts, especially regarding his role in emergency services in Pownal including funding for the "Jaws of Life." Bill was honored for his 16 years of exemplary service as our representative.

Having served on Bill's campaign committee for the past eight elections, I would like to add a more personal thanks to Bill Botzow.

It is hard to believe that it was 17 years ago that I first met Bill Botzow when he came to our house because I was an active member of the Democratic party. We sat and chatted, got to know each other a little bit and discussed his possible run for state representative. And the rest is history!

His first campaign slogan, "He's Listening," was far more than a slogan, it was a key element of his philosophy of representation. All of us in Pownal know Bill because he has repeatedly stopped by ours homes simply to listen to our concerns. There were a number of times when I drove him from house to house mostly so that he could sit in the passenger seat and take notes on conversation he just had. He don't want to forget anyone's concerns. I know that later he would go through these notes and reflect on how best he could be of service.

His e-mail "Montpelier Notes" invited us to be engaged and informed citizens, making it easy for us to dive deeper into any legislation that interested us and inviting us to share our perspective with him prior to his vote. His votes were guided by his knowledge and his conversations with constituents, as well as his own moral and ethical standards. We may not have agreed with every vote, but we knew how he voted and why. Over the 16 years he served, there have been many legislative proposals that were controversial with passionate supporters and opponents. He never stopped listening attentively and respectfully to nor distanced himself from people who disagreed with him.

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He was there for all of us, whether he was considering legislation of historic and ultimately national significance such as the Civil Union Law and later Marriage Equality or legislation that would facilitate the legal sale of older untitled Vermont vehicles. Our concerns became his concerns. Even things that were not, but should have been concerns, such as regulation of insurance companies, he was there protecting us.

His legacy lives on. Each day we continue to benefit from his behind-the-scenes work on efforts such as intersection improvements of Route 7 with both Route 346 and North Pownal Road and the sewer system and water treatment plant, to name just a few examples.

Then there is his work on our personal behalf. I am sure there are many who have reached out to Bill directly regarding a personal concern. I know I have more than once. He was always available, knowledgeable in directing to me to the best person in Montpelier to deal with my concerns, willing to lend his personal support when that was appropriate and always following up afterwards to see if issues had been resolved.

So Bill, thank you for 16 years of exemplary service. Thank you also to his wife, Ruth, for so generously and graciously sharing him with us for these 16 years.

Rose-Marie Pelletier,

Pownal


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