Scoggins, Corey seek Select Board seat
Corey ran against Joe Barber for a seat on the board last year, but was defeated 449 to 269. Scoggins last ran in 2016, and was unopposed.
Corey was born in Bennington and moved to Shaftsbury when he was five. He has built and maintains property throughout the area, and works alongside his son, Keith, and was chairman of the town's planning commission for 15 years. His wife, Margaret, is an excellent cake baker, he said, and the couple give away hundreds of cakes a year.
Scoggins, who was born in Oklahoma and spent most of his life in Texas, moved to Shaftsbury in 2010 and immediately immersed himself in the affairs of the town. Prior to moving to Vermont, he worked for 25 years doing research in underwater acoustics for the Navy. "I attended nearly every school board meeting from 2010 to 2016," he said. "I volunteered in the after school program and organized volunteers to paint the exterior of the school building. I led the effort to lower the speed limit on 7A in the village. I was a member of the committee that organized the town's 250th anniversary celebration."
Scoggins was appointed to the Select Board in Sept. 2013 to the seat vacated by then-Chairman Craig Bruder. He was elected chairman the following March. He credits his background with giving him the skills to serve on the board. "Before retiring and moving to Shaftsbury I was an engineering project manager where I learned how to run meetings, and manage schedules and budgets," he said.
Corey said that his primary goal in running is to make the townspeople aware about the location of the new town garage on North Road. He has campaigned against the site for years, arguing that land adjacent to the current garage would be a better site. He has also called on the Select Board to delay construction on the garage until the site's well, which has not yet been dug, has been tested for PFOA. He said the most pressing issue facing the town in making sure people know that the new garage will be located at the site on North Road.
In March of 2016 the voters of Shaftsbury voted 633-425 to approve the garage site on North Road, and voted to fund the project last year. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring.
Scoggins said that his primary goal remains the same as when he was elected: to make sure Shaftsbury town government provides needed services as efficiently as possible. "I am proud of what we have achieved," he said. "While keeping expenses and taxes nearly flat, we have still manged to: More than double capital improvements for roads; Make major improvements to parks, including resurfacing the tennis courts and drilling a well to provide drinking water; Establish an equipment reserve fund so that future highway equipment is purchased with savings and not debt; Provide for an external audit of town finances every year; and Improve communications with a new phone system and a new website. This next year will also see the construction of a Public Works garage, a goal of the town's Select Boards for nine years."
"A lot of people in Shaftsbury, and all of southern Vermont, struggle mightily just to make ends meet," said Scoggins. "Our economy needs to improve. This was made painfully clear in the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone (SVEDZ) report issued in late 2015. We need to attract people and businesses to the area. The way to attract is to be more attractive. In Shaftsbury we are doing this with better roads, better parks, rewriting our zoning bylaws, and redesigning our website. I am deeply involved in regional efforts to improve the economy of Southern Vermont: I support the Putnam Block development; I am a member of the Regional Economic Development (RED) Group that is joining with Windham County to create a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), opening the door to federal funding; I am serving on Windham County's already existing CEDS committee, building relationships and gaining expertise leading to a two-county CEDS; I support Gov. Scott's VOREC (Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative) and I am a member of the Bennington county group formed to support the effort; and I have personally undertaken uploading Bennington area hiking trails into the State's TrailFinder.com online system. The economy is the big issue and I have made sure Shaftsbury is part of the solution."
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Shaftsbury Fire Station next Tuesday, March 6.
Derek Carson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @DerekCarsonBB on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 122.
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