State Rep Meetups for Constituents

I plan to hold regular constituent meetings during the legislative session as well as several before the end of the year.  While electronic communications are an efficient means of communication, I believe that face to face contact has great value as well.  Therefore, I hope to provide regular, periodic opportunities for residents of the district to meet with me during the legislative session.

The meetups will take place at the Charlotte Town Office on Ferry Road.  The first meetup will be on Monday, November 22, from 8 - 9 AM and again from 5 - 6 PM.  The next meetup will be at the same place and times on Monday, December 13. 

These and future meetups will also be posted on my calendar in the right side column of this website.  The constituent meetup schedule during the legislative session has not been determined yet, but will be published by the time the session starts in January.  Thanks for reading.

The Work Has Begun

While the new legislative session doesn’t start until January 4th in Montpelier, the work has already started for newly elected legislators.  Invitations from various organizations start coming almost as soon as the election is over, both by snail mail and by email.  Everyone wants your ear.  With limited time and the inevitable conflicts in scheduling, I have had to pick and choose the meetings and conferences I could attend.  I’d like to give you a brief summary of some I’ve attended and my impressions.

High on the list was the CCS budget development meeting on November 11th.  The purpose of this session was to look at the discretionary items in the budget in light of the 2% challenge to spending issued by the Vermont Department of Education.  This challenge translates to about $186,000 for CCS.  The question is: what cuts can be made to get to that number without severely impacting the programs and services for the students?  Several people voiced frustration that the arbitrary 2%, the Challenges for Change target, does not take into consideration the cuts in last year’s budget or the desires of the community for the kind of education we want for our children.  Some suggested that the budget be developed as usual, trying to be as cost-conscious as possible and ignore the 2% guideline.  Many other suggestions were made regarding programs, services, and salaries and benefits.  I plan to keep aware of school budget development and exchange information with my legislative colleagues so that we can make better informed decisions affecting education.

The evening before the budget meeting, I attended the “Keeping Vermont Children Safe” forum in Colchester.  The focus of this event was to support adoption of “Aaron’s Law”, a Child Access Prevention law, in the next legislative session.  Aaron Xue was a high school student in Essex Junction who took his life last year using a firearm that was supplied by a fellow student who brought it from home.  The law seeks to require safe storage of firearms in the home whenever children can potentially access them.  Studies have shown that safe gun storage laws can reduce the number of children killed by unintentional shootings by up to 50%.  Moreover, guns are the most deadly and irreversible means for suicide victims of all ages.   These and more facts can be found at, in particular the link under Resources for “Ten Facts about Gun Safety in Children.”  I intend to sign on as co-sponsor of this bill when the session gets under way.  

I have also attended several other meetings and forums and will be attending a three-day new legislator orientation session this week.  The work has begun.

This article was published in the November 18, 2010, issue of The Charlotte News.

Thank You, Charlotters!

Thank you for visiting my website.

I want to thank all those who exercised their civic responsibility by voting in this election, especially those who entrusted me with their confidence.  I also want to thank Ed Stone and Robin Reid for their hard work and willingness to serve the citizens of our district.  A special thank you goes to all those who supported my campaign.  I will work hard in Montpelier to justify your confidence in me.  I hope that every citizen of District 1-2, Charlotte-Hinesburg, will not hesitate to contact me at any time with their concerns or opinions, either by phone (425-3960) or via email.  If you see me anywhere, please make it a point to say hello and introduce yourself.  I look forward to the challenge of the next two years and to the progress we hope to achieve.