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To The Editor:
Although being on the Waitsfield Select Board has been one of the most interesting and challenging things I've ever done, I will not be able to continue in the job and am not planning to run for re-election this year. I'd like to thank the people of Waitsfield for trusting me with this important job and for their continuing support over the last six years. I hope that I have lived up to your expectations. I've tried to bring an analytical perspective to the table and to be respectful of the taxpayers' realities both now and in the town's future.
I have been extremely lucky to have a group of hardworking and very smart citizens help stand up a budget task force which will continue to support the select board and the town administrator in the future. The tax rates have been more stable because of this work and our financial house is in pretty good shape. We're also taking a big step to move the town's fiscal year to one that will let us do a better job with collecting taxes and paying bills with a minimum of borrowing in the future. This will not be easy and will have initial costs, but this change will pay for itself in time.
The sidewalk is in, the water system is working and expanding, a town office is going to happen and we have a number of critical infrastructure projects to get done in the next few years. Working with the rest of the board and the town administrator, we've tried hard to make these happen in a fiscally responsible way. I'm confident all these projects can be paid for in the years to come with a limited impact on everyone, but it will mean some increases to the tax rate. The floods didn't help. Another important task ahead is to look at a revised town charter, which could have an important role in defining a more efficient administrative structure for the town.
Someone will need to step up and run to fill my seat. If I were to offer a job description it would ask that any potential candidate to be a good listener, to be balanced in their approach, to offer responsible leadership and to be clear in their thinking. Although it is very short notice, I hope that a candidate for the select board will step forward and get a petition in by the January 27 deadline. Thanks again.
Waitsfield Select Board 2007-2013
Budget Task Force