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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘Respectful dialogue’

To The Editor:

I was very impressed with the January 23 issue of The Valley Reporter, so much so that I read it twice!

We are so fortunate to have such a wide range of well-researched and respectful dialogue going on at present in this community. Even though we may not all agree on someone's specific points, we should be open to considering them and your paper makes this possible.

From both of the Parkers to Dr. Ben Smith and especially to Ms. Frankel and Ms. Spear, these highly dedicated and intelligent women who help run our schools, the coverage was stellar. I trust everyone who truly cares about the direction our schools, taxes and government mandates are headed reads these articles before coming to a Town Meeting and "beating up" on our hard-working and frustrated board members.

One of my take-aways was the 68 percent of our taxes that are already usurped by Montpelier and the feds, and we the people get to grapple for a measly 32 percent or so – the education/future of our children suffering in the end. Curing this inequity will require a major effort on all of our parts, not just on Town Meeting Day.

In the words of Rebecca Thompson, we all need to get our educational priorities straight. Going slightly off tangent – one less B-35 "boondoggle bomber" in the fleet – $300 million – would cure the state's educational woes for years. Think about it!

I look forward to seeing my neighbors on Town Meeting Day. Take a personal day or just show up for a few hours – not many people in this country have this option like we do in Vermont – and engage your neighbors in respectful dialogue as we face these and other challenges as a caring community.

Thanks for listening and enjoy the baked beans!

John Lynch


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