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To The Editor:
As election-campaign season begins again, I'd like to point out to my fellow Valley (and Vermont) residents how fortunate we've been in the long line of public-spirited citizens who have served and are now serving as our elected officials.
From the time my husband, Al, and I came to live here in 1964 (when Arthur Williams was our Fayston legislator) to the present, we have been extremely well represented by those we've elected to both local and statewide posts.
One thing that's clear at all levels – local, state and federal – is that it's an advantage to us to have long-serving representatives. They've learned how the system works, and they advance to strong leadership positions. Think of our tiny state's Senators Aiken (chairman of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee) and Leahy (now chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee) and Governor Howard Dean (chairman of the National Governors Association).
At the moment we are equally fortunate to be represented by Maxine Grad, who during her seven terms in the Legislature has risen to vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, in line for a more advanced position if she returns. Recently in this paper, I was disturbed to see her dedicated work on the public safety issue of handheld cellphones dismissed as demonstrating a "leadership void." Anyone who follows our legislators' reports on their activities in the House will know that in addition to the cellphone bill, Maxine has been vocal in opposing the school district consolidation bill because it would not have helped at all with the massive problems in education funding that have affected our own property taxes so horrifically. She has voted to repeal Act 68 (the present burdensome education funding plan), a great start toward affordability of living in The Valley towns. And through her committee work she has been able to address issues causing the noticeable rise in crime which has so changed our lives here, in what used to be our "sleepy little towns."
We owe a huge vote of thanks now, before we become embroiled in the next election, to our present representatives, who may have finished their daily trips to Montpelier but will continue to work on our behalf throughout the summer and fall.