Four candidates vying for positions on the Warren Cemetery Commission participated in a candidate's forum Tuesday evening; two said they were running because they were unhappy with the current commission.
John Goss and Marilyn Miller are both running for a five-year term,
Cindi Hartshorn-Jones is running for a four- or five-year term, and Rudy
Elliott is running a two- or five-year term.
Marilyn Miller said her biggest priority in running is to prevent anyone else from going through the problems she went through last year, when her mother was buried in the wrong spot in the town cemetery.
When she took her concerns to the commission at a regular meeting, Miller said she was met with "smart remarks. I was sworn at; it was horrible the way I was treated."
Cemetery Commissioner John Goss said he saw an opening and decided to throw his hat in the ring.
"I heard there was an opening. They are all great people, and so I decided to give it a shot and help on the cemetery commission," he continued.
Candidate for a two- or five-year term Rudy Elliott said he was fed up with the dirty politics on the cemetery commission. "Like Marilyn said, there is a lot of verbal abuse and a lot of shaping up that needs to be done. I've lived here a number of years and seen it all. I can contribute to make it much better," he said.
Current Cemetery Commission member Cindi Hartshorn-Jones said she is fulfilling the continuation of a five-year term.
"The cemetery has been a major focus. I have a lot of relatives buried there. As a commission, we have a lot of great projects including critical repairs on broken stones, partial restoration and leveling of all the stones and cleaning," she said.
Jones said there has been "great progress" on the commission since she was appointed.
Warren resident Sue Carter called attention to what she called a "major issue" with the cemetery commission after a staff was stolen from a family member's grave. Carter said she contacted the town to order the replacement in April and that the staff wasn't actually ordered until November.
Three select board members are running for re-election unopposed this year: Anson Montgomery is running for a three-year term, Kirsten Reilly is running for her third two-year term and Bob Ackland is running to fill the remaining two years of a three-year term.
Ackland said he thought it was "obligatory to continue running and continue to do what I set out to do." In addition he said he brings management experience to the board and has "enjoyed the learning experience."
Reilly said that she "loves the town of Warren and I really like the people on the board right now." Reilly also said she wanted to see the Safe Routes to School grant process come into fruition.
Montgomery was elected last year for a one-year term and said he wanted to continue on the board to "help the town as best I can" to deal with daily challenges with operations and capital improvement projects.
Warren Department of Public Works director Barry Simpson told the candidates he would like to see the town integrate technology into the select board presentations. Montgomery said that a projector would be an easy and cheap way to improve the quality of presentations.
Second Constable Jeff Campbell is seeking re-election this year and said that his priority was to try hard to build relationships to "ensure people's safety in the town and in The Valley."
With stiffer requirements for constable training expected in July 2012, Campbell said he and First Constable Gene Bifano will have to complete a one-week class at the Vermont Police Academy as well as complete 11 other classes and a minimum of 60 hours of field training.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at the Warren School.