For my entire adult life I have been a forward-looking, innovative thinker, always looking for ways to improve life for the people in my community.
Here are several examples, and links to statements from your neighbors who worked with me:
In the 70’s I was:
- on the crew that took the first truck to Amherst to pick up bulk food to be distributed as the Brattleboro Food Coop.
- a founder and first leaseholder of the Earth Bridge Land Trust, which has enabled young families to start three farms in Putney and Westminster West, another in Brattleboro, the Bonnyvale Environmental Center, and several individual homesteads in the area.
As an Educator:
- I ran the first standards-based alternative graduation program when I worked at Colchester High School.
- I developed applied learning curricula in the groundbreaking school-to-career program, Linking Learning to Life, at Burlington High School.
As a school board member:
- I was the first school board member to join the local Farm-to-School committee and advocate for funding the coordinators position so the program could grow to include schools across the county.
- I served on the Diversity Committee for three years during the transition from Diversity Day celebrations to Diversity Programs in the daily life of the schools.
- I advocated for the successful development of a new solar array to provide clean energy to Brattleboro town schools, which is saving the community thousands of dollars each year.
- I successfully lobbied the Public Service Board to award the Modern Wood Heating Project to a group of local energy experts rather that to an out-of-state firm. The first project this program supported was the new pellet boiler at Academy School. (I will add a list of other projects being built across the county; link to video/picture)
- I successfully advocated to extend free breakfast to all students in the Brattleboro elementary schools.
As a Select Board member:
- I encouraged Senator Galbraith to change the net-metering law to enable towns to go in together on solar projects, then worked on the Windham Solid Waste Management District Board to develop and award the contract to build a 5+ MW solar array on our county landfill. This project, expected to go online next July, will bring in over $100,000 in lease revenue each year to the Waste District, and provide lower cost electricity to all the towns in Windham County.
- I successfully advocated for having contractors working on the new Brattleboro Police/Fire facilities give preference to local applicants when hiring new employees for these projects.
- I offered suggestions for financing and design savings on the Police/Fire project that resulted in significant lowering of the overall costs.
- I have served on the Small Business Assistance Program committee and encouraged small businesses and start-ups to take advantage of the low-interest loans offered by the Town.
- I have worked to maintain stability in the school and town budgets, and successfully advocated for developing a program-based budget for the Town.
- I offered options and supported the search to find a site for the Brattleboro Skate Park.
- I supported the ongoing reduced tax rate for area farms and argued successfully to retain a small loan fund for farms in transition.
- I have continually searched budget proposals for savings, and have supported the work of the Town Energy Committee to reduce our energy spending, with great success.
- I have worked to create and expand the composting program and streamline the recycling process at the Waste District, and make the assessment system reflect actual costs for towns.
As Manager, Board Member, and President of the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market:
- I established a marketing campaign to create and distribute a new poster every month across the county.
- I developed a manager’s calendar spreadsheet to systematize the various functions of the board and manager throughout the year.
- I implemented (with a lot of help) the food stamp and debit card machine to make fresh local produce available to food stamp recipients.
- I implemented an advertising campaign featuring our farmers on local radio stations.
- I worked with the Food and Waste committee to find recyclable options for packaging and plastics, which has grown to the point where the market generates no trash and all our waste is recycled.