No contested races; some positions vacant
By Stephanie Choate
January 30th, 2014
March elections should be pretty quiet in Williston, with most incumbents running for reelection to local boards and no contested races on the ballot.
Town Clerk Deb Beckett—herself running unopposed for another three years as clerk and town treasurer—said uncontested races have become common. Several years ago, there was more excitement, and even a little intrigue.
“Selectboard races used to always have good healthy competition,” Beckett wrote in an email to the Observer. “We used to have people waiting right up to the last possible second to file their petitions depending on who was running for what term length. We even had instances of people taking petitions out for both term lengths and would wait to see who else was filing for the petitions before submitting one.”
Monday was the filing deadline for local candidates. Voters will see new names on the ballot for library trustee positions. Kristin Caterer and Karla Karstens are running for five-year terms, both unopposed.
No petitions were filed for a three-year lister position and the one-year town constable spot. Anyone interested in those positions can run as a write-in candidate. A minimum of 30 votes is required.
INCUMBENTS RUNNING FOR SELECTBOARD
Christopher Roy and Debbie Ingram are each running for another term on the Williston Selectboard.
Ingram, who has been on the board since 2010, is the director of non-profit Vermont Interfaith Action.
“I feel like there’s more work to do,” said Ingram, who is running for a three-year term.
One goal going forward, she said, is to promote affordable housing. She has been working with Williston’s Affordable Housing Task Force, which is set to present a report to the Selectboard next month.
“I really want to follow that through and see what we can do for more housing options,” she said. “I’m also really interested in continuing to follow some of the alternatives to the Circ Highway and a lot of the transportation upgrades that we’re making.”
Roy, an attorney with Burlington firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, has been on the board since 2008 and is running for a two-year term.
“I think there are some big issues that we will be dealing with over the next two years that I have a particular interest in,” he said.
Roy said he wants to see the new public works facility project through, continue to work at keeping Williston’s budget sustainable and help sort out looming stormwater system upgrades required by the state.
“That’s going to be a complicated important issue over the next couple years as we figure that out,” he said.
FAMILIAR NAMES ON SCHOOL BOARD BALLOT
Area school boards will also likely look the same next year.
Williston School Board members Giovanna Boggero and Joshua Diamond are running for reelection.
Boggero, who has been on the board since 2011, is running for a two-year term.
“I really like the value of the position in terms of supporting the community in general, both the students and the taxpayers,” she said. “I really believe as a parent it’s really important for me to be fully aware of our school system, and I think it allows me a perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Moving forward, Boggero said she hopes to focus on “ensuring that our kids have the best education possible at the best price that our community can afford.”
Diamond, who has also been on the board since 2011, is running for a three-year term.
“I’m proud of my record in working with the administration and the community in maintaining a quality educational program for our kids in Williston while being respectful to the taxpayers,” Diamond said. “I think we’ve been an effective board and I’d like to continue the good work we’ve been doing.”
Diamond said his main goal for his next term would be to maintain quality programs for students while keeping “a watchful eye on the costs and budget growth so that the taxpayers know that they’re getting a good value for the product that they fund.”
Champlain Valley Union High School Board Chairman David Rath plans to run for another three-year term. He has been on the board for six years.
“There are things that the CVU board needs to do that are on our plate at the moment in which I want to be involved,” he said. “We’re going to be appointing a permanent principal. Whether that is an applicant from outside of CVU or an internal candidate doesn’t matter. The board will need to work with that person to ensure that we continue our progress forward.”
He also mentioned facilitating a smooth transition to Common Core standards, as well as changes to the science programs and assessments.
“Another goal is we’ve got to do something about our outdoor athletic facilities,” he said. “It would be nice if we could have our athletic facilities become the equal of our academic and drama and music facilities… and at the very least get rid of the mud.”
Voters will head to the polls on March 4.