May 23, 2019

Letters to the Editor

Endorsing Cranmer for Selectboard

I’m writing to enthusiastically endorse David Cranmer in his bid for the Williston Selectboard on March 7. I’ve known and worked closely with David for many years in his role with the Vermont state cancer coalition and as the co-founder and president of the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network. Before that, David worked in communications with public access TV and was a human resources professional. I want Williston residents to know that David is thoughtful, fair and even-handed in how he approaches issues and comes to the table with no particular agenda.

He is very effective with people and is especially good when there are conflicting priorities at play. David also has a long-standing commitment to serving his community, both in town committees as well as nonprofit agencies. Although relatively new to Williston, he is not new to Chittenden County, nor the issues Williston struggles with as we face growth pressures, environmental and regulatory challenges and budget constraints for towns as well as families. Please join me in supporting David Cranmer on March 7. If elected, he will continue Williston’s great tradition of fair, thoughtful people on our Selectboard. I am confident he will serve our community well.

Dave Yandell,

Amazon tax is misguided

Regarding the announcement that Amazon has begun collecting sales tax (7 percent for Williston deliveries), it brings to light again the misunderstanding of the retail market.

Online retailers like Amazon are not the same as retailers with a local, physical presence (aka brick and mortar). Online retailers have very little impact on our public services (water, energy, sewer, police, fire, rescue, etc.). If you’re a regular reader of this paper’s Police Notes ,you will know what I mean.

Of course with most things, there are exceptions. Even though far less than 1 percent of products sold on Amazon are sourced in Vermont, I do believe they are the exception to my point and should be taxed since their maker has a physical presence here.

Lastly, you can make an argument that online retailers are better for the environment that we try so hard to protect. The added carbon emissions from retailer workers, deliveries, shoppers and public service workers far outweigh the emissions from local deliveries via UPS.

So I don’t buy the “equal playing field” argument since they are not the same. It’s just another instrument implemented by our elected representatives to accumulate more tax revenue and make it a little more expensive for all Vermonters to live here. At a minimum, why not consider lowering the sales tax rate for online retailers to something like 1 percent (2 percent if you live in Williston?)

Andy Freeman,

Endorsing Fehrs for Selectboard return

As 24-year residents of Williston, who love this town as much as he does, we are excited that Jeff Fehrs has chosen to run for another term on the Williston Selectboard. Jeff has served our town well over the years that he has held a seat on our town’s board. If Jeff is re-elected to the Selectboard, there is no doubt that he will continue to bring his thoughtful, deliberative and questioning mind to every meeting that he attends and to every question put before the board.

We have known Jeff since our kids went to preschool together and know that he is a devoted husband and father, an avid bicyclist, outdoor enthusiast and all-around fun-loving guy. But, all of that doesn’t matter when he is doing his work for our town. When it comes to the matters that affect our neighborhoods, our schools, our open spaces, our taxes and our overall quality of life, Jeff puts his other interests and passions aside, and, with a laser-sharp focused mind, he investigates, discovers, comprehends and addresses detailed issues that will affect us all, with a level of understanding and insight that makes him an invaluable asset to our town’s elected decision-makers.

Perhaps it’s all of his healthy living habits that help him have such a clear mind while dealing with such complex issues or all of that bicycling; but, whatever it is, we are glad that he is willing to continue to bring that clear mind back into public service on behalf of the Town of Williston, year after year.

As the election for Selectboard grows near, we encourage all of your readers to educate themselves on the issues, know of all of the candidates running for various offices and to join us in re-electing Jeff Fehrs for the Williston Selectboard.

Jackie and John Mangione,

Supporting Fehrs for Selectboard

I am voting for Jeff Fehrs for Selectboard and urge my fellow Willistonians to do the same

Jeff has been looking out for Williston’s best interests for quite a few years and since he’s willing to continue, I am delighted to endorse him. Jeff is a civic-minded, bright guy with an open mind. He gets things done, but not before making sure they’re the right choice for Williston.

Marcy Kass,

Zittritsch and Bru for Selectboard and change in Williston

I am urging all who care about good government in Williston to support Terri Zittritsch and Orlando Bru for Selectboard. They are knowledgeable about town issues, prepared and ready to take on the challenge of governing.

I know Terri and Orlando will ask difficult questions and make the difficult decisions to effect change in Williston. They will hold staff accountable and will insist on honesty and require that staff share all relevant information with them and the public.

If you watched the Channel 17 candidate forums, you know Terri’s opponent admitted Terri had done her homework and was much better prepared than he was. Orlando had to remind his opponent (currently a Selectboard member) what he, the incumbent, had promised to do the last time he had run. Orlando’s opponent admitted he didn’t know what to do about affordable housing despite having worked on the issue for years – Orlando has expertise in affordable housing and, on the spot, proposed solutions.

Currently, the Selectboard is composed of representatives who are complacent, do not ask difficult questions of the staff and get upset with residents when residents ask questions about how decisions are being made and who is making them. The current Selectboard is clearly more concerned about how the staff feels about things than about us, the residents of Williston.

We need change in Williston and we need to elect Terri Zittritsch and Orlando Bru because they are honest, forthright and ready to work hard for all of Williston.

Sandy Miller,

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