Meet the candidates: Six Republicans vying for Senate10/23/08

Oct. 23, 2008

The Republican Party has fielded six candidates to run for Chittenden County’s six seats in the Vermont Senate. The Observer provided each candidate with a brief questionnaire, and responses appear below. Republican Dennis Bedard of South Burlington did not return his questionnaire by press deadline.

Fourteen candidates have come forth to vie for the Chittenden County Senate seats. In addition to the Republicans, the field includes six Democrats and two third party candidates. Their responses appeared in last week’s paper. Election Day is Nov. 4.

Darren Adams

Town of residence: Milton

Age: 33

Profession: Command post controller, Vermont Air National Guard

Number of years living in Chittenden County: 28 years

What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County? If elected, how will you address that issue? Affordability is clearly the biggest issue; everything is more expensive, from fuel to taxes, and people cannot keep up anymore. If elected I will do everything I can to bring new business and expand existing business to provide higher paying jobs to the area. Much of this can be done simply by reforming our current regulatory/permit process, which is currently a disaster to small, local businesses that want to expand or locate in the area.

No matter what your views are, Chittenden County must first be a safe and affordable place to raise a family! Montpelier needs a voice from people like you and me who live or are close to living paycheck to paycheck before it can change.

Agnes Clift

City of residence: South Burlington

Age: 53

Profession: Employed by Gardener’s Supply Company, part-time seasonal. B.S. in Horticulture from Purdue University.

Number of years living in Chittenden County: 30 years

What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County? If elected, how will you address that issue? Chittenden County will bear the brunt of Vermont’s budget shortfalls. Vermont relies heavily on revenues from Chittenden County. Expenses will be shifted to local communities.

I will help realign budget priorities and hold taxes down by bringing questions like these to Montpelier and demanding answers. Can we reduce spending on superfluous studies? CVU’s wood furnace project was exemplary, but cumulatively these expensive projects have placed Vermont under a tremendous debt; why not provide energy audits and cost-effective conservation projects for schools instead? Does recently expanded preschool funding consume money needed for K-12 programs? How much does Vermont funnel into private entities for non-essential services?

I will find ways to provide opportunities for Vermonters, especially our youth, by encouraging economic development with sensitivity for the environment.

Robyn Myers Moore

Town of residence: Essex Junction

Age: 40

Profession: Senior financial analyst at IBM

Number of years living in Chittenden County: 30 years

What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County? If elected, how will you address that issue? The most important issue facing Chittenden County is the extremely unfriendly business climate. We need businesses that offer jobs with good salaries and benefits. The legislature should be reviewing all policies that affect businesses to make sure those practices aren’t driving businesses away or discouraging people from starting new businesses in Chittenden County. The permitting process, the impact of a statewide property tax to fund education, road improvements such as the Circumferential Highway, etc. all need to be addressed to keep the business community in Chittenden County vital.

Diane B. Snelling

Town of residence: Hinesburg

Age: 56

Profession: Artist, creative consultant, state senator

Number of years living in Chittenden County: 55 years

What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County? If elected, how will you address that issue? Chittenden County and Vermont are facing severe economic uncertainty like the rest of the country. There aren’t any easy answers, but we must maintain necessary services. Citizens are already struggling and can’t afford more taxes.

If I am re-elected I will continue to work hard on behalf of all Vermonters by making difficult decisions that help protect the long-term health of the state. As a member of Senate Appropriations, I understand there are many competing needs for a limited amount of dollars and that every choice to cut programs affects many people. As your senator, I believe it’s my job to work collaboratively, and I’m proud of my record for focusing on issues, and for crafting non-partisan solutions.

Paula Spadaccini

Town of residence: Charlotte

Age: 67

Profession: Co-owner of Spadaccini Construction with my husband Jim, and I work part-time at the Shelburne Museum

Number of years living in Chittenden County: 36 years

What is the most important issue facing Chittenden County? If elected, how will you address that issue? There are many issues facing Chittenden County in the coming years: Managed growth, housing that everyone can afford, attracting clean and environmentally safe businesses and crime prevention.

At this time, crime prevention has to come to the top of my list. People who drive drunk should be incarcerated. No more then one warning and a fine. After that, severe punishment should be mandated. These people just keep on violating the law and possibly injuring innocent people. The law should change throughout the state of Vermont, making drunk driving a criminal offense and jail time a must. Police must have the ability and resources to keep our streets and roadw