Letters to the Editor

Feb. 3, 2011


Town Meeting Day is Tuesday, March 1. Please note the Observer will not run any Letters to the Editor pertaining to the elections on Feb. 24, the edition prior to Town Meeting.

All Letters to the Editor written in regards to Town Meeting MUST be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, and will appear in the Observer on Feb. 17.

Please be aware that normal guidelines will apply, including a 300-word limit for all letters.

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Plowing and snow storage

This has been a winter that most of us would say is more like a typical Vermont winter. Maybe that is why there appears to be more of a problem with plowing and storage of snow from private property onto town right-of-way or property.

It is against both a town ordinance and state statutes to plow across a town highway. There are fines that can be assessed if you are caught doing this. There are a number of reasons against the practice of plowing across or storing snow in the town right-of-way. First of all, if we have already plowed a road and then a private individual or contractor moves snow out into a road and does not remove it correctly, this can cause problems to the traveling public. Secondly, the town trucks need the area and space in our right-of-ways to store the snow that comes off the street. If an excessive amount of snow is pushed into a big pile and freezes it could cause an accident or damage to the town’s plow trucks.

The other issue that is causing us problems is cars being left parked on roads overnight. This is also covered by a town ordinance. There is no parking on town roads from Dec. 1 to April 1. Parked cars really do add to the time that it takes to plow the roads. It also makes the job much more difficult for the drivers in the course of their plow routes. We have asked the Williston Police to help us with these issues but what we really need is the help of all the people involved with these practices to stop and find a different way of dealing with their own snow.

Bruce Hoar, director, Williston Public Works, Department

Unhealthy competition

As if Americans weren’t obese enough, we have now added another unhealthy contest: the 5-pound calzone pig out (“Calzone challenge debuts at Ramunto’s,” Jan. 27).

Why not encourage healthy eating habits, rather than the overconsumption of fats, oils and starches as something to be aspired to?

Looking at the pictures of those who have both succeeded and failed to gorge themselves within the time allotted, it was obvious that there is quite a bit of girth in some of the contestants.

We are free to eat what we want, but the health consequences of such poor choices are evident in the increasing rate of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, and that affects the cost of health care for everybody, and that is skyrocketing.

Julie Bonanno, Williston

Support Ingram for Selectboard

I want to encourage all Williston residents to vote for Debbie Ingram for the Williston Selectboard.

Through Debbie’s service on the Williston Planning Commission over the past five years, she has proven that she is reasonable, fair-minded and an effective and tireless advocate for our community. She’ll fight to protect Williston’s rural character and quality of life while balancing the need for economic growth and development as Williston evolves. She understands the pains of growth, but also the importance of protecting property owners’ rights and the burden of high property taxes on our residents. As the executive director of a local nonprofit, a recent graduate of the Snelling Leadership Institute and the chairwoman of the Board for the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ (not to mention being a Stanford graduate and an ordained minister), Debbie will bring her extraordinary intelligence, experience and leadership skills to our Selectboard.

She’s also one of the most pleasant, honest and thought-provoking people I’ve had the pleasure to work with in many years of professional and community service. Williston has a wonderful opportunity to capture and harness the rare skills of this extraordinary member of our community for the long-term benefit of our town.

Act now! Elect Debbie Ingram to the Williston Selectboard!

David Yandell, Williston

A vote for Ingram

Please vote for Debbie Ingram for Selectboard this March. She is a proven, bright, young civic force for Williston.

Debbie has served on our Planning commission for five years, balancing the need for economic growth with our desire to protect Williston’s rural character. She helped implement our growth center at Taft Corners. She supports keeping housing costs affordable while supporting energy efficiency in our housing stock as well as town properties. In addition to Debbie’s Williston service, she has served on the Champlain Initiative Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee for Social Equity Investment, to name a few.

Additionally, Debbie is a 2010 graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute produced by the Snelling Center for Government. As a 2004 graduate of VLI, I can guarantee it will have honed Debbie’s skills and will be a huge “value added” ingredient to her continued service to Williston. I’m voting for Debbie Ingram, for sure!

State Rep. Jim McCullough, D-Williston

What happens without Vermont Yankee?

For those who would shut down Vermont Yankee, I have just one question: What’s your plan?

If Vermont Yankee closes in 13 months, a third of Vermont’s electricity will vanish. How will you replace it?

I am disappointed but not really surprised that our new governor is just realizing Vermont has no energy plan. It took IBM telling the Legislature it must have reliable, affordable electricity, or else, to get his attention. As a replacement for Vermont Yankee’s huge chunk of megawatts, efficiency and renewable are a false hope, its handful of megawatts the equivalent of replacing your wood stove with birthday candles. There’s no other shovel-ready source of plentiful instate power. That leaves Vermont relying on a hodgepodge of southern New England nuclear, gas, oil and coal-fired power plants.

So I ask again — what’s your plan? Will it be the low, steady cost, hundreds of jobs, millions in state income and clean air of Vermont Yankee? Or the immediate mass exodus of jobs and money, perhaps followed by the likes of IBM, and the huge increase in air pollution? The waterfall of March 2012 is getting louder the more we drift downstream.

As a self-employed engineer and inventor, I know success requires a realistic, fact-based plan. Mine is simple: Address decommissioning, tritium oversight, etc., but keep the low rates, good jobs and money flowing from Vermont Yankee. What’s yours?

Brian Gagne, Williston