Letters to the Editor

Time for new representation

Mal Boright’s column on Sen. Sanders in last week’s Observer should have been entitled “Vermonter at a Loss.” Boright endorsed Sanders’ political views that history and basic economics have proven to be misleading, and worse, a danger to our state and country.

The nation’s middle class was larger before Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and Johnson’s “Great Society,” which increased taxes, tightened government control over people’s lives and created the potential and reality of public debt. Those programs were enacted to increase wealth but served only to redistribute wealth created by the private marketplace. Since Mr. Obama has been president, the assault on the middle class has intensified. The size of government increases, jobs get sent overseas, taxes go up, young families live paycheck to paycheck and the elderly fear their fixed incomes are not enough even for their minimal needs. Sen. Sanders’ answer, and apparently Mr. Boright’s, is the medicine that made us sick—higher taxes, government control over the most personal aspects of our lives and the usual diversionary raging against the “rich” and the “right wing.”

Our state government labors under similar misunderstandings. Now is the time for new representation in Montpelier. Nothing will improve if the people who ascribe to this defeatist approach are reelected. We need new legislators. This November, Williston can elect Jay Michaud and Tom Nelson to the state legislature. Let’s help the middle class.

Bret P. Powell, Williston


In response to the article on Lake Iroquois 

Regarding the article written by Stephanie Choate in the Aug. 2 issue, “Neighborly Encouragement Could Improve Lake Iroquois,” it is hard to believe that the journalist and I were at the same meeting. The headline is based on a casual comment made at the end of the meeting.

Lake Iroquois Association has petitioned the Directors of Planning and Zoning in Williston and Hinesburg to begin the process of developing an overlay district for the lake which incorporates both towns and provides leverage to encourage best practices in preserving the lake in the cases of any new development. A template provided by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns has been made available for use by Vermont towns and lake associations. Overlay districts are common in towns that contain bodies of water. Lake Iroquois is unique only in that it borders four towns. The meeting was called to begin the process of working on an overlay district.

“Neighborly encouragement” has been alive and well since the inception of the Lake Iroquois Association (LIA): Quarterly newsletters, a Lake Shore Home Owners Manual and numerous other conversations and initiatives, both by individual members and the LIA, have characterized our work. To dismiss the overlay district issue as “go talk among yourselves” is condescending and an abdication of the responsibilities of the municipal planning offices.

The practice of being able to have the freedom to develop one’s own land has long standing roots in Vermont and should be respected whenever possible. What makes lake front property different is that an individual decision by a homeowner could well impact everyone on the lake. Regulation should be as limited as possible, but definitely be “on the table.” We only get one shot at keeping the lake viable. The four town planners should continue defining the right regulations for the lake, and for improving water quality in this important community resource.

Bob Pasco, Williston