Do You Know Your Council Members?
Why do Montpelier’s taxes keep rising? Consider the main issues discussed at council meetings and who comprises the council: NetZero and energy sources, parking in regards to emissions and the impact of increasing numbers of vehicles downtown and in residential neighborhoods, enticing businesses, except when another lodging concern is suggested, also school budgets and public safety issues.
Now consider these issues and the appearance of conflicts of interest on this council. Definition of conflict of interest in the dictionary is “the circumstance of a public office holder whose personal interest might benefit from their official actions or influence.” The mayor is a financial lobbyist, one member is a city teacher, one works for a solar company, another married into a family that has influenced the business community for generations, another a former employee of the police department. The District 3 councilman has a contract with the city, which is coming up shortly for renewal. Why doesn’t the city consider contracting with Capstone? This councilman runs four vehicles adding to parking issues and emissions! He doesn’t even list his actual address on the city website. Where is the transparency in that? Then there is the one non-elected member with a salary of $104,000-plus a year. The city manager, who oversaw the faulty appraisal that cost the city thousands and was also part of the cover up of the large overpayment to a contractor.
You should be concerned whether you own or rent in this city. Their actions are reaching into your wallets. Do these people represent your values or your pocketbook in Montpelier? Watch the council meetings. Residents need to now start asking new people to run for council next March. Do you really know your council members?
William Carpenter, Montpelier
VTrans, DPW, Thank You for Fixing the Roads
I’m writing to express my thanks for a variety of recent improvements that benefit bicyclists in and around Montpelier. Significant pavement patching has been done to Northfield Street to reduce the number of holes and large cracks that were dangerous for bicyclists. Similar pavement patches have been applied to Barre Street between Sabin’s Pasture and Granite Street, greatly reducing the hazard to bicyclists on this curve in the road. Route 12 from Montpelier to Northfield now features many stretches of fresh pavement spanning the entire width of the road, including the shoulders. This work has transformed the experience of bicycling to Northfield. I no longer need to hold my breath for much of the distance, fearing all the broken pavement. My appreciation goes to VTrans, the Public Works Departments in Montpelier, Berlin, and Northfield, and all the individuals who played a role in facilitating these improvements. Finally, I thank the Vermont State Employees Credit Union for being responsive and replacing a poorly-designed bicycle rack at its main branch in downtown Montpelier with a well-designed one. All of the above improvements greatly enhance the experience of bicycling and are much appreciated.
Nancy Schulz, Montpelier
Loved The Breeze
What a fantastic first issue of The Breeze. I picked it up yesterday and have already read it cover to cover. I loved it!