Home News and Features TMD Dona Bate: Map to the Future

TMD Dona Bate: Map to the Future

Dona Bate. Courtesy photo
Dona Bate is running uncontested for District 1 City Council and for a seat on the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority Board.

I love maps, they help me enjoy communities, parks, public art, historical sites, and museums wherever I travel. Organizational charts and systems are like maps, they reveal the relationship and connection of people and activities. It’s these types of connections that inspire and motivate me to serve on City Council where city staff, committees, boards, commissions, and residents come together to share vision and resources. In working together to keep our community vibrant and responsive, and to make it more inclusive, we need to seek opportunities to learn and change. I look forward to future community workshops that increase awareness and understanding of biases within ourselves and our institutions.

I’ll continue to work toward more customer-oriented transit services, more diversified housing, and more parks throughout the city. To provide resources, like a clinical social worker, to support our police, fire, and public works in their commitment to fair and impartial treatment for all residents and visitors. I support new initiatives: the micro-transit pilot project, assistance to those who are homeless, and improvements to pedestrian and cyclist safety.

The significance of connections and sustainability came together when we examined the expensive infrastructure needs, like the wastewater treatment plan. Instead of just replacing equipment, the Council decided to fully upgrade and turn wastewater into energy we can use and sell. This provides new revenues, makes operations safer, reduces pollution, and advances the net zero goal. Similarly, early action to reduce the impact of the emerald ash borer and plant replacement trees now saves money and reduces stormwater. As does creating a plan to mitigate the impact of climate change on our lives and to financial and human resources from damages from floods, broken water mains, and potholes.

Commonality binds us together and differences enhance and expand our resources as a city and as a region. This is why I have worked on regional public safety services since 2006. Public safety should not have town boundaries. The nearest fire, ambulance, or police should be available to all Central Vermont residents. The CVPSA has developed several business models for centralized dispatching, which is the first step toward a more coordinated, effective use of first responders and their equipment, and critical faster response time.

How old is your cell phone or computer? Many components of our region’s public safety telecommunication system are over 25 years old, have been patched several times, and have many blank spots. The Telecommunication Needs Assessment will inventory and identify problems in 23 towns and design a modern, more dependable telecommunication system (radio, phones, towers, fiber, and cellular). I agree with Michael Schirling, the new Vermont Public Safety Commissioner, we must modernize public safety telecommunications and have regionalized dispatch centers.

I’m grateful for the years I’ve served as District 1 Councilor and CVPSA Board Director and seek your support to continue making connections that improve safety, services, and sustainability.