Incumbent Rep. Peter Anthony, D-Barre City
Michael Deering II, R-Barre CityMichael Deering, a member of the Barre City Council, is a father of four with experience in restaurant management, food service work, and cleaning (work he deems “everyday blue collar jobs to scrape by”). He is currently a student who just graduated from CCV with a degree in behavioral science. He is planning to attend UVM in the fall to get a degree in social work with the intention of becoming a trauma therapist. He also coaches football and flag football with the Barre Youth Sports Association. He got his first advocacy experience by being on the board of the Head Start Policy Council, where he learned how to advocate for his child and to teach parents how to advocate for their children. Proposition 5: Regarding Proposition 5, which will be a ballot item on August 9, Deering said he “kind of” agrees with it, but there are complications because a pregnancy involves the rights of more than one person. Two people create a child, he said, and therefore while a woman has a right to her body, it gets “gray” when half of the child belongs to another individual. So when it comes to whether or not he will support Proposition 5, Deering said he will fully support what his constituents decide. “It is about supporting the voters of Barre and not what I feel. I need to support the needs of the voters and make sure the residents and constituents of Barre are heard.” Gun Laws: The bottom line for Deering is that more laws are not going to curtail people who would break the law anyway. So he does not support more gun laws. “As a carrying firearm owner, I feel it is important to allow people to carry firearms, but it has to be done safely and effectively.” Creating more laws that are going to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves, if that is their choice. Housing: “I live in public housing,” Deering told The Bridge, adding that it is what is allowing him to help give himself a “hand up” so he does not need to have his “hand out.” How to deal with the housing crisis is a difficult question. Deering is working with Barre City Council to try to figure it out, but there is only so much the government can do. The government has to try to work with housing organizations to help not only those living below the poverty level, but also those above the poverty level who are living paycheck to paycheck. As far as using Act 250 changes to fix the housing situation, Deering said he does not believe it should be changed drastically. “This is not a problem we are not going to fix overnight or the next 12 months, but it has to be a longer-term sustainable solution,” Deering said.
Jonathan Williams, D-Barre CityJonathan Williams told The Bridge he lives in Barre City with his wife, Rebecca (Becky) Wigg, and their two dogs. Williams has worked as a town administrator for several towns and has also served as chair of the planning commission for Marshfield. The couple moved to Barre several years ago when Williams started work as a senior grants and contracts manager for the Vermont Foodbank. He is running because he believes the state could do a better job at supporting nonprofits and the business community. He also thinks the state government could make funding for municipalities and service agencies more equitable by streamlining application processes. “We could do a better job supporting people in need in our state and in Barre City,” including food, housing, and employment. Proposition 5: Williams says he is in full support of reproductive rights and abortion care. The recent United States Supreme Court ruling to repeal Roe v. Wade is a “travesty” in his opinion. “It is unfortunate that in 2022 this is even an issue.” Gun Laws: Williams supports closing loopholes that allow repeat offenders to purchase guns. “School shootings have been nonstop — it is reprehensible and tragic,” he told The Bridge. And while he respects Vermont’s sportsmanship and hunting, national background checks and magazine restrictions are in order. Housing: “It is a critically important issue in Vermont,” Williams said, especially in the wake of the pandemic with more people moving here. But Barre has many buildings that are dilapidated and could be renovated to be used for housing. City management is doing a good job of using ARPA funds for renovating housing stock, Williams said. Williams reiterated the state should improve how it doles out funds. The Other Candidates Republicans Brian Judd and Thomas “Tom” Kelly did not respond to The Bridge. To see information on Brian Judd, go to facebook.com/BrianForBarre. No online platform was found for Kelly.
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