The Selectboard is not a political entity, but more of an administrative one. That said, our ideas and beliefs shape the conversations we have and the decisions we make. I am adding this information in an attempt to allow folks to get to know me a bit better. I reserve the right to change my opinions as I continue to gain knowledge, empathy, and wisdom.
I am registered as a Green/Independent. You will never find me casting a vote for a policy simply because it is a republican or democratic one. I don’t vote on party lines. I vote for policies that make sense, and they can come from either side of the aisle.
I tend to be lightly conservative. I love numbers. I am a fastidious record keeper. I prefer to save more and spend less, however, I am not afraid to invest in something today if I know it will return benefits for years to come. Cost is not just monetary – it is also opportunity and lifetime value. I believe a responsible person balances these aspects well. There is always more that we want to do or have than we have money for. Budgeting is about setting priorities and investing in what we need and want in ways that will yield the more sensible and progressive results for our citizens.
Civil Rights & Equality
I am unashamedly a liberal here, but not a die-hard, bleeding heart type. I believe that any U.S. citizen willing and able to serve in our military should be given the chance to do so. I believe that the people who live and think within their own bodies have the right to decide whether they are happy identifying as male or female, so long as they aren’t hurting or imposing their gender decisions on others. I believe people have the right to choose whom they love. I believe that human beings should be treated with equal respect, consideration, dignity, and legality regardless of their skin color, gender, language, country of origin, religion, or sexuality. I believe that no matter how different we look, speak, worship, or love, we are all defined by the genetic code that unites us under the Genus and species Homo sapiens.
I believe the laws of our land should be followed. If a person comes here on a temporary visa (or other visa) and that visa runs out, they should return to their country. The U.S. has a process for bestowing citizenship and that process should be followed. Immigrants who stay beyond their allotted time, foreigners who illegally come into our country and ignore our laws, any non-U.S. person who commits a crime, should be sent back to their country. I welcome and embrace persons from other countries who wish to make a permanent life in the U.S. and I fully expect them to do so legally. We can always address issues concerning the length of time, the inefficiencies of the process, and other aspects of our immigration law – but it is not OK to break U.S. law and reap the benefits of citizenship when one is not, in fact, a citizen.
Role of Government
In general I believe that less is more. This applies to my feelings on the role of government as well. Government has a well respected place in the lives of Americans. However, I feel that, at times, the government over-reaches into areas that should be left to common sense and self-governing. For example, I believe in the right for a woman, her family, and her doctor to choose whether carrying an unborn child to term is reasonable or not. I believe people should have the right to decide if they want health care or not – and I believe doctors should have the right to choose not to treat uninsured people. The role of government is to govern, not rule, not think for people. I believe there could be a lot more cooperation between local, regional, and federal government. The government should never act like a helicopter parent. There are times I feel the government would mandate how many times we are required to brush our teeth or how many minutes a day we are required to exercise and log into some federal system to prove it. There is a point at which the government needs to get out of peoples’ lives and allow people to make choices for themselves, even if they are unhealthy or unwise.
There are a few things that fall under this heading, including transportation, roads, bridges, railways, etc. and the internet.
Maintaining and improving our roadways, our transportation systems, and the availability and speed of internet connectivity are crucial elements to the success of our businesses and families. As technology improves at lightning speed, as businesses strive to maintain a competitive edge, as families try to educate their children and participate in their communities it becomes critically important to keep roadways, access ways, utilities, and connectivity to the world in as modern a fashion as we can. We must always be looking ahead and anticipating the future to stay relevant, successful, and safe.