This is an unusual year in Montpelier, with contested elections for mayor and all three City Council seats. With the approval of the candidate, I am posting a letter Page Guertin, who is running for the District 2 Council seat, recently published in the Times Argus. I think she raises important points about the direction the current Council is taking.
I am running for City Council in Montpelier’s district 2 because we must be vigilant about maintaining the value of the investments we’ve made in this city and its quality of life, through the payment our taxes. City government is a service organization; budgets should be developed on the basis of how we can provide the best possible services to residents and visitors, and the best possible outcomes long-term, not simply on the bottom line for next year. I support careful, thorough analysis of all costs, resources, assets and benefits with an eye to long-range goals, along with creative approaches to new sources of revenue like a variety of new, smart, efficient homes and further collaboration with surrounding communities. Managing our money carefully is important, but when budget development is framed only by the maximum percentage of increase, we need to ask, “What do we lose?”
I am a recovering computer systems analyst. I do analysis well, I value process, openness, and inclusiveness. I like details, and I listen in order to understand. I served on Montpelier’s Charter Revision Committee, I’ve attended city council meetings, and I’m active in our neighborhood organization. I’d like to use my skills to serve the city, bring people together to continually evaluate and renew goals and aspirations for the future, and make sure budgets follow those goals and aspirations.
The current City Council appears to pursue the Vibrant and Affordable Montpelier (VAM) agenda, which is simply to cut budgets. I think that’s a potentially damaging perspective, and I’d like the council to be more inclusive and representative of all residents of Montpelier. One of my central goals is to to improve process, communication and transparency in council dealings, and to work toward inviting increased public participation in the important work of city governance.