It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as your elected First Constable for three terms. However, this year I have decided to step aside, and not put my name forth for re-election. I have made this decision in order to create more time to spend the next year focusing on my family (which now includes two young children), and my professional work as Senior Union Representative with the Vermont State Employees’ Association (specifically representing the 1000 Agency of Transportation workers throughout Vermont).
I was first elected Constable in 2007 (endorsed by the Progressive Party), then served two terms on the Select Board (2009-2011-Endorsed by the Progressive and Liberty Union Parties), and then again as Constable. Prior to this (2006) I served our community one year as your delegate to the Regional Planning Commission. During all these times it was my absolute pleasure to work on behalf of this community which I love. It is therefore with some reluctance that I contemplate a Town Meeting Day for the first time in nine years where I will not be putting my name forward in the hopes of serving the People of Moretown. Even so, with a growing family, and given my responsibilities in serving Vermont’s hard working road crews (through the VSEA), it is the right decision at this time.
During my years as Constable I recall the most challenging time (not surprisingly) as during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irene. In the days following this disaster myself, Mike Demingware (the Second Constable), Raymond Munn (Fayston Constable), along with a number of volunteers from the Moretown Fire Department organized 24 hour patrols of the village, and manned roadblocks on the few remaining access ways leading into town. We also made a concerted effort to distribute boxes of National Guard issued food rations to isolated homesteads. Our goal on the patrols (especially concerning the ones at night) were to ensure the security of temporarily abandoned village homes and people’s personal belongings (much of which were drying out on peoples mud caked front yards). The point of the roadblocks were to exclude non-essential traffic into the Village (in order not to kick up more dust and/or create traffic related safety concerns for local volunteers). On these fronts I venture to say we were successful despite next to no sleep (for days on end). Eventually, through my (and the Select Board’s) direct discussions with the Governor, we were able to secure State Police night patrols which allowed myself and others to get some much needed sleep. And I, like the hundreds of folks that worked sun up to sun down getting the Village and peoples’ homes back in some kind of order, never charged the community even a penny for all the hours put in. But of course Irene was the exception…
More typically, perhaps in 2007, I remember getting a call from a neighbor on Jones Brook Road about a domesticated duck that had taken up residence under his house. On this occasion myself and a friend (Xavier Massot) spent an afternoon running around this house trying to capture the fugitive duck. In time, it was Xavier who had the genius idea of tossing his old army coat over the duck, at which point we apprehended the escapee. The next hour was spent trying to deduce who the duck belonged to (and it turned out it came down from another neighbor’s house on Herring Brook Road). Soon the case was closed, and I was able to have a beer and reflect on a day well spent!
In short, it has truly been an honor and a pleasure to serve on behalf of Moretown. Understand that even as I decline to run for local office on this particular Town Meeting Day, I remain dedicated to public service, and advancing the interests of Moretown’s (and Vermont’s) working families. In the coming days, weeks, and months I will be dedicating my political activities to turning back Governor Shumlin’s intentions to place what amounts to a special targeted tax on State workers (ie his desire to roll back modest agreed upon wage increases in an effort to fill a budget gap that his Administration created) and his intent to gut the public services that low income Vermonters are compelled to rely on (in order to maintain a modicum of dignity in their living standards). So while I more fully turn my attention to these difficult tasks, I offer support and well wishes to whoever wins the seat of Moretown’s First Constable (be it by a write-in election victory or by appointment).
In conclusion, I look forward to seeing each and every one of you, my friends and neighbors, this Tuesday, at Town Meeting Day. Solidarity!
Dave Van Deusen, March 1st, 2015
Moretown First Constable (until Tuesday)
Lynch Hill Road,