Central Vermont Good on Food Scrap Diversion
Grow Compost of Vermont’s piece on diverting food scraps was written for a statewide audience. It noted that “Efforts to reduce waste have largely focused on glass, plastic, and paper, yet, food waste make up 28 percent of trash Vermonters throw away.” Grow Compost of Vermont however recognizes the strong commitment of our local Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District to divert food scraps in this region. The district has offered business food scrap collection services since 2004, and continues to educate schoolchildren about food scrap diversion, and teach residents how to compost at home.
Carolyn Grodinsky, Sales Manager, Grow Compost of Vermont
Meet The Trees
It took me “a moment” to find a copy of the Feb. 2 issue of The Bridge, but blown away I am (we are) by your generosity, ingenuity and kindness in finding a place to include our description of the St. Paul Street Tree Project and Montpelier’s Festival of Trees — with a lovely color photo as well. Thank you.
We need The Bridge more than ever as an authentic voice in the community.
Thank you for your support of the St. Paul Street Tree Project — Growing Tree Stewards through Outdoor Classrooms. Heads Up! Come walk on St. Paul Street on Arbor Day — May 5 — you can meet the trees, their stewards and see the students’ Information Tour of Trees (iTOT).
Lynn Wild, On behalf of the Montpelier Tree Board
Thumbs Down On The S-51 Energy Bill
If Vermont is so unwise as to make S-51 law, the total amount of energy used to heat homes, move cars and buses and power electrical devices will be forced to shrink by 15 percent in 33 years. Perhaps the senators framing this bill hope enough energy-consuming Vermonters will just leave for a more sensible state? We cannot attract, open and grow new businesses without using more energy, even with stringent conservation. We need more clean energy, not less. Deserts are low energy consumption, too, but I wouldn’t want to live in one.
And how will the new Vermonters thrive, without new businesses to employ them? S.51 as law means our population will continue to wither, both in total numbers and in quality of life.
George Clain, Barre
Support School Budget
As a Commissioner on the Montpelier School Board of Commissioners, I am writing to urge the voters of Montpelier to approve the budget being presented at Town Meeting Day. The School Budget is a responsible budget that is the product of unprecedented community outreach and input. It restores certain losses that occurred during years of lower enrollment, addresses the needs of our growing student body and reflects the community’s values.
The budget is built around the principles of promoting equity, implementing proficiency-based learning and providing flexible pathways for students to achieve academic success. The budget takes important measures to improve the excellence of Montpelier’s schools for all students and close the achievement gap in our schools by providing resources needed to help all our students succeed and thrive. It also gives teachers the resources to successfully implement the move to proficiency-based standards — something our High school in particular is doing with rigor and vision — and provide flexible pathways for students to learn. This budget is furthermore a solid building block for a comprehensive three year plan the administration is developing that seeks to implement the visions and values of our community.
With our growing population of students, the budget calls for a spending increase of 5.5 percent per equalized pupil that will result in a modest property tax increase, using current estimates of 2.74 percent. This translates to an increase of $45 per year for a house valued at $100,000, $89 per year for a house valued at $200,000 and $134 per year for a house valued at $300,000. This is only slightly higher than the pace of inflation and comes after a year when the school budget resulted in essentially no tax increase.
I strongly urge voters to support this budget on Town Meeting Day.
Jim Murphy, Commissioner, School Board of Commissioners, Montpelier
Adopt School Budget
On Town Meeting Day, March 7, I urge you to vote in support of our public school’s budget. For many of us, whether we attended public school, have kids in the public school or simply understand the importance of public education, the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education raises significant concerns about the future of quality public education. While it is important to stand up for these values at the national level, there could not be a more critical time to support our public education locally.
Montpelier is fortunate compared to many Vermont schools in that our student population is growing, and the schools continue to attract families to our community. Strong schools are an essential part of a vibrant town and for developing compassionate citizens and inquisitive thinkers. I have two boys in the school district and, in my experience, Montpelier schools have many positives, including excellent teachers and staff. But these schools have limited resources, and there are unmet needs, including building and technology upgrades and sufficient support to meet all types of learners.
The school administration and board worked hard this year to develop a budget that provides support for students while being ever aware of fiscal constraints. The proposed budget would result in a modest 2.7 percent increase in property taxes. The administration and school board targeted resources on two important areas: addressing Montpelier’s growing school population and providing much needed support for students with the highest needs.
These are difficult and uncertain times in our country including the state of our public education system. Let’s go vote on Town Meeting Day to say, we support our children, we support our community and we support our public schools!
Lyn Munno, Montpelier
Soccodato is ‘Fabulous’
Alison Soccodato is a fabulous candidate for Representative from District 2 on the Montpelier City Council.
In addition to her vision of keeping all the good things that make Montpelier a city we love, she is also well versed in improving some of the city’s shortcomings. Her experience in financial management makes her an excellent candidate for those of us concerned about costs and budgets. Her prior work experience listening to competing sides of various issues helped her develop the ability to listen to all points of view, carefully considering different sides of the issue, and then, thoughtfully, develop responsible conclusions and recommendations.
Personally, Alison is dedicated, calm, trustworthy, respectful and a wonderful neighbor. She will be a tremendous asset to the Montpelier City Council. I urge all District 2 constituents to cast their vote for Alison Soccodato on town meeting day!
Soccodato Has Energy And Skills
I am pleased to endorse Alison Soccodato for Montpelier City Council, District 2. Alison will bring intelligence, energy and dedication to this position and to serving the City of Montpelier.
Alison is passionate about the City of Montpelier and this community. As a community member and a parent she appreciates the vibrant downtown, the beautiful neighborhoods and the stellar schools. She is also aware of the challenges Montpelier faces, including infrastructure repair and maintenance, smart growth and clean water.
As a fiscal moderate and former financial analyst to governments and businesses, she will bring a keen eye to utilizing city services and and tax payer dollars effectively. She will reach out to her constituency and stakeholders to understand the issues and how they will affect people. She will carefully weigh both input and data as she makes decisions.
Please join me in voting for Alison and bringing new energy and skills and experience to the City Council.
Gail Carrigan, Montpelier
We Support Soccodato
We’d like to add our voices to the growing support for Alison Soccodato for City Council.
We’re newcomers here, just starting our second year in this lovely city. Whether the topic is preserving Montpelier’s attractive character, making sensible investments in infrastructure upgrades, protecting our water quality, or insuring quality schools while keeping a steady eye on the budget, Alison has solid and sensible ideas for maintaining and improving quality of life in Montpelier. She is dedicated to keeping an open mind and listening to her constituents — even residents new to the city. Her background as a financial analyst and project manager for both government and corporate entities will serve Montpelier well.
We would be proud to have Alison Saccodato represent District 2 on the City Council. Please consider voting for her on March 7.
Cynthia Bogard and Michael Strebe, 10 Sabin St., Montpelier
Asay Dedicated To School System
Now is the time to support Montpelier’s schools, one of our city’s best assets.
As a parent and resident of Montpelier, I would like to express my support for Bridget Asay.
Through her work on the School Board, Bridget, an experienced advocate and attorney, has already proven her dedication and commitment to our school system.
Bridget has supported responsible budgets that give our schools the resources they need to serve all of our students. She has also advocated for strengthening after-school programs, a crucial need in our community, while also focusing on improving communication with parents and the community.
It is especially critical now for all of us to do our part. On town meeting day, voice your support for our schools and vote for Bridget Asay for school commissioner.
Edisa GR Muller, Montpelier
Krueger Is Cost Concious
I am writing in strong support of Rosie Krueger for Montpelier City Council, District 1. Rosie is one of the most dedicated, intelligent and hardworking members of our community. I encourage residents of District 1 to consider casting their vote for her on March 7.
My wife and I bought a house in Montpelier largely in part to our community. A community that supports culture, education, the environment and safety. A community that also includes folks like Rosie, a woman who cares deeply about the nutrition of our students during the day and still has the energy to build a beautiful home on nights and weekends.
We plan to stay in the city for a long time, but we grow increasingly concerned that the cost of living will continue to increase without an eye on finding efficiencies. I know that Rosie will be a strong supporter of our community values while keeping the cost of living in mind so that young families, like ours, can move to and stay in Montpelier.
James Brady, Montpelier
What Do You Think?
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Deadline for the next issue is February 24.