Letters to the paper are not fact-checked and do not necessarily represent the views of The Bridge.
Privatizing a Public Street
For 23 years I have lived peacefully at the top of Scribner Street (one of the hill streets off River Street). It is a small, wild parcel of land surrounded on three sides by a larger parcel of land owned by a neighbor. Only recently has that peace been challenged by the unreasonable possibility that Scribner Street ends near the beginning of my property, even though it has been maintained by the city’s Public Works Department for all of the years I have lived here. If the city doesn’t recognize ownership of Scribner Street with an easement of 16 feet on both sides, then the neighbor claims he does and gets in our face about owning our driveway and front yard. I am incensed that a public street might become privatized. This is not what I bought in good faith 23 years ago, nor what I have been paying taxes on for all those years. I need help to make sense of this dilemma.
Maggie Neale, Montpelier
Making Vermont More Affordable for Whom?
In recent weeks I have noticed a disconnect between our current Governor’s rhetoric about making Vermont more affordable, and his actions, which are making Vermont less affordable and less attractive for many. While this administration is spending millions of dollars to attract out-of-state families to move here, he talks about cutting school budgets and increasing class sizes. Increasing the student-to-teacher ratios in classes is not an attractive educational scheme.
Just a few weeks ago, the administration worked to impose a contract on state employees. This contract included the doubling of many co-pays for healthcare and a wage increase below the rate of inflation. This administration just made Vermont less affordable for almost 10,000 Vermonters and their families, as well as 14,000 more retirees in the health plan. With these cuts, the State of Vermont is significantly less competitive as an employer. With the “graying” of both the state and the state workforce, this administration should take steps to be a more competitive employer and bring new employees into the state, instead of making it less affordable for those who are already working and living here.
It is becoming evident that this administration is interested in the privatization of state work. Privatization makes Vermont less affordable for working people. Privatization allows the state to replace a Vermonter who is making a livable wage as a state employee with an employee who is paid far less working for a private company. There is currently a bill in the Vermont Senate (S.111) that would require private companies who are hired to do state work to pay employees the same wage as a state employee doing that job. The administration is continuing to oppose this bill. Every time they do they are saying to Vermonters it’s okay to pay you less for the same work!
The question I want to ask the Scott Administration is, who are you making Vermont more affordable for? The answer will be, not working people.
Ray Stout, East Montpelier
What Do You Think?
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Deadline for the next issue is May 11