My wife and I moved back to Essex when our oldest turned five to take advantage of the Essex schools. For the next many years, we both volunteered heavily in our three sons’ classrooms and I coached every soccer team that our boys played on. We were also involved with Essex Boy Scouts where all three of our boys earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
After my father passed away in 2007, I got involved with the Essex, Jericho, Underhill Food Shelf as a tribute to my father’s involvement with his local food shelf. I helped the Food Shelf become a member of the Vermont Foodbank and I was also their grant writer. When I discovered that the Town of Essex dedicated 1% of its budget to Human Services, I sought out how to be considered for funding. I soon learned that the major criteria for funding was “who did we give money to last year?” and I asked that the process be opened up to other organizations. As a result of my question, the Selectboard started discussions about forming a committee to review and improve the funding process. When I asked to be considered as a member of that committee, a member of the Selectboard told me that he didn’t trust me. So, I ran against him in the next election and won. Since then, I have helped drive a new funding process where a committee ranks requests based on local need which is much less subject to the whims of the elected officials.
I have now been on the Selectboard for going on seven years and I have continued to focus on improving processes, focusing on details and considering unintended consequences. I have fought for property rights and equal representation and I have fought to give surplus funds back to taxpayers. With all of this experience and my demonstrated ability to address issues, it is now time to step up to the State level and run for the House.