Many thanks to the 138 citizens of East Montpelier who participated in the Town Meeting Survey. This was the largest return ever! East Montpelier supported a minimum wage increase, cell and broadband service, and prohibiting cell phones while driving. Comments and results are as follows.
“Please! Ban cell phones while driving. It’s a serious threat and will continue to get worse as the generation that never puts down their devices make up a larger driver percentage. The penalty for getting caught must be stiff to be effective.”
“Vermont is not really affordable for those who are lower income/retired/middle income is a stretch.”
“The cost of living in Vermont is not sustainable. Taxes go up and new ones are continuously added and income is not rising.”
“If natural gas is readily available in Vermont, then perhaps it can be considered, but no fracking, pipelines or other environmental problems. Wind, sun and water are best for energy here and should be encouraged. Windmills are preferable to high-power ugly lines.”
“Don’t ban windmills, but be sure they are sited appropriately so they don’t cause mountain erosion.”
“Education needs to be funded in more creative ways, not solely on the backs of town real estate taxes. Education is needed and should be available to all!”
“Yes means pressure on employers, but better standard of living.”
“Stop bothering with pot. Give help for addiction. As Jerry Brown said, ‘we need to be alert.’”
“Lots of assistance is available for some, but property taxes are becoming impossible without assistance. Education costs too much. Consolidation of districts is a great idea, but use it to save money.”
“My new efficient gas burner cost me three times as much in fuel than the oil burner I’ve had 25 years.”
“We need to do all we can to create jobs in Vermont. We tax, tax, tax everything. We are known as a Medicaid state. Come to Vermont. The state will take care of us. I know and hear this all the time working with the public. People seek Vermont who choose the Medicaid system.”
Senator Bill Doyle serves on the Senate Education Committee and Senate Economic Affairs Committee, and is the Senate Assistant Minority Leader. He teaches government history at Johnson State College. He can be reached at 186 Murray Road, Montpelier, VT 05602; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or call 223-2851.