Boyd, Heins vie for remaining year of two-year Selectboard term

Chris Boyd

Name: Chris A. Boyd

Age: 54

Occupation: Assistant state fire marshall

Education: High school, some college-level classes

Married/Family: Married, no children

How long have you lived in Shelburne? 34+ years

Experience with town boards, commissions, etc.: 15+ years on the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department, three years as Selectboard member

What organizations do you belong to? International Association of Arson Investigators (Board member on Vermont Chapter for past five years and four-year member of international group)

Why are you running for a Selectboard seat?
To provide a different problem-solving skill set and perspective to the board. One that will listen to all the town’s citizens and openly discuss ideas brought before the board.

How are you qualified for this office?
Since 1982 my public service career has spanned from active service with the Marine Corps Reserve and employment with multiple government agencies on the municipal level and currently at the state level, which have not only provided an education in communications with the public but also budget responsibility, problem solving with limited resources and budget development. This combined with an ability to read, disseminate and apply technical documents and work with others in a group will aid me in serving the citizens of Shelburne in the role on the Selectboard.

What is the best thing about Shelburne?
This is a question that is so broad in its scope it almost makes it impossible to answer. There are so many positive attributes to this town – the lake, the views, the historic sites and experiences within it just to mention a few. To bring this question down to one specific “thing” that is the best, it would only make sense to say the people of Shelburne are the best thing about Shelburne! For as long as I can remember, the people of this town have always done what is in the best interest of the town and their neighbors. No problem too big, no person more important than the other to not be able to contribute something to help resolve the problem. All of us pulling together to overcome. No matter how large the population gets, we must never let go of this trait!

What would be your top three goals for the board work on?
To solidify the public trust in the board, to ensure the town is physically responsible to all residents of all incomes making it affordable to all, and to insure all essential services provided by the town are available when needed by its residents.

What would you like the Selectboard to change?
Means of public input during board meetings. When a board member is not able to be present for a meeting there are provisions allowed for that member to able to participate by phone if possible. This can be key to allowing the board to have a quorum and conduct business. While a benefit for the board, it could also be made an asset for the board as not all the residents can afford to the time to attend a meeting to speak in person regarding a subject or concern. A call-in line for the public would not only make the board more accessible to its constituents, but provide them with essential public feedback and information.

Do you support the town’s current policy in the Vermont Railway case? Why or why not?
No, I do not. I do understand there are issues such as noise and traffic issues as identified by several citizens. There are also potential contamination concerns that are a big concern to many. Given the issues and the expenses incurred trying to get them addressed through court proceedings, I believe there would have been more achieved at less expense if the town and railroad had worked together instead of getting locked in to a prolonged legal battle. I believe the citizens of the town would have seen significantly different and more positive results.

What would you do about the railroad issue?
A new board will have a new chance to establish communications with the railroad and commence a positive dialogue to resolve citizens’ concerns and problems. This could be done in many ways including a panel that is agreed upon by the Selectboard and the railroad that could review the issues and bring draft solutions before both parties for a review and potential resolution to the problems.

What else would you like voters to know?
I am an open-minded, level-headed, honest person who is a good problem solver. I have been told that I am a very good listener. We all have ideas on how to resolve our problems, and I believe together we can resolve them no matter the size which will make us a stronger, closer community in the end!


 

Jaime Heins

Name: Jaime Heins, incumbent
Age: 44
Occupation: Attorney at Keurig Green Mountain
Education: B.A. from Tulane University; J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School
Married / Family: Married with two children (ages 6 and 8) who attend Shelburne Community School
How long have you lived in Shelburne? 6 years
Experience with town boards, commissions, etc.: Shelburne Planning Commission (2013-2017, Chair, 2016-2017); Justice of the Peace (2016-present); Board of Civil Authority; Board of Tax Abatement (2016-present)
What organizations do you belong to? Board of directors of Greater Burlington YMCA and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation

Why are you running for a Selectboard seat?
As a sitting Selectboard member, I am fully transitioned and up to speed on the town’s priorities and I’d like to help progress these initiatives in the next year if elected. These priorities include establishment of a stormwater utility, updating the Ethics and Conflicts of Interest ordinance and adopting a new town plan. I have a strong commitment to public service and I believe that I have the right background, skill set, and demeanor to help reset the tone of the Selectboard and improve how the Selectboard interfaces with the community at large.

How are you qualified for this office?
I have served on the Selectboard since November 2017 and have been faced with several challenging and high-profile decisions. I believe that I have handled these issues in a thoughtful, deliberate and considered manner and I’ve tried to balance the competing interests of many vocal stakeholders. I have served the town as a public official in my role as a member of the Planning Commission for over five years, including several years as chair of the Planning Commission. I understand group dynamics and I have strong working relationships with all town commissions boards and committees and key external stakeholders such as the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.

What is the best thing about Shelburne?
Without question the best thing about Shelburne is our unparalleled quality of life. We live in a highly desirable town, as the housing data proves. However, with that demand come challenges such as development pressure and the need to maintain the town’s rural character, which makes Shelburne such a special place. As my voting record shows, I have been a strong advocate for land conservation and smart growth and I will continue to advocate for these values if elected. We need to continue to invest in our historic village core, promote bike and pedestrian safety and connected infrastructure and manage our fiscal pressures in a smart and fair way.

What would be your top three goals for the board work on?
Establishment of the town’s first stormwater utility. The Stormwater Advisory Committee has been working hard to make this a reality and we need to support this initiative to address the mounting multi-million dollar stormwater liabilities facing Shelburne.
Rethinking economic development. Our grand list is challenged and we need to find creative solutions to support and grow our local businesses and attract new businesses. Our recently adopted Shelburne Road Form Based Code will help catalyze new business growth in the Route 7 corridor, but we need to make this a collective town priority. We have an amazing pool of talented and influential local business leaders who we need to tap into to help. Whether that assistance takes the form of creating an Economic Development Committee or something else is up for debate. I believe my strong ties to the business community and experience will be assets to this initiative.
Adoption of a new town plan. Shelburne’s updated comprehensive plan must be adopted by February 2019. I am very familiar with this key policy document that sets the vision for Shelburne’s future and I can help marshal through the required public hearings and ultimate adoption of a new and improved town plan that our Planning Commission has been working so hard to develop.

What would you like the Selectboard to change?
I’d like to see us reset the tone of civic discourse with the community. We need to re-establish trust in our elected representatives and the only way to do that is by earning the public’s confidence. While the past few years have certainly been challenging for the town and the Selectboard in many respects, it has also generated a renewed interest in local politics and a grassroots activism that is welcome and necessary. We want to hear more from the community and I will advocate for ways to make that easier for residents, including finding a cost-effective solution for the public to interact in real time at Selectboard meetings via instant messaging and chat functionality.

Do you support the town’s current policy in the Vermont Railway case? Why or why not?
This is a question that can be interpreted in many ways. I will assume we’re focused on the narrow question of whether I support the town’s current policy to appeal Judge Sessions’ December 7, 2017 ruling to the Second Circuit. Unlike several of the other candidates, I have had to make a very public decision and vote on this difficult issue. As many are aware, I voted in favor of the town’s decision to appeal the December 7, 2017 decision to the Second Circuit for reasons I’ve previously articulated and made public in this paper and on Front Porch Forum.

What would you do about the railroad issue?
As noted above, as a sitting Selectboard member my voting record on this issue is public knowledge. Above and beyond the appeal itself, I look forward to establishing a working relationship with Vermont Railways as we look to Shelburne’s future.

What else would you like voters to know?
I hope to have the opportunity to continue to serve voters and all stakeholders in Shelburne, including our commercial and business interests. I have been honored to serve the town over the past five years and I believe that I can help steer us back on a more orderly and focused course. We have a lot of work to do and having continuity on the Selectboard will help get us there more efficiently. I have strong working relationships with the current Selectboard members and town staff and I’m prepared to work hard on the town’s behalf to help us tackle our biggest challenges and opportunities. Thank you for your support.

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