Name: Jerry Storey, incumbent
Education: Yale University, anthropology; Columbia University, anthropology and Teachers College, education (joint degree program)
Married / Family: Married, five children, five grandchildren
How long have you lived in Shelburne? Five years
Experience with town boards, commissions, etc.: Served on Shelburne Development Review Board and on the town manager and town clerk search committees
What organizations do you belong to? Board of directors of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and the Property and Casualty Intermunicipal Fund
Why are you running for a Selectboard seat?
I am running for re-election because Shelburne is due a fully functioning, thoroughly representative, and forward-looking Selectboard and I believe I will contribute significantly to that. I run because there are major town challenges ahead – especially with property taxation and service delivery – that will demand detailed attention of the kind through experience and manner I can provide. Perhaps most importantly, I run because service on the Selectboard is my way of giving back to a community that has made me feel welcome as one of its own.
How are you qualified for this office?
I have nearly 20 years of municipal government experience as a town manager in five Maine communities, including town of Mt. Desert and as a member of the Shelburne Selectboard.
Skilled at problem solving and respected as a moderating influence. Collegial and collaborative in practice. Hands-on experience in all areas of town operations. Dedicated to betterment of our Shelburne quality of life.
What is the best thing about Shelburne?
Its quality of life. Its unique character. The diversity of opinion, belief and outlook. The excellence of its schools. The vitality. The variety and ease of local shopping for supplies, specialties, and services. The energetic conservation of its natural environment. The vibrant arts and artisanal community. Its recreational opportunities. The beach, library, Farm and Museum. Its friendliness. Our neighbors. And the smile on Rick Bessette’s face!
What would be your top three goals for the board work on?
• Teamwork: Collaborate on goals and work together to accomplish these, combining individual member strengths in positive ways and fully respecting each other’s views and opinions
• Start 2019-20 budget preparation sooner than in previous years, recognizing the heavy pressure on tax rate expected next year, and involve the community early in the process
• Develop a strategic plan for storm water mitigation, including potentially innovative ways of financing mitigation activities
What would you like the Selectboard to change?
The tone and conduct of its meetings.
More actively encourage citizen input, extending efforts to reach out, and respond meaningfully.
Function more directly as a forward-looking body, particularly in areas of revenue generation, affordable living, business attraction, natural resource conservation, and regionalization, planning ahead.
Better utilize individual Selectboard member expertise and experience by decentralizing decision-making. One initiative might be to jointly assign lead responsibilities for such as development of specific policies; regional and state advocacy of solutions to extra local problems; and, support of neighborhood efforts like those regarding traffic safety to individual members, maximizing collective strengths.
Do you support the town’s current policy in the Vermont Railway case? Why or why not? What would you do about the railroad issue?
I voted against the recent appeal, believing there were alternatives to continuing the litigation. I preferred that we attempt to resolve differences with Vermont Railway at that point by mutual agreement, especially in matters like noise, which are not addressed in the litigation. I still feel that way. I also had misgivings about acceptance of third-party funds to finance early stages of the appeal, believing that if the Town thought the appeal was worthy it should pay for it itself rather than accept a noble and well-meaning but clearly special interest.
What else would you like voters to know?
I appreciate the time and interest you take in town government, for voicing your opinions, for demanding a truly representative Selectboard, for expecting it to act positively in governing efficiently, and trusting that it will. I thank you for that and for your support. Please vote next Tuesday