Elections are about choices, and we have two candidates with a long history of volunteerism running for current Selectboard member Jamie Heins’ seat — Heins and Chris Boyd.
In reviewing candidate forum dialogue for each, two responses stood to me.
In a question regarding whether additional gun regulation is worth consideration in light of the recent Florida school shooting, and a very near-miss in Fair Haven, Boyd alone among the candidates saw no need to reconsider existing regulations, equating knives as a supposed parallel threat. Gov. Scott, no ardent gun-control advocate, admirably spent time reflecting on the threat of assault weapons to our children after these events, and I would likewise encourage Mr. Boyd to do so.
In a question around the prospect of allowing voters to decide upon increased regional coordination of emergency dispatch services, Boyd stood alone in his opposition to even having it on the ballot. In a small state like Vermont, regionalization of government services should equate to improved services at lower cost, as specialty equipment and services are shared among a relatively small geographic area. We are already seeing this from the school district consolidation, and in my mind this is something that is hard to oppose, but again Boyd stood as the lone dissenter.
In an age of hyper-polarized politics, I’m not looking for a knee-jerk reaction on any issue, but instead ask my candidates to simply carefully consider pros and cons, and select the best option from competing priorities.
Agree or not with Heins’ support for accepting Vermont Natural Resources Council’s donation on the salt shed appeal, he was transparent and thoughtful in laying out his decision, which is what I ask for first and foremost.
In light of all of the above, Jamie Heins has my strong support on March 6. I would likewise encourage you to do so.