Friday, October 10, 2014


News to Know October 10, 2014

BERLIN NEWS TO KNOW October 10, 2014
This  communication is put together and distributed on a volunteer basis by resident Corinne Stridsberg simply in an effort to share information and build community, it is not from the town of Berlin.
Please share this with your Berlin friends and neighbors.  If you're not already receiving this news directly by email, send an email to request this to
Check out the "Berlin, Vermont" Community News page on facebook to find bits of current news, some not included here:

The series of walks in Montpelier  (see below) which start on Saturday October 11th look fantastic!  Please note that the one on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. “History of Industry Along Montpelier’s Winooski River” led by Manuel Garcia is in the area of Montpelier that used to be Berlin.  Manuel is part of the Berlin Historical Society and it's fascinating to hear about what the area was like.
All Berlin Town Offices will be closed on Columbus Day, Monday, October 13th
The new town website is up and running Check it out at the same address

Below you will find:

From Karen Moynihan at Ellie's Farm Market & Gift Shop & Cider Mill on Route 12
The Great Green Mtn. Pumpkin Show will NOT take place this year.
We still have 2 granddaughters yet to see this. Our plan is to "fire" it up again! When we do we will definitely post it!
The reason we began it & continued it was to thank our customers who support our seasonal business!
Thank you for your continued support! Please share & ask friends to share to get this out! 
Billy & Karen
   A first-time program of organized walks around the city will highlight everything from its historic buildings and bridges to its loveliest trees, parks and stops along the way worthy of photographing.  Called We Walk Week, the series of public walks is being offered by the Montpelier Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The week begins with National Walk & Bike to School Day on Oct. 8, followed by the free organized walks from Oct. 11 to 16.  Montpelier wants to become known as a pedestrian-friendly city.  All the walks will take place rain or shine.
   The first official event will be Oct. 11 at
1 p.m., when John Snell will lead the first of two walks to take in Montpelier’s trees. He is chairman of the city’s tree board. The second of his tree walks will be Oct. 13 at noon; both will start and end at City Hall.   Both of his tree walks are billed as focusing on the “urban forest” of the city, looking at different species, talking about problems and opportunities and enjoying the many wonderful trees in Montpelier.
   The tree walks are rated “relatively easy” and are each 1 to 2 miles in length, all on sidewalks. 
   Also Oct. 11 at
1 p.m. will be a walk with Webster titled “Forest Trails Less Traveled.” This trek, which will start at the Park and Ride off Memorial Drive, is described as “a moderately difficult walk through some of Montpelier’s less traveled trails.” It includes some steep segments and some elevation changes; portions of the trail have exposed roots.
   On Oct. 12 at
2 p.m., Snell is back, this time leading a walk to his favorite spots in Hubbard Park. That one is described as a “moderately paced” 2- to 3-mile walk, and a camera is recommended. This walk will meet at the Hubbard Park tower.
   Also Oct. 12, Paul Carnahan leads a walk, “
Montpelier’s Schools Past and Present,” starting at 2 p.m. at City Hall and ending there.  Includes five of Montpelier’s school buildings and some history. Carnahan is the co-author of “Montpelier: Images of Vermont’s Capital City.” This walk is 2 miles in length and will last about an hour and 15 minutes. 
   In addition to Snell’s second tree walk, Oct. 13 will include a
1 p.m. “History of Industry Along Montpelier’s Winooski River” outing, led by Manuel Garcia. He lived on River Street when there were many industrial and commercial establishments along the river and will lead walkers to spots along Stone Cutters Way to view sites and share pictures of buildings that have disappeared. (NOTE: RIVER STREET USED TO BE PART OF BERLIN!!!) The group will gather at the porch of the Pavilion Building (where the Vermont History Museum is located) on State Street for the 1.5-mile walk.
   Oct. 14 will feature two walks and a related talk at Kellogg-Hubbard Library with an author.    At
noon, the Montpelier Public Art Promenade3 with Rob Hitzig will be offered, a 45-minute downtown walk including the State House complex, where artwork will be the focus. It starts at City Hall and is about 1.5 miles in length. At 4 p.m. Nicole Grubman, author of “I Left My Sole in Vermont,” will lead a 1- to 2-mile loop around Montpelier, starting at City Hall. Grubman will speak at 5:15 p.m. at the library about her walks in Vermont. 
   Snell said Grubman “uses walking to promote mental health in various practical and useful ways as part of her professional life.” 
   Oct. 15 two walks: at
noon, a jaunt to historic buildings with Bill Merrylees, meeting at TD Bank; and at 4:30 p.m. “Photographing Downtown Montpelier” with Snell will meet at City Hall. 
   All day Oct. 15 is the Poetry StoryWalk, too, “Peace of the Wild Things,” by Wendell Berry, at Kellogg-Hubbard Library, continuing through Oct. 22.
   Oct. 16, at
noon is a repeat of “Forest Trails Less Traveled” with Webster, starting at the Park and Ride off Memorial Drive. At 4 p.m., Kaitlin O’Shea, a Vermont Agency of Transportation historic preservation specialist, will lead a 2-mile walk to the city’s historic bridges, starting at the State House.
• Openings for ages 2 and up. 
• 16 years’ experience in childcare setting 
• Associates degree in early child development 
• CPR/first aid certified 
Art projects, literacy activities 
music, games and lots of outdoor fun
I provide a safe, nurturing environment where your child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs will be met. I will provide a warm, secure, and comfortable environment for both children and parents. I would like to establish a sense of confidence and trust in the childcare that I provide. Your rights as parents will be respected. I welcome parent’s questions, concerns and opinions and seek out parental desires. I also encourage families’ involvement in daycare activities. I like to promote a full partnership between parents and me as a caregiver
Please call Kimberly Boyd 229-9517
Jones Brook Road
The Sewer Commission meetings Monday, October 13th 7pm at the Town Office.
The Berlin Elementary School Board also meets Monday the 13th 6:15pm in their Learning Center.
The Historical Society meets Wednesday, October 15th  7 PM at the town office.  The Montpelierization of Berlin Pond will be discussed.  Active members are sought to work on some projects this winter.  
Pub. 10/8/14 Times Argus by Eric Blaisdell
   BARRE — Four people are running for two House seats in the Washington-1 district, all with different backgrounds and issues they’d like to address.
   Incumbents Anne Donahue and Patti Lewis, both Republicans, are running against Marvin Malek, running as both a Democrat and a Progressive, and Jeremy Hansen, a Progressive, for the district that encompasses
Berlin and Northfield.
   Donahue has been in the House since 2003, though she’s been involved with the Legislature as an advocate for mental health issues since the 1990s. When the Legislature isn’t in session, Donahue is the editor of Counterpoint, a quarterly statewide newspaper aimed at the mental health community.
   Mental health is a major part of Donahue’s platform, and she is often outspoken when it comes to issues facing
Vermont. She said her voice for advocating for those with mental illness is crucial for the Legislature.
   “We tend to think of ourselves as a state that has achieved parity in mental health care with integration with the rest of health care,” she said. “That can be misleading because we have a long way to go.”
   She also doesn’t think Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposed single-payer health care system will work in
Vermont. Donahue said Vermont is too small a state for a single-payer system to be viable.
   “So investing major resources into trying to make it work when it’s unlikely to be able to succeed, as long as we remain a single state attempting to go in that direction, can be a very costly mistake,” she said.
   When asked why she was running again, Donahue said that after each term she reflects on whether her voice has made a difference in the Legislature, and she still believes it does.
   “I think it’s very important to have the voices of those who are heard less well as part of the debate,” she said. “Right now, that includes any views that are not a part of a super majority that is a very liberal perspective. I don’t disagree with many parts of that perspective, but I think it’s important that it be challenged because it’s really easy to become intellectually complacent if their aren’t challenges.”
   Hansen is a professor of computer science at
Norwich University who also serves on the Berlin Select Board. He’s running because he says the state “needs to do a better job in technical and trade education.”
   Hansen said
Vermont has some great tech schools, but many of the students don’t stick around after they graduate because the tech jobs aren’t here. He called the issue a vicious cycle, because without the students or those with proper training in Vermont, tech companies aren’t going to come to the state.
   To address this, Hansen said he would look at solutions such as low-interest loans or small grants for tech startups. He said students could be currently creating new apps for cellphones, but don’t have the initial capital they need to get the projects off the ground and turned into something profitable. 
   “Having some access to a little bit of startup capital, I think, can really take what would be just an idea into startup mode and they go from there,” he said.
   Hansen also wants to help his constituents have their voices heard. One of the issues he’s hearing from voters is that some people, especially low-income voters, feel their opinions are getting swept under the rug.
   Hansen pointed to how he helps people get their voices heard with the Berlin Select Board. He said he typically posts something on Front Porch Forum giving highlights from meetings so residents don’t have to sit through meetings themselves or watch them online or on television. Hansen said he also holds frequent meetings at the Wayside Restaurant in
Berlin where residents can talk about local issues.Lewis is seeking her third term in the House. When she’s not representing her district, Lewis works as a bookkeeper for the town of Middlesex and volunteers as treasurer of the Northfield Country Club.
   Lewis said she’s running again because she wants to continue representing the needs of her constituents. She said she’s hearing taxes are too high and there are issues with how the state funds the school system in
Vermont. Lewis said she’s an advocate for less government and, like Donahue, wants to give an opposing viewpoint to the current state of the Legislature.
   “We have a supermajority (of Democrats) right now that gets their way. I think the Republicans have a lot to offer. We’re a little more in touch with what our constituents are looking for,” she said.
   Lewis said she does not support new taxes or the growth of government, and does not consider adding more government jobs to be job creation. She wants the Legislature to create a “business-friendly” environment that can create and keep jobs.
   She also has strong feelings about Shumlin’s single-payer initiative.
   “I’m concerned about the use of the term ‘health care’ being used synonymously with ‘health insurance.’ They clearly are two different things,” Lewis said. “I’m upset that the governor has refused to provide the funding plan to the Legislature and to the citizens of
Vermont as the law dictated he do so. We should stop this runaway train, and approach the single-payer system as if we were buying a house. How can you buy it without knowing how much it’s going to cost or how we’re going to pay for it? All of these concerns should be addressed prior to the train leaving the station.”
   Malek is a physician at
Central Vermont Medical Center. His main focus is on the implementation of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposed single-payer health care system. Malek doesn’t refer to it as single payer, however, because he says Medicare, veterans’ insurance and some large companies like Wal-Mart or UPS may not be included in the new health system.
   He’s been an advocate for universal health care for a long time, believing it a much more efficient way for health care to be provided than the current system in the U.S. Malek said with his direct knowledge of the current health care system, given his job, he can provide an important voice to help shape what the system would look like. 
   “Because the savings are not some big global thing that some Wizard of Oz figure is going to suddenly tell us (about),” he said. “It’s internal things we can all see and that I live every day.” 
   In terms of inefficiency, Malek said the current system spends too much money on software and pharmaceuticals, two areas he’d like to cut back on or find ways to achieve the same goals with less money.
   He’s also concerned with the aging population in
Vermont and wants to focus on keeping young people in the state. One way to go about accomplishing that, from Malek’s perspective, is to expand loan forgiveness programs for college graduates with student debt.
   All four of the candidates were asked about where they stand on an issue close to their district: Berlin Pond. Earlier this year, the Department of Environmental Conservation gave its decision on two petitions, one from the City Council in
Montpelier and the other by the group Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond.
   The petitions were in response to a 2012 Vermont Supreme Court ruling that allowed recreational use of the pond, which also serves as
Montpelier’s water supply. Recreational use of the pond had not been allowed for nearly a century before the ruling.
   The department said it would start the rule-making process to add equipment like snowmobiles, ATVs and gas-powered augers on the banned list. Motorized boats are already forbidden. 
   The department decided not to ban ice shanties and petroleum products and also denied a request that all boating, fishing, swimming and hunting be banned at the pond.
   Donahue called the department’s decision reasonable because it had “a good balance that really considered all of the important interests.” Donahue said she supports reasonable recreational use of the pond.
   Lewis also thinks the pond should be used for light recreational use and shouldn’t be restricted. She said the science shows that light use of the pond won’t be an issue for the city’s drinking water.
   Malek said he’s “very strongly opposed” to any motorized vehicles or the use of fossil fuels on or near the pond, but he wasn’t averse to people swimming or using canoes or kayaks on the pond.
   He said he knows people are passionate about Berlin Pond, but he is not one of them. According to Malek, when he speaks with voters they raise other issues like health care and education funding, not Berlin Pond.
   The outlier was Hansen, who lives near the pond and said he didn’t want it opened up for access. He said he was disappointed with the department’s decision.
   “(Berlin Pond’s) been untouched and pristine for quite some time. It’s unfortunate it doesn’t have that same level of protection anymore,” he said.
Registered Voters who won't be able to make it to the polls on Tuesday, November 4th (polls will be open 8am-7pm at the Town Office) may request an absentee ballot. Stop by the town office, call (229-9298), send an email to, or send a note to 108 Shed Road, Berlin, VT 05602. 
The Second Installment of Property Taxes are due by Saturday, November 15th, 2014.
Pub. 10/8/14 Times Argus by David Delcore
   BERLIN — A process and a policy now exist for selling off surplus municipal property in Berlin, where over the past three years the town has sold four used police cruisers, including two last year, for a total of $5,850.
   None of those vehicles, a mix of full-size sedans and SUVs, fetched more than $2,000, and one — a 2007 Chevrolet Impala with just over 111,000 miles on it — sold for $500 last year.
   It wasn’t traded in, auctioned off, posted on the town website, advertised, or even parked prominently outside the municipal office building. It was, in what had become an unregulated custom, sold to the only person who eventually made an offer.
   In the case of the Impala, which records suggest was in need of a new transmission roughly eight months and 7,000 miles before it was sold, that was Joel Pierce. Pierce was a full-time police officer in
Berlin at the time, though he is no longer employed by the town.
   The policy the Select Board adopted this week wouldn’t have barred Pierce from bidding on the cruiser, provided he did so on his own time. However, it does establish a much more formal process designed to maximize the return to the town when property purchased by taxpayers, from cruisers to computers, is going to be sold.
   That’s the idea, according to Select Board Chairman Ture Nelson, who drafted the new policy with an eye toward getting away from the “I know a guy” type of transaction that had arguably become a trend with police cruisers.
   “I’m OK with town employees bidding on this type of property when it comes available … but I just want to make sure everybody gets a chance,” Nelson said Tuesday.
   “We’d like to be as transparent and open as possible,” he added, noting that probably hasn’t been the case in recent years.
   Besides parking them off to the side and possibly putting signs in their windshields, Nelson said the town hasn’t made any effort to generate interest in the vehicles it has wanted to sell, and that has yielded some predictable results.
   Nearly nine months after Pierce plunked down $500 for the Impala last year, then-part-time police officer Jeff Cochran paid the town $2,000 for a 2008 Ford Crown
Victoria with just under 116,000 miles on it. Cochran, who allegedly used money he embezzled from the Barre City Fire Department to buy the used cruiser in November, was the only person to make the town an offer.
   The other two cruisers sold in the last three years were both 2005 Ford Expeditions. One of the SUVs was purchased for $1,350 by David Otis, who is the son of Police Chief William Wolfe’s neighbors in
Barre Town. Otis’ mother, Diane Otis, said Wolfe mentioned the vehicle was available to her husband during a conversation at Thunder Road. The result was the only offer the town received for what she described as a mechanically challenged cruiser that her son repaired and later traded for another vehicle.
   The other Expedition, this one with just less than 93,000 miles on it, was purchased in 2011 by then-Road Commissioner Richard Tetreault for $2,000. Tetreault’s “bid” — an undated note to former Town Administrator Jeff Schulz — was the only one the town received.
   For whatever reason the town has opted not to trade in the used cruisers, an option the new policy puts on the table. It also suggests used vehicles and other municipal equipment can be sold at advertised public auctions, like the one the state holds in
Berlin each spring.
   Barely two months after Pierce paid $500 for a 2007 Impala that records suggest needed an estimated $3,000 in repairs, two virtually identical vehicles with somewhat lower mileage and significant issues of their own were sold “as is” at the state surplus auction. The same bidder bought both converted police cruisers, one for $4,500, the other for $4,750.
   While the auctions, both public and over the Internet, are an option when it comes to selling municipal property under the new policy, doing a better job making the general public aware that something of value is being sold is a requirement.
   Casual offers will no longer be entertained, much less automatically accepted, if the town decides to sell surplus property, like the 2004 Nissan Pathfinder that will allow the board to test drive its new policy.
   The board agreed to solicit sealed bids for the Pathfinder immediately after adopting the policy this week. Notices of the vehicle’s availability will be posted on the town’s newly modified website and on Front Porch Forum. It will also be advertised in a local newspaper.
   The Pathfinder was abandoned several years ago and claimed by the town’s Police Department in 2007. At the time it had roughly 35,000 miles on it. It was briefly used by the police and has most recently been used by the town administrator.
   Though the SUV is now 10 years old, it has only 69,500 miles on it and features a leather interior, power sunroof, power seats, and Bose stereo with cassette and six-CD changer. The board has established a minimum bid of $3,000. The vehicle is available for inspection on weekdays, and the deadline for submitting sealed bids is
7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
   The sale of the Pathfinder was held up pending adoption of a policy that lays out a formal process for disposing of municipal property “as is” and “where is,” with no warranty or guarantee of any kind.
   According to Nelson, the new process will generate more awareness and, he hopes, more and better offers for surplus property.
   “We want to make sure we get the best possible deal” on behalf of the town, he said, suggesting that was a shortcoming of the much more informal process that has been used in recent years.
Pub. 10/6/14 Times Argus
   Property taxes, health care and expanding the people’s voice in politics are some of the important issues to the candidates looking to represent Washington County in the state Senate.
   Six candidates — Ann Cummings, William “Bill” Doyle, Sandra “Sandy” Gaffney, Dexter Lefavour, Pat McDonald and Anthony Pollina — are vying for three seats to represent the county.
   Below are profiles on each candidate, in alphabetical order as they will appear on the ballot.
Ann Cummings
   The 67-year-old Democratic incumbent is seeking her 10th term in the Senate.
   “There are a lot of important issues coming up this session, primarily on health care,” said Cummings, a member of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare.
   Cummings was instrumental in creating Catamount Health in 2006 and said a single-payer system will be among the top priorities of the upcoming Legislative session.
   “Every other industrialized country uses some form of single-payer health care,” Cummings said. “I would like to be there (in the Senate) because I tend to be somewhat conservative, financially speaking, so I won’t vote for something that isn’t sustainable.”
   Cummings is also motivated to see improvement in
Vermont’s economy.
   “The only way we can do that is if people make a living wage, and the only way that will happen is if businesses make enough money to pay those wages,” Cummings said. “We need to have a diverse economy and not put all of our eggs in one basket.”
   On the topic of education, Cummings said she expects the Legislature could take up proposals to consolidate school districts, but probably not in the spirit of the bill that came from the House, which would make consolidation compulsory.
   “I think we found out last year that consolidation seems to be one of the proposals, but we learned that imposing it from the top down will be very difficult,” Cummings said. “Whatever we do needs to be done in partnership with local school boards.”
William Doyle
   For the 88-year-old Republican incumbent from
Montpelier, issues surrounding the education and retention of Vermont’s youth are of paramount importance.
   “The loss of young people is of great concern, and considering the beauty of the state, we should be keeping our young people and attracting families to
Vermont,” said Doyle, who was first elected to the Senate in 1968 and who serves on the Education Committee and the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
   Doyle, who teaches political science at Johnson State College, is an advocate of the state’s dual enrollment program, which allows juniors and seniors in high school to take college-level courses.
   He is also a supporter of education in the
STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
   “Technical education should not be in the back seat of education,” Doyle said.
   Doyle is also the originator of his eponymous annual poll, given to voters every Town Meeting Day in March. He said, politically speaking, many of his positions come from those poll results.
   “Ninety percent of what the people tell me to do, I do,” he said.
   On the topic of school consolidation, Doyle calls for as much local input as possible. During the last Legislative session, his Education Committee drafted a bill that would have called upon the Vermont Council on Rural Development to hold regional meetings around the state on the topic.
   “I believe that any consolidation plan has to involve strong public input,” Doyle said. “The plan should be considered this session, and then next summer and fall by the public to get maximum buy-in.”
Sandra Gaffney
   The 67-year-old Berlin resident is running for Senate with the goal of returning the State House to “the people’s house.”
   “The reason I’m running that I believe that there needs to be more of a balance with normal, everyday people, and we need to be there with the professionals and the politicians,” Gaffney said “Our voices — they might be heard, but they’re not being acted upon.”
   While the retired paraeducator from U-32 Middle and High School has never held an elected or appointed position, the mother of five is a founding member of Mobile Home Park Residents for Equality and Fairness, which formed after Gaffney, along with approximately 70 others, were flooded out of Weston’s Mobile Home Park in
Berlin in 2011 following Tropical Storm Irene.
   The group successfully lobbied for funding to remove the damaged mobile homes from the site, Gaffney said.
   “Throughout my life I’ve struggled to make ends meet, and I’ve seen others struggle,” Gaffney said. “That’s why I’m running, because it doesn’t seem like we are respected enough. Somebody from the struggling people, who are the majority, should be up there in the middle of what’s going on.”
   Gaffney advocates the expansion of public transportation as a way to aid poor and working-class Vermonters who are struggling with the high cost of gasoline. She also supports universal health care, saying “not only is it the right thing to do, but economically, it’s the prudent thing to do.”
   “Just because we might not be professional politicians and we may not have the same kind of advantages that would bring us to participate in politics doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to contribute,” Gaffney said.
Dexter Lefavour
   The 57-year-old Republican from Middlesex is a farmer and an environmental engineer who believes state government is detached from the day-to-day needs and activities of the typical Vermonter.
   “What I hear from people is that the Legislature is out of touch with the general population,” said Lefavour, who previously ran unsuccessful campaigns for the House in 1996 and 1998 and for Senate in 2012.
   “I will be of service to the entire population,” Lefavour said. “That means that I won’t be influenced by politics or lobbyists, unless their interests match the will of the people.”
   Lefavour has previously been a zoning administrator and a member of the Planning Commission in Middlesex.
   Lefavour said state government should do more to promote
Vermont businesses to customers outside the state, and should be of more help to business owners in general.
   “I would like to see government be more service-oriented and less regulatory-oriented,” Lefavour said.
   Lefavour said he supports decentralizing education, taking power from the federal and state governments and giving that power to local school districts. He also opposes what he called a “one-size-fits-all” approach to school consolidation.
   On the topic of health care, Lefavour said he would like to see the move to single-payer health care be a multi-state initiative.
   “I don’t think
Vermont going it alone on single-payer makes sense. I don’t think it’s sustainable,” Lefavour said. “I think Vermont has to find a more reasonable approach to government-run health care.”
   More information about Lefavour can be found at
Pat McDonald
   The 71-year-old Republican from
Berlin has an extensive background in state politics. She represented Berlin for two terms in House from 2007-2010. She has also been the commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, Department of Human Resources and Training, and the Department of Motor Vehicles; secretary of the Agency of Transportation; and deputy commissioner of the Department of Education.
   On the local level, she was chairwoman of the Berlin Select Board and she currently chairs the Barre City Bike Path Committee.
   McDonald said she is running for office with the hope of addressing the ever-rising cost of living in
   “Like many Vermonters, I am frustrated with property taxes and the cost of living in
Vermont,” McDonald said “I feel like I can contribute because of my background and my history.”
   Any discussion of property taxes must begin with a look at eduction, McDonald said. The discussion should include looking at
Vermont’s student-to-teacher ratio — the lowest in the country — and a look at school consolidation.
   McDonald said it might be time to review the education funding formula itself.
   “We’re kind of at that point when we need to do something dramatic, and should revisit acts 60 and 68,” McDonald said.
   On the topic of health care and Gov. Peter Shumlin’s push for a single-payer system, McDonald said “It should be available to everyone and it should be affordable and sustainable. My concerns are, what it will it cover, how much will it cost and who will pay for it?”
   For more information, visit
Anthony Pollina
   For the 62-year-old incumbent Progressive/Democrat from Middlesex, providing the means for working-class Vermonters to live in the state has been his main mission during his two terms in the Senate.
   “People’s incomes are simply not keeping up with the cost of living, which means they can’t spend money in their local communities,” said Pollina, who is vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations and clerk of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare.
   “For most Vermonters, real wages are lower than they were 10 years ago,” Pollina continued. “We need to do more so working-class families can live in the state.”
   To that end, Pollina was instrumental in crafting a bill that took 10-percent of the state’s money out of banks and put it into a fund to be invested at the local level in affordable housing, energy efficiency and infrastructure projects.
   “That helps to build the economy from the ground up,” Pollina said.
   Pollina also advocates for the state to hire locally and buy locally, saying “the state should direct their dollars back into the local economy.”
   On the topic of health care, Pollina acknowledged the rollout of the Vermont Health Exchange “has pretty much been a disaster,” and suggested looking to other systems that have worked as models.
   Pollina cited the health care system enjoyed by state employees, which covers approximately 20,000 people.
   “Those rates have remained stable or at times decreased,” Pollina said.
   When looking at ways to curb rising property taxes, Pollina said he would support “a shift toward income and wealth for any foundation of any form of taxation.”
   Pollina also opposes mandatory school consolidation, saying “I don’t think forced consolidation is the way to go because there is no evidence that consolidation will reduce costs.”
   For more information, visit
Absentee voting has already begun, and voters will head to the polls Nov. 4.
Berlin resident Lynn Morris and family are looking for balsam brush which they can cut or to buy. If you can help them out please call: Lynn 229-1716.

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