To the editor: Time for a change on Grafton Select Board

Letters to the editor logoIn the last two years, I have attended the majority of Grafton Select Board and Planning Commission meetings. I have repeatedly observed behavior and treatment of people at these meetings like nothing I have seen in town, since Noreen and I moved here in 1973.

I have seen heated and emotional debate in town in the past, over several different issues, but not like this. I think Grafton is ready for a change.

I would like to bring some of my life experiences, to the Select Board. I have a wide range of experiences and a history of bringing people together to solve problems.

I served on the Grafton School Board for six years. Many issues faced the board during those years, including a vote, building a school and going through a teacher strike. Folks wanted different things, some in direct conflict with one another. Finding something acceptable to all was the challenge.

Working in Grafton after Tropical Storm Irene gave me more appreciation for emergency organization and keeping up with road and bridge maintenance. It was a different kind of emergency organization than I had helped set up in Grand Isle County after the 1998 Ice Storm or my forest fire career.

My two years on the Select Board taught me that although they meet twice a month to conduct business, barring any emergencies, a Select Board member collects information 365 days a year, in preparation for those meetings.

The Stiles Brook wind project is one of the largest issues facing our town right now.

I strongly believe that the registered voters of this town should decide whether or not the project moves forward and that they should do so when all of the facts of the project have been presented to them. It is important that the process is fair and legal so in the end, regardless of the outcome, we can continue to be the Town of Grafton. Although very important, I also feel there is more to being on the Select Board than helping navigate the town through the wind issue.

Having lived in Grafton more than 40 years, raising a child in this town, having a successful State Forest Protection career — including time spent working with other agencies and several years on a National Emergency overhead team — gives me a well-rounded perspective that should be helpful to the Town of Grafton.

I would appreciate your vote.

Al Sands

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