To the editor: Reed has qualities for state representative

It’s campaign season and I’m asked by people, “What does it take to be a good state representative?” It’s a really good question and I’m happy to answer it based on my experience and what I’ve observed in other representatives with whom I served.

Letter to the editor logo2At the top of my list is: You must be a people-person. You have to like people – not just your friends — but everyone. You have to genuinely care about the well-being of people you don’t even know.

Another question I’m asked: Is it important to have local government experience? In a word, No! What is important is having an open mindand a willingness to learn.

If you come into this job with years and years of with fixed ideas about how things are done, you’re not open to listening to others and learning from them. It’s good to have a fresh perspective on the issues you’ll be asked to address and allows you to be open to new ideas. The job of state representative is unique: You learn very quickly with “on-the-job training.” No experience necessary but an ability to learn is important. (For the record, I did not have any town government experience prior to my three terms as your state representative.)

Dedication is another important quality. The job of state representative is time consuming. You’re in Montpelier for at least four months – when I served it was January to end of June. Now, the session usually ends early May, so it isn’t as long. But when the legislative session is over, your job isn’t over. You are busy with constituent work at home. People have problems and they need your help. If you’re not dedicated and committed to the service-oriented aspect of being a representative, then you’re not going to enjoy this part of the job because it takes lots of your time on weekends.

Being a good communicator is important. The public should know what’s going on in Montpelier so you want someone who is willing to communicate with you on a regular basis. You should know about bills before they become law. You want your representative to stay in touch with you – especially after they are elected!

Tuesday, Aug. 9 is the Primary Voting Day. You will have a choice of two Democrats running for state representative. I hope you will join me in voting for Melody Reed. Melody brings a fresh perspective to the job and I believe she best meets the criteria for being – not just a good – but a great state representative.

She has all of the qualities I’ve listed and she’s one of the hardest-working people I know. I have watched her grow as a candidate, delving into the issues, listening to people as they share their concerns with her. She exemplifies what it is to be a people-person – conscientious and dedicated. And she really cares about you and me. That’s what I want to see in my state representative. Early voting has started, so you can vote today for Melody Reed.

Kathy Pellett
Former state representative

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