To the editor: Candidate Dakin outlines focus

To start the conversation as a write-in candidate for a one-year term on the Chester Select Board, let me confirm that our goal as Chester residents and elected officials is to maintain Chester as a livable town, affordable and attractive to all. To do that, we need to focus on the following:

Highways and infrastructure. Our highway crews are the best in the state as they keep our roads well maintained. The town needs to improve the unacceptable condition of Grafton Road along the Williams River and over the hill into Grafton. We are taking steps to improve our sidewalks in the village area for the benefit of our citizens and visitors. The Select Board needs to find a way to provide a safe walking sidewalk from the village to Green Mountain Union High School and along Church Street.

Housing. We need to address the lack of availability of sufficient housing for our young families and our senior citizens. Too often families in our town or those who want to move to Chester for its schools and way of life cannot find adequate housing. And our senior citizens need more housing options in the village so that they can move from their larger residences to smaller apartments or condominiums. We need to encourage collaboration between the town and private investment to improve and expand our housing stock.

Employment. Our town is a strong employment center: Drew’s, NewsBank, our municipal government and the schools. As well our local businesses provide wonderful employment opportunities for our citizens and others in our region. Too many jobs in our town and region are going unfilled, so we must support our schools and tech center in educating our children both to fill these jobs and to stay in Chester.

Recreation and Outdoor Activities. We are proud of the opportunities offered by our town recreation department with its variety of summer and winter activities at the Pinnacle, the town pool, the ball fields and other recreational areas around our town. Any considerations of acquiring large tracts of land, such as the Tomasso property, need to focus not just on the benefit to residents and visitors but also to the costs of a reduced Grand List and maintenance and the impact of increased numbers of visitors to rural areas in our town.

Economic Development. We must encourage our local businesses and employers to stay in Chester and new business must be attracted to our town so that our residents and visitors have the variety of shopping and business opportunities in town. Collaboration between our town government with our local and regional businesses and economic development organizations can only bring positive results to expanding our job opportunities, filling our store fronts and keeping our shopping local.

Affordability. We must recognize that, unless Chester is an affordable place to live, we will not be able to keep our residents-the backbone of our town-and attract new businesses and residents. I support the manner in which our Select Board and town office have managed our town finances. Our goal is to keep our town well managed by its municipal government and to keep our town tax rate reasonable and affordable.

Leigh Dakin

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  1. Cris Ericson says:

    Hi! I just gave Leigh Dakin two write in votes in two spaces on the Chester, VT 05143 ballot March 5, 2019.
    But, listen up, Leigh Dakin, I know you are a Democrat, so I want you to know that I am so deeply opposed to the state legislators new abortion bill that I guarantee you I will vote for President Donald J Trump in 2020.
    That’s how sick you Democrats make me feel with your new abortion bill. Disgusting!
    Cris Ericson

  2. lew watters says:

    I want to urge my fellow citizens to write in Leigh Dakin for the one-year term for Chester Select Board this Tuesday, March 5th. I have known Leigh and her family for much of my 40 plus years living in our great town. She is a good listener who will bring leadership to the board. Her experience serving us in the state legislature will bring more opportunity for jobs and affordable housing.