A letter from Select Board member Heather Chase

To learn even more about Heather Chase, click here
to join her for one of two Zoom Town Halls.

To view a video interview with Heather Chase, click here.

February 4, 2021

Chester Residents:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our wonderful community. I have had the pleasure of
living in Chester for 19 years and serving as a Select Board member for the past 6 years.
I am running for re-election for another 3 year term. I feel my energy, commitment to Chester
and my knowledge of town government allows me to contribute to the vibrancy and future of our community.

The past 6 years has provided me with experience working collaboratively with a diverse board,
the citizens of Chester, and two town managers. This has taught me a great deal about town management,
budgeting and infrastructure development. My skills as a small business owner and health care provider
transfer to working on the Board. I listen well, work constructively with others, and don’t hesitate
to respectfully voice my views. I have enjoyed engaging in conversation with fellow board members and
citizens. In addition, difficult times, like the ones we are living through, call for proven
leadership and experience in government. I deliver this.

Below I have outlined, my town leadership positions, accomplishments of the board, and future items
that the Board will be addressing.

Town leadership positions:

  • Vice Chairman of the Select Board since 2017
  • Chairman of the Board of Civil Authority (BCA)
  • Chairman of the Town Manager Search Committee (2019-2020)

Following is a small list of accomplishments that the board and town management have achieved
in the past 6 years and by no means do I alone take “credit” for any accomplishment as all board
members work together with the Town Manager to make decisions and move Chester forward.

  • Introduced and adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Upgrade and improvement of the Water System ($4M funded at a -1% rate)
  • Adopted a Salvage Yard Ordinance and increased funding for the Zoning Administrator
    position for oversight and enforcement
  • Support of the Chester Townscape: further beautifying our community
  • Passing of the new Public Safety Building and upgrading of the Public Works Building
  • Provided support for Historic Preservation: Library, Chester Academy, Yosemite Fire House, Jeffrey Barn
    and the Town Hall. The Budget now has a funded line item specific for Historic Preservation
  • Lowering of the speed limit near the High School with increase electric speed limit signs
  • Marketing Plan (why it is so nice to live, work and recreate in Chester!)
  • Master Plan (Village Center focus)
    • Canopy plan (all those new trees)
    • New sidewalk project starts 2021
    • Pocket parks (1 complete, 2 in progress)
    • New Chester signage

One of the major responsibilities of a Select Board Member is to oversee the town budget.

  • Within the past 6 years the budget and thus taxes have remained stable.
  • 2020 budget surplus of over 300K. Attributed the Boards and Town Management’s rapid response
    to COVID-19 Pandemic. This will be applied to debt reduction, purchasing equipment without financing
    and to establish a reserve fund.
  • The establishment of the reserve fund has been advised by our auditors.

Future major issues the Select Board will be addressing:

  • Reviewing of Policies and Procedures including those pertaining to Policing and the New Public Safety Building:
    Although I am not an expert on this, if elected to my 3rd term I will enthusiastically learn more about this area of town government.
  • Cannabis sales in Chester. My inclination is to support this measure. However, I understand the devil is in the details.
    In the near future the Chester Board will have meetings to discuss this and I look forward to hearing from voters.
    In addition, Governor Scott has formed a committee to address the rules and regulations surrounding Cannabis sales.
    Therefore, it is premature to have a final opinion.

Get out and VOTE!!!! Ballots will be available February 10 and the Town Report is available on February 12! Vote on March 2 at Town Hall
or request an absentee ballot or vote early!

Sincerely,

Heather Chase

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