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Parker runs for select board in Waitsfield

02/14/2008

{mosimage}  My name is Bill Parker and I am running for a seat on the Waitsfield Select Board. My candidacy is about bringing a new perspective to the board. I've been here a long time, I have a diverse background and skills that would be useful on the select board and I'm willing to make the time commitment. I hear from many people that it is time to see some new faces at the table.

My family moved to Vermont when I was 10 and I graduated from Harwood Union High School in the class of 1970. After college and a few years working in California and Japan I moved back to Vermont, taught science at Harwood and then started a high-tech business in Waitsfield. Twenty years ago my wife, Julie, and I met during graduate school at MIT and decided to make Waitsfield our home. We have three children who go to Harwood and Waitsfield Elementary School and we have worked hard to build several high-tech businesses in Waitsfield that currently employ over 20 people.

The select board has the primary role of overseeing operations and managing resources and growth. As a business owner these are two jobs that I have done successfully. As a scientist I know how important gathering facts and performing careful analysis are to producing a desired outcome. And as an inventor I know how important it is to be willing to sometimes think "outside the box" and get to an answer that might not be obvious but is right.  

Like many of us, I am very concerned with Waitsfield's growth issues. As a small and diverse community we are continually faced with difficult choices. My immediate goal is to improve our efforts in managing growth and protecting the town's resources for future generations. We need to find ways to support our current businesses and encourage new ones. And we need to diversify our income base and assure we have a fair method of assessing taxes.

Permit applicants deserve clear regulations. While I was on the Waitsfield Planning Commission we moved toward clearer rules and less ambiguous guidance for permit applicants as well as better tools to efficiently review applications. We can do this job even better. Six years serving Waitsfield on the PC taught me that the select board can help the planning commission and the DRB by being more knowledgeable and more involved in their processes.

Roads, build-out of infrastructure, lack of sidewalks! Much of Waitsfield is a serious challenge for pedestrians and we need to change that, regardless of whether the town water and wastewater initiatives pass at Town Meeting day. I am a proponent of a municipal water supply but feel strongly that the town septic system must be "right-sized." Unfortunately the proposed septic system is an expensive solution that does not address the whole need and will have to be followed by an even more expensive solution at a later date.  

I strongly believe that we need a much more proactive approach to town representation through finding and instituting better ways for people to be a part of the process early on, rather than dealing with the issues too late when it is more frustrating and expensive for everyone. It's why I volunteered to be on the planning commission and a big part of why I am running for a seat on the select board.

I also believe we can achieve a town better able to retain our young people and sustain the best type of growth without sacrificing any of our quality of life. My perspective is that of a longtime resident with a proven commitment to making a great place even better for everyone. If elected I will bring my analytical skills, caring, determination and imagination to the Waitsfield Select Board.

Please give me your support at Town Meeting March 4.  

Bill Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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