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I am seeking re-election to the Waitsfield Select Board for a three-year term. I have served on the select board for the past 29 years. I have the time, energy and motivation to continue serving the residents of Waitsfield and the Mad River Valley community and would be honored to do so.
Here are a few of the town projects that I have been involved with:
- Preservation and enhancement of our historic village to make it more pedestrian friendly and accessible. That included the new sidewalk/bike-path (under construction), restoration of the covered bridge and the reconstruction of historic Bridge Street (both scheduled for construction in 2013).
- Planning and construction of our town water and hydrant system and the beginnings of a decentralized wastewater option for residential and business property owners. Both of these infrastructure improvements will provide limited growth potential in our designated Village Growth Area.
- Community land conservation and management including lands devoted to agriculture, wildlife preservation, public river access and recreational trail networks.
- The acquisition and masterplanning of the Flemer Green, Flemer Barns and Flemer Farm Stand properties into our historic village fabric.
- Municipal investment in sustainable energy strategies including a community solar orchard and energy conservation enhancements to the Wait House, town garage and fire station.
- Preservation of our scenic streets and back roads with a focus on tree maintenance and replacement.
- I have been a member of the Town Office Task Force that has been working for the past two years to select a new site for the town municipal offices.
I am an avid proponent of hands-on citizen volunteer efforts to accomplish many tasks that save the town significant money and engage citizens in the challenges of local governance.
I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my service to the town of Waitsfield as a member of the select board.
I am asking for your support for select board. I am a 10th-generation Waitsfield resident. I live in Waitsfield with my wife, Jeannette, and son, Caleb. I have served on the school board for the past three years. I learned a lot in those three years and found the experience to be very rewarding. It was a pleasure getting to know the other board members and to collaborate with our different points of view to accomplish resolve on various matters. That has shown me that all involved may have different insights but that we all share the same common goal, to offer the best education possible, while being sensitive to the needs of the community. It was hard work at times to understand each other’s perspective, but we would spend extra time if warranted to make sure we all had fully grasped the topic at hand, which I feel made us a much stronger board in the long run.
As a select board member and a lifelong Waitsfield resident, my goal would be to support our whole community by having task forces that are made up of diverse groups that can better represent the broad community in which we live. The outcome will be results that are more balanced with everybody's needs.
The projects that come forth will be more likely to gain support from the community. Working together with a diverse group helps to strengthen our town. Through listening and learning different views and the ability to compromise on goals we are reaching for, we develop a better understanding of everyone’s needs in our town. The results lend to a healthier place to live and the ability to accomplish so much more.
I know I do not have all the answers to the needs of our town, but I do know where to find those answers. Working together we can build a stronger community. There is much we can learn from each other. The strength and heart of a community is the people in it. Being sensitive and considerate of everybody's needs is important to having a healthy town.
Thanks for your support.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Chris Pierson. I was first introduced to Waitsfield in 1966 when my family bought a small piece of land from a farmer named Shinny Graves on what is now Bushnell Road. The roads in that part of town didn’t have names back then. Back in those days just about everything on that side of the covered bridge was working farmland and Bridge Street was the economic metropolis of The Valley. Home to Valley icon’s like Mehuron’s, Bisbee’s and the Howard Bank – giving you an idea of some of the changes, I have witnessed, in town during my lifetime.
Those are obvious changes, as they are tangible. The other changes are far more subtle yet every bit as significant. They take the form of multimillion-dollar municipal projects, conservation, public and private work projects, education and, of course, what I call the community’s long lost identity.
As a member of the select board, with your support, I will work to instill financial discipline, openness and full disclosure. I will listen to the community and be directed by the community’s desires. Not just those of the few.
I have put my hat in the ring to go to work for you! In order to be elected, I need your support and will continue to need your support and feedback along the way. This is required to build a community that has strong values and a firm identity. When a community possesses these traits and decides to take action, it does so, knowing who we are and what we are doing, because we are acting together.
I am seeking another term as a member of your select board. I am thankful for my years on the board, particularly the last year as its chair, and look forward to serving Waitsfield for another term.
When I first became a board member I relied heavily on my own educational and professional experiences, along with being a strong listener, to shape my role on the board. While that approach was certainly helpful through the early years, I can now say categorically that there is no better training for this position than the “hands-on” management of town issues as an actual board member.
There’s a lot going on in Waitsfield right now. Long dormant projects are beginning while others are nearing conclusion. Some new ideas are drawing attention and await further examination and timing, if approved. Thanks to recent destructive weather events, unavoidable demands that require immediate attention have been thrust upon us without notice.
The select board is often at the center of these town activities seeking to conduct complete evaluations, collect public input, decide on the sequencing of projects and consider public costs.
No matter what comes our way, I am committed to serving with a steady hand, a balanced approach and an eye toward accomplishing all our legitimate goals without incurring untenable public expense.
See you at Town Meeting. Look for my name on your ballot.