• Published in Editorials

It’s liberating to imagine all the ways The Valley could be improved if money were no object

And that’s what two of our readers did this week in op/ed pieces they submitted.

Warren architect David Sellers, taking off on the visioning work that proponents of a local option tax (LOT) have begun, imagines a Valley where all ski area operations are powered by wind and solar energy and a Valley with wind turbines on its ridges. We don’t have to agree with every part of his proposal to understand his vision.

He talks about infill development in Waitsfield and Irasville with transit via scooters and a tram reaching from Waitsfield to Sugarbush. (That would be a fun ride.)

He imagines a completely revamped Skatium functioning as ice arena with performance space and an adjacent municipal swimming pool and he talks about trains. Imagine if you could take a train from Waitsfield to Waterbury and then get on a train to Church Street or the Burlington airport!

Peter Langella, Moretown, also spent some time imagining this week. In public comments to the Harwood Unified Union School District Board, Langella (who resigned from that board last fall) asks the board to use the concept of universal design when working to redesign our six-town school district. Universal design is “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

He asks the board to provide ample early education opportunities for all students, to enhance outdoor education, to provide language immersion programs so most students graduate bilingual.

The value of both writers’ submissions is that they allow us to expand our thinking about what is possible. If we’re working to seize control of our destiny in terms of economic vitality, which members of the Mad River Valley –Funding Local Opportunities subcommittee are espousing with an LOT, and how we educate our kids in a redesigned school district, we need to start with a vision. We don’t have to agree on specifics yet, but we need a place to start.