I am Jake White and I am a candidate for the three-year term on the Wilmington Selectboard. I am a lifelong resident of Wilmington, most of you know me from working at Shaw’s and Grand Union.
I have been married 32 years to Monique White, real estate agent for The Hermitage Deerfield Valley Real Estate with over 25 years experience selling properties in the Deerfield Valley. We have two grown children still living in the valley, Jeremy White, owner of White’s Landscaping, and Michelle O’Neil with husband Ryan and grandchildren, Carter (2 years) and Morgan (7 months). I graduated from Wilmington High School in 1968. I served six years with the Vermont National Guard. I have worked in the Valley for 49 years, starting at the O.O.Ware IGA store at a $1 per hour and then 45 years with Grand Union and Shaw’s. I am an outdoorsman, hunter (mostly with a camera now), athletic (still playing competitive softball in the Brattleboro league) and a hiker (I climbed Haystack Mountain 107 times last year with my grand dog Cloe). I was one of the original members of Deerfield Valley Rescue to obtain EMT status. I have been an active member of the Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department for over 40 years, including fire chief from 1982 to 1984.
In 2012, I ranked second in most hours for responding to calls and practices, my son ranked first. Politically, I have been on the Wilmington Budget Committee for 20-plus years and am very familiar with how the town operates.
Wilmington has seen many stumbling blocks, from Act 60 to Tropical Storm Irene. I have taken joy and pride seeing our community work together to not only get Wilmington back on its feet, but to begin to build a better future.
I voted for the 1% option tax (contrary to rumor) and I am in favor of both economic and community development. Spending of the 1% option tax should start with downtown needs: grants, helping businesses get back on their feet, Internet, parking, sidewalks, signage, lighting, Memorial Hall, trails, etc, but it should not be limited to downtown. It was the entire town’s people who voted for this tax although the loudest voices come from downtown.
I hear the voice of everyone. Wilmington is my home and my priority. To be open minded and fair is my greatest qualification and I hope to fill those needs for everyone. I would appreciate your vote.