VTrans deserves a cheer, a thank you from us all

We probably shouldn’t hold our breath, but we can hope that we have seen the last of the snow for a while. We had a lot of weird storms this year that required commitment and patience on the part of our VTrans workers. I will lead the cheer for them: they need to get up during the night, work early and late to make our roads safe for us; we complain if they don’t have the roads entirely clear but we resent the budgets; we often make their lives harder by not being as courteous as we can on the roads; and we probably never say thanks. So here it is - thanks from all of us!
But remember, now that snow is gone, summer road work starts. Again we are much less understanding than we should be: we speed through work zones; we become impatient if we have to wait; and we don’t like the dust and the inconvenience. So after thanking them for the winter, let’s remember to also be courteous during the summer. It is a hard job in the summer, too: hot days, dust, and zooming traffic.
And while on the subject of VTrans, they did a couple things lately that should be acknowledged. The signs at the rotary at routes 5, 9, and I-91 were changed. I have been trying to get that done for years, thanks to Pal Borofsky who challenged me to take it on. And it seems to be working. Traffic is smoother and I have seen most people obeying the new traffic pattern. This summer VTrans will make more permanent markings after this initial stage to make sure it was working.
Another positive step they took was to keep the speed lowered on Route 30 by the Retreat Farm, even after the construction on the new bridges was done. This was at the request of the town of Brattleboro and many others. It did not fit nicely with their engineers’ recommendations but they honored the local request. This is great as it slows traffic down for the Retreat Farm and those accessing the river. And speaking of the river, if you haven’t been to the base of the West River I-91 bridge you should visit it. Both sides have wonderful observation decks. You can have a nice picnic there and watch the river. If you look up at the underside of the deck the rippling water is reflected in the blue-painted “ceiling” and it looks like a reflection of the river. This amazing design was done with input from local citizens and the support of VTrans.
On a different topic, in case you haven’t noticed, it is an election year. Candidates are announcing and are off and running. Candidates need to get enough signatures to show that they have support for their candidacy. Candidates for the House need 50, Senate candidates and other county offices need 100, and statewide candidates need 500. The thing to remember is that you may only sign enough petitions as there are seats in that position. For example, if you live in a two-seat House district you can sign two petitions, if it is one-seat district you can sign one. For the Senate in Windham County you can sign two, for statewide positions you can only sign one. Most candidates get way more than they need in case people signed too many, if they are not residents, or if they do not live in the designated district.
The first time that a potential candidate can turn in their petition is April 31 and the last time to turn it in is May 31. Once a potential candidate has either raised or spent $500 they must file a campaign finance report with the Secretary of State. These are all on line at the SOS website under elections. There you can see who your favorite, or least favorite, candidate has received money from and how it is being spent.
Get involved. Now is the time to help with your favorite candidates, find out who they are, what they want to do and get involved with the issues.
The session is almost over, we probably have three weeks left. These last three weeks will be mostly spent working out differences between House and Senate versions of the same bills, finishing the budget and the tax bills, and wrapping up. We anticipate more governor vetoes and will deal with them as they arise.
Remember to stay in touch by calling (802) 387-4379 or emailing jwhite@leg.state.vt.us.

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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