The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

McGrath and Willis challenge Haff for selectman seat

KILLINGTON - Patty McGrath, co-owner of the Inn at the Long Trail on Route 4, and E.J. Willis, longtime Killington resident, are challenging incumbent Selectman Jim Haff for his seat on the board of selectmen.

McGrath said she wanted to foster dispassionate thinking and better collaboration between the town government and its citizens, adding that any ideas should be looked at in a clear and analytical manner.

"I don't look at changes as much as changing direction in some way," she said. "I'd like more respectful dialogue. We've fallen short in those areas... It's not about who's right and who's wrong, but about getting everybody involved."

McGrath said she'd like to see the Killington Road commercial corridor made more attractive.

"Curb appeal is vital," she said. "In the long run, we should encourage long-term economic growth for everyone. We can do it while keeping everyone's interests in mind and without breaking the bank. We have to balance the long term and the short term before we can move forward."

Part of the solution, McGrath said, is to improve the sense of arrival as travelers go into Killington on Route 4.

"That is one of the areas which could use improvement," she said, "and we should take care of Killington Road as well. If it's done in unison, it'll have a greater effect than if it's done separately. But that becomes a financial issue as well. The project could be made more cost-effective through the use of grants. Killington Road is extremely important, and Route 4 serves everybody."
McGrath said she was not running because she has a grand vision for the town's future.

"I'm not running on great ideas," she said. "We have town employees whose job it is to have great ideas. I encourage them to do what's possible and what's affordable. The town plan creates a great framework for where we want to go. It helps organize the ways in which we can move forward."

If elected, McGrath said she would dedicate plenty of  time and energy to the job.

"I will work hard for this town," she said. "I'm a good listener, and I'm good at making thoughtful plans. I literally want to make things win-win for everybody. I like it when we move together as a group."

McGrath said this was her second run for the board of selectmen.

Also in the race is longtime Killington resident E.J. Willis, who said she wants to bring some common sense to the board of selectman. In the past she has served on the school board, the Board of Civil Authority, and she is a justice of the peace.

"I want to bring some stability to the board," she said. "It's time to have a different perspective. I'd like to work with the rest of the board to lower taxes, solve the golf course debt and the other issues facing the town."

Because three-candidate races are rare in Killington, Willis said she plans to reach out to some of the newer residents.

"I have to get my name out there to those who don't know me that well and answer their questions," she said.

Jim Haff submitted his petition for re-election, Monday, and said he was pleased to see others interested in the seat. "I had heard a few others were interested in running too, but they didn't submit petitions, which is disappointing, I think… it's good to see folks interested… it's good for voters to have a choice."

According to the town clerk's office, the only other contested race is for first constable. Mark Fiore and Whit Montgomery are vying for the two-year position vacated by Scott Bigelow.

Nominating petitions were due on Jan. 28. Town Clerk Lucretia Wonsor said no one has proposed any petition articles for the town meeting warning this year.

BRANDON-Three candidates seek two seats on the Select Board. Newcomers June Kelly and Blaine Cliver will challenge incumbent Ethan Swift. Devon Fuller, who held a one-year seat on the Select Board, is running for a three-year seat, as incumbent Mitch Pearl is not seeking re-election.
Gerry McGraw is challenging first constable incumbent Gigi Corsones for the position.

CASTLETON-Seven residents are running for the Select Board this year. Patricia Graziano will seek re-election facing challengers Patrick Eagan and John Hale for a three-year seat. James Leamy and Edward O'Shea seek re-election facing challengers Thomas Kurns and Wenger Rehlen for a two-year seat.

PITTSFORD-Selectman Alan Hitchcock seeks re-election for his two-year seat facing challenger Cathy Rider.

PROCTOR-Select Board Chairman Eric "Rick" Anderson is seeking re-election, he will face challenger Richard Horner, a former town selectman, for a two-year seat.

RUTLAND TOWN- Don Chioffi and Chris Kiefer-Cioffi are vying for a three-year seat on the Select Board, vacated by James Hall.
Chittenden, Clarendon, Poultney and Mendon have no contested races.