To the editor:
Years have passed since a train whistle was heard echoing off the hills along the Lamoille Valley Railroad. Once running from St. Johnsbury to Swanton, the track bed is now a rail trail, some of it finished, some sections still to be completed.
The rail trail is used by hikers and bikers in warm months and by all manner of outdoor enthusiasts when snow covers the ground. Those who use the trail and those who benefit from the boost to local economies brought by the trail can give a nod to Sen. Jane Kitchel of Danville. As chair of the Vermont Senate Appropriations Committee, she was a key person to target funding for the completion of the rail trail.
Because of that, and her many other actions to help local communities, I’m casting my vote Nov. 8 for her re-election.
Throughout her service in the Legislature, and before that in state government, Jane has always kept people as her focus. Whether working to bring or keep jobs in Caledonia County and the Northeast Kingdom or to help towns address needed local projects, she was there.
Jane made sure Northern Vermont University, Lyndon, would remain open following its merger with other campuses. She helped find funding for appraising hydro dams in several Connecticut River towns. She worked to see Hardwick ratepayers didn’t have to pay property taxes on the Public Beach on Caspian Lake owned by the Hardwick Electric Department. Finding the money to buy the Depot Square Building in St. Johnsbury put the structure on the path to restoration. She sponsored legislation to keep the Ryegate Power Plant open, which continued power generation, property tax revenue and jobs. The Barnet village water system needed work. She found the money.
Vermont received about $4.4 billion in federal COVID relief money. Under her leadership, the appropriations committee targeted long-term community needs for affordable housing, broadband, climate change, clean water and more.
Jane knows government must always keep the common good in mind as it taxes and spends. Good government helps to create and keep communities vibrant and vibrant communities foster good government.
I’m voting for Jane Kitchel to return to Montpelier to represent the Caledonia-Orange Senate District. I encourage other residents of the towns and villages in the district to do the same.