Thanks to all, election went smoothly
Our election season is over, and I have many happy thoughts when looking back on the last five weeks.

We received an amazing amount of help. The volunteers and town’s board of civil authority members worked with voters in our office and on Election Day at Colchester High School. Thank you very much for all your efforts; the Town Clerk’s Office could not handle it without you.

Thank you to Colchester High School for hosting us during their school day, Colchester Police for keeping us safe and the Department of Public Works for taking care of our voting equipment. You, our voters remained patient and steadfast in spite of lines. Local candidates respectfully followed requests in regard to signage and Election Day campaigning.

The town has new assisted voting machines. This is a new technology to enable people to cast their vote with more independence. Thanks to the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office, Election Division, we were able to offer Colchester’s voters this new voting option.

Finally, I want to share my appreciation of the town clerk’s staff. Their support is unwavering and I could not do my job without them.

I hope to see everyone in March 2019 for Town Meeting.

Julie A. Graeter
Town Clerk/Treasurer

 

Taylor appreciates support
Thank you, Colchester voters, for returning me to the State House for another term. Your confidence in my ability to represent you means a lot to me.

Colchester is not an easy town to represent. My district (9-1) runs from Fort Ethan Allen all the way to the Milton border. My constituents live in million-dollar lakeside estates, barely affordable rentals and all that is in between. Their financial concerns include property taxes, the education of their children and rent increases that threaten their ability to put food on the table. They are all affected by the increasing cost of health care and an opioid epidemic that is ruining lives and fracturing families. Many are making the tough life-changing decisions that come with advancing age.

Colchester businesses and the economic activity of Chittenden County depend on the natural resources in and around the two Colchester voting districts. The lake, two major rivers, several ponds, a state park and local recreation resources draw businesses and people to this area.

The work I do in committee and my floor votes take all this into consideration. It’s a balancing act with serious consequences.

It is good that every two years I am up for re-election. The campaign reminds me of who I represent and what concerns them the most. Many feel good about their lives and prospects. They love living in Vermont. But there is much to be done to ensure that remains so and to bring more of my constituents to that level of personal and financial security. I will continue that work.

Curt Taylor
Colchester

 

Thank you, Vermont
Over 100,000 Vermonters voted for me last week. I want to thank each and every person for their support.

Five months ago, I decided to undertake one of the biggest challenges/opportunities of my life. Running a statewide campaign for the first time was daunting. Running a statewide campaign against an incumbent even more, considering that only once in the last 50-plus years has an incumbent been defeated in a Vermont statewide election.

We assembled a team of volunteers and planned a positive campaign focused on the issues. With little statewide name recognition, we began by introducing me to Vermonters. Vermonters were willing to listen to my perspective and help me in so many ways. Investing in the campaign, hosting house parties, putting up signs and banners, arranging meet and greets, making calls night after night, volunteering for every parade we could find in the state, sharing words of encouragement, or just telling me “I voted for you” was very gratifying. Even though the election results were disappointing, the support I received from people all across our state was humbling. The journey was an incredible experience and I am a better person as a result.

Vermonters welcomed me into this race, our team gave me a chance to win and my family made this a special journey. I’m proud of our team and the campaign we ran. Thank you Gail, Darren, Dawn, Hayden, Rachel, Casey, Shayne, Ben and Tyler.

Thanks again, Vermont!

Don Turner Jr.
Former Republican candidate for lt. governor

 

Is Christmas in trouble?
You may know that thousands of Vermont kids are living below the poverty level, and at Christmas, they would not have a “Good Toy Day” if not for the efforts of Toys for Kids (100 percent volunteer, non-profit program).

Toys for Kids, coordinated by the Marine Corps League, is the largest Christmas toy collection program in Vermont for needy kids. With the help of NBC Channel 5 TV and many business sponsors, countless volunteers work diligently during the Christmas season to monitor and empty hundreds of red Toy for Kids barrels. All new, unwrapped toys collected are turned over to agencies (such as the Salvation Army) for distribution to needy families in Vermont. We also depend on your generous financial donations throughout the year. Monies collected are used to buy Visa gift cards at Christmas for older kids that are 15 to 17 years old.

In 2017, all of our collected toys were dispersed and our savings allowed us to spend ~$22,000 on gift cards. Nevertheless, it was still not sufficient to meet the need. We were short ~4 percent in toy collection efforts and ~$4,500 short in financial donations to satisfy the Christmas need in our Vermont communities. With the growing need year after year, we expect our toy collection and donations in 2018 to fall short.

What can you do to provide needy families a good Christmas in 2018 ?

For example: If you are an online shopper or shop locally, please purchase an extra toy or two that you can put in one of the red Toys for Kids barrels located throughout the community. We distributed our red toy barrels on November 1.

Please check us out on the web at toysforkidsvt.com, contact any Marine Corps League member or call me at 872-0354.

Thank you and Semper Fi,

John Welsh
Toys for Kids, Vt. State Coordinator