Pam Loranger, planning commission chair and member of the conservation commission, will fill the vacant seat on the town selectboard starting August 1. The town selectboard will officially vote her in on July 9, but Loranger will not take her seat on the selectboard until August due to her responsibilities on the planning commission.
She will be filling a seat vacated by Nadine Scibek, who stepped down because she is moving out of Colchester.
Loranger has worked for the town for twenty years, and currently serves as the planning commission chair, a conservation commission member, and the cemetery commission member, though her record of service goes on.
“She comes to every meeting anyway,” joked Jeff Bartley, selectboard chair, on her appointment. All jokes aside, Bartley thinks that Loranger’s ocean of experience will be a major asset to the selectboard.
“I’m just changing hats,” says Loranger, on the differences between the selectboard and other commissions.
“This board commission will help me consolidate twenty years across the broad spectrum; it’s one area where I can bring all of those different experiences together and put them to best use,” she says.
Much of Loranger’s government experience has focused on grass roots movements, including a notable write-in campaign for the Vermont House in 2018, and she’s a major advocate for democracy in action.
What is important to her moving forward? “Ongoing education and keeping our voters engaged and involved,” says Loranger. She goes on to discuss the importance of the town’s internship program, Get Engaged, which gives high school students the opportunity to participate on town commissions.
As far as the future goes, Loranger is excited to continue her work on wastewater issues, now in the selectboard capacity. “Water quality and recreational opportunities for Colchester have always been an interest of mine,” she says, in addition to her dedication to wastewater issues.
Since the selectboard has tasked the planning commission with exploring options for the town wastewater problem, Loranger will take part in the next two big meetings before moving onto the selectboard.
Her appointment means that she will step down from her positions on other town boards, including as planning commission chair, leaving room for new faces in town government. “I encourage people to step up and get involved,” says Loranger.