Rep. Maureen Dakin (D)

Rep. Maureen Dakin (D)

1997-2004; 2014-2016. These are the 11 years I’ve served as your state representative. Following the death of my husband, I took 10 years off to find work that paid health insurance. My situation was not so different than many of you. I was humbled and gratified when upon my retirement you voted to once again send me to Montpelier.

During my tenure I have served on the Agriculture, Commerce (Clerk and Vice Chair), Appropriations Committees and the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (Chair). I believe my thoroughness, thoughtfulness and steadfast belief in good government played roles in the appointments I was fortunate to receive from the three Speakers of the House I’ve served.

I have never regretted a single vote I’ve taken on your behalf. I believe that a representative should use her/his own good judgment when deciding how to vote. That judgment is informed by the facts, the greater good and, of course, constituents.

But one never hears from a majority of constituents. A representative can’t say that while she/he heard from 10 people one way and five people the other way that the 10 get to decide. I have been acutely aware of all the people I represent.

I have never “taken a walk” on a vote. That’s when a representative leaves the chamber during a roll call because she/he is unwilling to go on record. We are sent to Montpelier to represent you and I’ve always believed that “taking a walk” is cowardly.

There have been divisive issues such as civil unions, teachers’ health insurance, taxes, budgets and gun safety to name a few. There have been hundreds of votes that don’t garner the publicity that have made the lives of Vermonters better in countless ways. I am immensely proud of my native State and the small role you have allowed me to play.

It is now time to step aside for someone with new ideas and energy. I will not be running for reelection.

Much of my decision is personal. In the last four years, two of my beloved sisters have died in their early 70s. I’m left with a broken heart that must heal. I have to figure out how to live whatever life God determines I have left. Being a representative is demanding and can be all-consuming despite being a part time citizen legislature.

When you vote in November, please take this into account. Beware of single-issue candidates. They are ill-prepared to vote on the wide array of issues they’ll face. Beware of candidates that say they’ll just vote “no.” They are unwilling to compromise which is the only way to get anything done. There are 149 other people who feel as strongly as they do about their cause. Saying “no” to everything does not serve you well. Vote for someone who has a deep understanding of the special and unique place Colchester is.

It has been an honor. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.