Back in 1790 a woman named Susana Wentworth married Samuel Dudley. They lived here in Mount Holly and raised 6 children. I am a descendent of Susana and while I will always be a “flatlander” (yup, born in Jersey) I grew up with a summer home in Mt Holly and in 1982 my wife and I decided to move here permanently to raise our family.
Prior to moving to Mt Holly my professional career began in Minneapolis MN working in the non-profit performing arts world. I became responsible for all fund raising at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre and School and was the Managing Director of the Playwrights Center. When my wife and I decided to move here in 1982 I started a landscaping/Christmas tree/wreath making business and over eight years successfully grew the business. I began a career in Real Estate in 1990 and now co-own a small Real Estate office in Killington.
Since moving here I have been an active member of the community. I volunteered on the Mount Holly Fire Department for eight years serving as Captain during the last two. I was voted to the School Board and served a term during a time when enrollment was growing, not declining as it is today . I was voted Town Moderator for over twenty years. As Town Moderator, I witnessed very significant issues argued intelligently and emotionally by our citizens (Act 60, withdrawing from the School Union, etc.). People felt very strongly about these issues and emotions ran extremely high. But once the discussion was over and a vote was taken, neighbors who differed on which direction to take on these issues continued to respect each other and worked to move the Town forward.
That tradition of democracy was challenged last year when a group of eleven people threatened to sue our Select Board. Fortunately the vast majority of our citizens supported the Select Board and their actions and the will of the majority prevailed. As a member of the Select Board, I will continue our traditional way of “doing business” and not have to respond to a vocal minority that persists in demanding things be done their way.
My wife and I raised our three daughters in Mount Holly and they attended the Mount Holly Elementary School. At that time the number of students enrolled in the school (K-6) was over 140. Today, according to the Annual Report I just received in the mail, there are only 67 students enrolled in grades K-6. There needs to be serious discussions about how we can entice young families to move into our community. If we do not, the future of our exceptional school is truly in jeopardy.
We need to have complete cell and internet access and we need this as quickly as possible. I will find out why we do not have this necessary service and then work to secure it for the community.
I am a firm believer in long range financial planning and look forward to working with the Select Board and Town staff to formulate a three year plan for our community. No plan is perfect, but having one guarantees a smoother transition from year to year. Our municipal budget is as fiscally responsible as possible and future budgeting must be efficient and prudent. Being a small business owner for several decades provides me with the tools necessary to accomplish this.
We have an incredible road crew, second to none. Thanks to their hard work and the efforts of our current Select Board, the quality of our infrastructure and road maintenance are excellent. I look forward to working with Selectmen Ray Tarbell and Tim Martin to guarantee this excellence continues. I have much to learn from them and look forward to the challenges
I have great love and respect for this amazing community. If I may serve it as a member of the Select Board I would be most grateful.