From the Manchester Journal
To the Editor:
As recently reported in the Journal, I have decided to seek re-election to the Vermont House of Representatives in November. I have had the good fortune to represent Manchester for the past four years and enter this campaign season more enthusiastic and energized than ever. And, although the district will take on a new look in 2013 (with Arlington, Sandgate and part of Sunderland joining Manchester in the new Bennington-4 District) I'm excited about the prospect of putting my nose to the grindstone to conscientiously address the needs, wants and desires of the new constituents I hope to represent for the next two years in Montpelier.
A few thoughts about Commitment, Communication and Results:
Commitment - Plain and simple, I think a legislator's vote is a sacrosanct privilege; the fundamental essence of representative democracy. I answered the bell for every one of the 291 roll call votes that have taken place over the past four years (2009-2012). Over this time period, I was one of only three State Representatives to chalk up a perfect voting record on this score.
Communication - Keeping local voters informed about what the Legislature is up to is an important part of the job. To this end, I have written a weekly column in the Journal during the session to keep voters abreast of the General Assembly's actions, and what to expect. This entailed eighteen weekly legislative updates in 2011, and another seventeen in 2012.
Results - 2012
was a good year for me. I was able to impact important legislation and move a couple of my initiatives over the goal line. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I played an active role in trying to ensure that new tax policy was responsible, and to scale back imprudent tax law where possible. Moreover, after a good deal of hard work and persistence, I was able to save Manchester taxpayers around $26,000 annually by substantially tamping down the fees the State Tax Department charges cities and towns for collecting local option taxes.
I was heartened by the thoughtful cooperation that seemed to be the norm in the House in 2012. Legislators came together this past year to: address the ravages of Irene, effect a model, nonpartisan redistricting plan and to devise a budget blueprint absent new broad based taxes. I look forward to doing my part once again to put policy before politics, and will do my best to make a positive and constructive contribution as a member of our citizens' legislature. Thanks for your continued support.
Jeff Wilson, State Representative