Dave Van Deusen, Candidate for Moretown Select Board

Dave Van Deusen,
Candidate for Moretown Select Board,
Town Meeting Day, 2009
Ten Point Platform

1. STRENGTHENING LOCAL DEMOCRACY & MAJORITY RULE — As Selectperson I will support maximum democratic participation in town government (hearings, special town meetings, testimony, etc), and make Select Board business transparent and accessible to all residents.  In the spirit of local democracy, I support making the town Planning Commissioners elected positions, and hold that shorter terms for elected town officers makes them more accountable to the people.  And finally, I also pledge to support the majority opinion of town residence on issues, even if that opinion is counter to my personal feelings.

2. LEADERSHIP —I will demonstrate leadership on issues through community dialogue, open debate, and consensus building.

3. BUILDING THE CAPITAL SAVINGS FUND, PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE —I will strive to maximize town money in a Capital Savings Fund (a fund made up of money generated by the landfill, and NOT accessible for short term town expenditures), with an eye to make that money, in the long run, sustainably generate more resources for town based public programs for local youth, elderly, poor and working people. I favor putting half of the annual landfill money into this fund ($200,000).

4. TAX RELIEF FOR WORKING PEOPLE —In the short term, I will seek to use one quarter of the annual landfill funds ($100,000) to lower property tax and provide a renters rebate for individuals making under $50,000 a year, and families making under $100,000 a year. This tax & rent relief would last at least as long as the duration of this current economic crisis, and would come in the form of an annual check, from the town, to qualifying households.
     The remaining money annually generated from the landfill ($100,000) should be placed in a Capital Development Fund, and should be used as needed by the town subject to the approval of the voters. 

5. SUSTAINIBLE DEVELOPMENT & GOOD JOBS — Concerning the proposed quarry on Route 100B, I would support the current majority opinion NOT to allow the quarry. This majority opinion has been demonstrated through public votes, such as empowering the Select Board to enact temporary zoning on 100B (in response to the proposed quarry), and the vote to adopt new permanent zoning regulations (which would not allow future quarry development on 100B). 
     However, I do favor responsible development. We need good jobs for Moretown’s residents.  Therefore, regarding major development proposals I would look closely at the type of jobs that would be created. Would they pay livable, family supporting wages?  Would they provide healthcare?  Would they provide a good pension and other benefits?  Would they be union jobs?  Would the operation be employee owned or at least Vermonter owned?  Would an effort be made to hire local residents?  If a major development project met most or all of these criteria, and assuming it could pass a basic environmental muster, I would support it. If, on the other hand, such a project only created a small number of low paying jobs with no benefits, and was not projected to boost the town’s tax base or meet recognized community needs, I would be unlikely to support it. We need responsible development and an economy that works for all our residents, not more avenues for the few to get rich and those who work 40 hours a week to remain poor.
6. LIVIBLE WAGES — I would support a policy whereby all individuals employed or individually contracted by the town be paid (at minimum) a livable wage of $12.71 an hour as defined by the Vermont Job Gap Study. I would also uphold a policy whereby all businesses contracted by the town guarantee that their employees are also paid (at minimum) a livable wage. Finally, I would seek to hire local town residents and town business first.

7. SUPPORT FOR LOCAL AGRICULTURE — I would support a policy whereby the elementary school, when possible, purchase locally produced healthy food from area farmers.

8. LOCAL WOOD HEAT FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS — I would explore installing a woodchip furnace in the elementary school and woodstoves/furnaces in the other town buildings. If this happened, such wood should be acquired from local Moretown loggers, and sustainably harvested from town land when possible. 

9. ACCOUNTABLE LAW ENFORCEMENT — On law enforcement, I would support the town relying more on active constables. These are the elected officers of the community, and are in the best position to deal with any law issues that come up in our town.

10. ADVOCATE FOR MORETOWN — On behalf of the residents of Moretown, I would use my position as Selectperson to pressure our legislators in Montpelier to adequately fund health and human services. Every year on Town Meeting Day we (and many other towns) vote a sum of about $10,000 to support various community & health programs across our region. While, for the most part, these are great organizations that currently need our support, the truth is if the state did their part they would not need our money and we could use our limited resources in other ways.  For example, we could better fund our town library, and/or we could increase after school programs. 


Dave Van Deusen, News/Important Reading