There are no contested races on the ballot for Town Meeting Day voting this year, but Meet the Candidates night at the Charlotte Senior Center still drew a crowd of over 20 citizens. Candidates introduced themselves and answered questions on an evening that was big on praise for jobs well-done and thoughtful consideration of what the future holds for the town.
Two Selectboard candidates are up for re-election. Carrie Spear is running for a three-year term and Matt Krasnow is running for his third two-year term. Both emphasized their commitment to fiscal responsibility with the town’s budget while acknowledging, as Krasnow put it, a need to make the town “livable” while being cautious with spending. The playground and the tennis courts at the Charlotte Beach came up as examples of infrastructure items that need work.
Hugh Lewis, Jr., known as Junior, is running for road commissioner. This March will mark his 20-year anniversary in the job, one that his father held previously. During his speech he made a comment mentioning, “if I am elected,” which prompted laughter from the audience. He acknowledged the hard work of his crew and noted that in his two decades as commissioner, he has not come in over budget once, and has not raised his budget in nine years. He makes an effort to be thoughtful, he said, citing an example of how he makes sure to cut brush and trees back on the sides of busier roads so that pedestrians have somewhere to jump should a passing speeding motorist come too close.
In 1953, Charlotte established a trust account with $18,000. Since then, the fund has grown to over $500,000. Jill Lowery is the current trustee of public funds and is on the ballot for another term. She said that the account was recently switched to Morgan Stanley, and that she has been happy with the results, noting that though the fund’s amount is small in comparison to the entire municipal budget, the fund’s success is a point of pride.
Katharine Cohen, an enthusiastic library patron and 18-year Charlotte resident, is on the ballot for a five-year position on the Charlotte Library board of directors. She said she looks forward to providing support to library staff and is excited to work on the proposed library expansion project.
The new Champlain Valley School District school board includes two representatives from Charlotte. Jeff Martin, who served on the final school board for Charlotte Central School for 14 months until July 2017, is running for one of those spots.
In a week where issues of school safety are at the front of citizens’ minds, Martin said that the safety and success of children throughout the school district should be a priority for all. With his background as a child psychologist, he said, he has experience working with schools regarding students who need extra support.
This, combined with the fact that he is a parent of two current students in the district, provides a unique viewpoint that particularly qualifies him for the position, he said.
Voting in Charlotte takes place on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 6, in the Charlotte Central School multi-purpose room from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.