Thursday October 27, 2016
Candidate for District 7-2
South Burlington High School, BA, University of Southern Maine
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Years as SB
1 What skills and experience uniquely qualify you for the position of State Representative?
I am a graduate of South Burlington High School and have a BA from the University of Southern Maine. I am a small business owner, who knows what it takes to balance a budget, meet payroll, and work with varying personalities. I’ve lived in this community for my entire life. I know its strengths, and its deficits. Currently, Vermont ranks within the 10 worst states to do business in. That needs to change. Montpelier needs someone who knows what it takes to keep a business alive and thriving. I will be the moderate voice that our legislature desperately needs.
2 What is the most important statewide legislative issue to be addressed in the upcoming term, and what specific solutions do you suggest or support in overcoming the problem?
I think the carbon tax will be a major issue facing the legislature this session. This tax has the potential to add an average of $.88 to every gallon of gas, $1.02 per gallon to heating oil and diesel fuel, and natural gas and propane could see an increase of 30 percent. I will vote NO on the carbon tax if it comes to a vote.
The legislature continues to spend money they don’t have, which results in unnecessary tax burdens on residents when the time comes to balance the budget. We need to stop the tax and spend approach.
3 What are the key issues 1) in your own district, and 2) in the City of South Burlington? How will you address these locally and on the state level?
The key issue for district 7-2 and the City of South Burlington is the lack of job opportunities for our young people and the lack of affordability for our residents. Our current public policy is flawed, resulting in employers leaving the state for a more business friendly climate. This, paired with high individual and corporate taxes, prohibitive energy costs, and lack of accountability and transparency in our government, has created an environment that stifles the growth of businesses, and restricts Vermonters ability to move up the economic ladder.
In 2016 Ann Pugh voted “yes” to the property tax increase, “yes” to increase state spending by 4.8 percent, “yes” to increase state fees by $24 million, and “yes” to increase our state taxes by $4 million. The legislature is spending money we don’t have and South Burlington needs someone who is willing to say “no” to more taxes and fees, and “yes” to job creation.
4 What specific priorities or objectives do you hope to accomplish if elected?
My number one priority will be to bring and keep good paying jobs to Vermont. Our kids are smart, talented, and well educated. We owe it to them to have jobs ready for them when they finish school. We need to incentivize business to come to Vermont. We need to create a competitive market in the tech, software, and other growing industry. Companies are growing nationwide in these fields and currently Vermont doesn’t recruit any of them to come here. By bringing good paying jobs to Vermont, we will raise revenue by people working and advancing their careers, not by raising taxes.