Thursday March 29, 2012
My name is Maida F. Townsend. I am a Democratic candidate for the legislative seat representing the district in South Burlington which is, generally speaking, the airport neighborhood. I have lived in this district, this neighborhood since 1990, on Patchen Road. This is the area so ably represented by individuals such as Bob Walsh, Louvenia Bright, Mike Flaherty, Sonny Audette, and most recently, Bert Munger.
For many years now, each time the seat has come open, I have thought about running. At first, I decided not to because I could not bear the thought of leaving my classroom for those four to five months the Legislature is in session. I had been a high school French teacher in Vermont, now retired, ever since 1966. I had been absent from the classroom once before, when I was president of Vermont-NEA in the Eighties. I knew how much it hurt my heart to be away from teaching, and I was not willing to be absent again.
Then when the seat came open two years ago and I was retired, running was still out of the question, no matter how much this kind of service to my neighbors and to the State interested me. My responsibilities to my mother came first She journeyed deep into Alzheimer’s and I went along for the ride, doing my best to keep her safe and as snug as possible. When she passed in December 2010, she did so as a most happy and peaceful woman.
And now the seat is open again. This time, I am doing it.
As I come around to knock on your doors, I will come with two main goals: 1) To provide an opportunity for those of you in the district who do not yet know me to, indeed, come to know and to trust in who I am; and 2) To learn directly from you what you believe to be the most important issues facing us in the district and in the state.
Back when I retired in 2008, a group of very kind students at Winooski High School wrote a note which I keep tucked inside a book they gave me. Here’s a snippet of what they said: “Ms. Townsend has been a wonderful, hard-working and dedicated teacher... She always has the time to help a student before or after school and she’s a fountain of knowledge. . .”
I hope that I may prove myself worthy of a similar commentary as a legislator on behalf of the residents in my extended neighborhood. I hope to earn your support in the election. I hope that you will choose to put me to work for you.