Edd Merritt, Contributing Editor

In their own words, meet your candidates

Candidates for Town Offices

The Charlotte News asked candidates running for office on Town Meeting Day to submit statements about themselves and why they feel they should be elected. Only three positions are contested this year—Auditor, two-year Selectboard member and three-year Selectboard member. However, The News offered every candidate an opportunity to say what he or she wants about how Charlotte should be run, and a number responded to the invitation even though they were running unopposed. The following are responses we received.

Don’t forget that this year’s meeting will be open to discussion of the Town Budget as well, which will then be voted upon by Australian ballot at a future date. This is a change from prior years and will allow an opportunity for discussion of the numbers at the meeting followed by a written ballot later, which it is hoped, will bring out a larger number of voters than in past years.

The candidates are listed in alphabetical order by position below.

Auditor, three-year term:

Jenny Cole: The audit for the Town of Charlotte is done by a professional auditing firm. While some towns no longer have elected auditors, Charlotte continues to have a three-person board. The elected Auditors provide additional review of financial matters and are part of the Town’s overall effort to ensure accountability. I have served as Auditor for three years and am seeking your vote for another term. Some of the Auditors’ tasks for the coming year include regular review of town accounts, assisting the Selectboard with documenting internal controls and performing a fraud risk assessment. I look forward to these projects and continued work with fellow Auditors Jason Pidgeon and Peter Trono.

Allen Ash is the competing candidate and did not send a statement.

CCS School Director, three years: Susan Nostrand is the candidate.

CCS School Director, two years: Erik Beal is the candidate.

CCS School Director, one year: Sue Thibault is the candidate.

Cemetery Commissioner, three years:

Chris Falk: I don’t see cemeteries as sorrowful places. Charlotte’s cemeteries are, to me, our history carved in stone. The monuments tell the story of the men, women and children who pioneered and shaped this town. Visits to our historic cemeteries do become sorrowful, though, when I see the many broken, stained or toppled gravestones. Centuries of Vermont weather and neglect have taken a toll. The repair and restoration of historic gravestones can be costly, and the Charlotte Cemetery Commission, with limited means, must also fund lawn care, tree trimming, research, fence repair/replacement, etc. I would like to join the commission because I believe that we must act now to preserve our historic cemeteries. My ambition is to spur greater community involvement, through donations and volunteerism, in preserving this precious piece of our town history. Thank you in advance for your vote.

Cemetery Commissioner, two years:

Victoria Zulkoski: After nearly 20 years in Asia, my husband and I are thrilled to be settled back in Vermont full-time. With our three children grown, I am able to put my energy into organizations of particular interest to me. Besides serving on the board of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, and occasionally helping out with dinners in their Drop-In Center, my dog Blue is a certified therapy dog. As his handler we visit schools and nursing homes and I get to witness firsthand the healing power of human and animal interaction.

Since March of 2016, I have been honored to serve as your appointed Cemetery Commissioner. Last year we completed a thorough survey of the West Burying Ground on Greenbush Road, which yielded surprising results, including not only a much greater number of occupants than originally thought, but also a significant number of stones needing repair. My passion for old cemeteries—for not only for the unique and historic examples of folk art they contain, but the narratives of our founders written there, quite literally in stone— makes this “work” a genuine privilege. If elected, I will continue to preserve our legacy, with the help of my fellow commissioners, to the very best of my ability.

Cemetery Commissioner, one year:

Susan Ohanian: I am a candidate, unopposed, for a one-year term to serve on the Charlotte Cemetery Commission. Working with other commissioners to repair and maintain the sites that communicate our respect for history and sense of community, we hope to provoke greater awareness and involvement from our neighbors.

CVU School Director, three years:

Lorna Jimerson: My candidacy for a two-year term on the CVU Board is quite unusual this year. Last year, the five towns in Chittenden South (Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, Williston and St. George) voted to consolidate. Thus, beginning in July 2017, there will be only one school board overseeing all the public schools (pre-K through 12) in these towns. The CVU board, therefore, will cease to exist at the end of June. Thus, my tenure on the CVU board will actually end at that time—not in three years.

After about 25 years as a board member, I will miss being on a school board. It has been a true honor to represent the Charlotte community on both the CCS and CVU boards and to have the opportunity to advocate for excellent public education for our young people. Charlotte is a wonderful, caring and generous community, and our kids have benefited from this. So, thank you for your continued support all these years.

Delinquent Tax Collector, one year: Mary Mead is the candidate.

Library Trustee, five years:

Nan Mason: I am running for the position of Library Trustee in order to provide continuity and historic perspective to this group which oversees all aspects of operations of the library. Supporting the library and aiding the amazing staff is a privilege and a pleasure. Going forward there is growing interest in expanding the library to provide more space for the overflowing collection and for the many programs that are offered to all age groups. I believe that it is important to have one or more people from the original group who built the library involved in exploring a possible expansion. I was one of the many who helped build the library and have been a member of its Friends group since its inception. For the past two years I filled in as an appointed trustee for two different people who left town before the expiration of their terms. I have been encouraged to serve for five more years before passing the baton on to the next generation. Thank you so much for all who support the library!

Lister, three years: Moe Harvey is the candidate.

Road Commissioner, one year: Hugh Lewis, Jr. is the candidate.

School District Moderator, one year: Ed Stone is the candidate.

Selectboard, two years:

Frank Tenney: My name is Frank Tenney—businessman, property owner and bus driver. I have served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for ten years, learning and watching the changes in the town that I grew up in and raised a family. I have been chair of the ZBA the last few years, which has certainly been a change. I would like to see committees and boards work together more. I believe that’s an area that needs improvement. The town has volunteers and residents with so much knowledge and experience that we need to utilize.

My candidacy offers continued commitment and valuable experience to the town. Given the opportunity, I will continue to be an advocate, listening to all ideas and concerns, in an effort to address the needs of the town. I am asking for your vote on March 7 so that I may continue working with my fellow residents and the Selectboard members on the common goal of moving Charlotte into the future.

Seth Zimmerman is the competing candidate and did not send a response.

Selectboard, three years:

Ed Stone: I am hoping most of my fellow Charlotters will at least recognize my name from my previous service. I am a native Vermonter, and family has lived in Charlotte for eight generations. My work background is in radio advertising and management. My hobby is training harness horses and exploring the back roads of Vermont.

I was one of your selectmen for about 14 years total. I have also served on the Planning and Zoning Board and been a volunteer for the Fire and Rescue Squad.

This year, more than ever before, we all need to be involved in our local community. This is why I was driven to “throw my hat back into the ring.” I encourage you to give me a call at 425-3277 to talk about your concerns. Here are a few issues I am most concerned about:

  • Making Charlotte “homey” and welcome again
  • Creating opportunities for commerce/business in town to help defer tax rate
  • Support for local control of our schools
  • Addressing the increase of crime in Charlotte
  • Building support for our recreational opportunities for kids and families
  • Resolving the disconnect between the Selectboard and the town offices
  • I ask for your support for the three-year seat on the Charlotte Selectboard.

Fritz Tegatz: My name is Fritz Tegatz and I am running for re-election for the three-year term on the Selectboard. In the past three years, I have used my background as a civil engineer and small business owner to provide the town good tax dollar value in its building and infrastructure projects. Appointed Selectboard liaison to CVFRS (Fire and Rescue), I went a step further and joined as a volunteer to better understand how the organization operates. I have been working diligently on current issues, the Town Plan, potential East Village Wastewater system expansion, a public road inventory to name a few, and would like to continue doing so. Your vote of support will help me keep Charlotte a great place to live. Thank you for your time and, hopefully, your vote.

Town Moderator: Ed Stone is the candidate.

Town Agent, Town Grand Juror, Trustee of Public Funds (3-year term) and Trustee of Public Funds (2-year term): There are no registered candidates for these positions.