Robert Gere: Responses To Selectboard Candidate Questionnaire
Running for 2-year seat
Robert Gere is running for the 2-year Selectboard seat. His responses to the five-question mini questionnaire are below. The responses of his opponents Leah Romano and Claudette Brochu are here and here.
1. The Valley News published a column by Jim Kenyon on January 28, 2018 about Selectboard members attending meetings via video chat. Some Norwich residents prefer in person attendance by public officials, even though electronic attendance is allowed by statute. Question: Absent unforeseen circumstances, do you plan to attend in person all or almost all regular and special Selectboard meetings?
I have been around long enough to remember board members who missed more meetings than they attended. The commitment shown by joining electronically is far superior to skipping the meetings entirely. Other than the occasional vacation, I have few reasons to miss attending meetings.
2. On January 10, 2018, the Selectboard voted to recommend to the voters a FYE 2019 Town budget of $4,502,386. Questions: How would you have voted at that meeting on that budget? Why?
Yes. The process was started with instructions to develop a budget that merely maintains services at the same level as this year. Unspent funds return to the public in a way that reduces future tax increases.
3. Multiple Choice Question: What would you like to see happen to the population of Norwich? Please select one and if you want, explain your choice.
A. Reduced significantly
B. Reduced some
C. Remain relatively stable
D. Grow some
E. Grow significantly
D. Grow some. We could use more young families but can not accommodate drastic increases in the number of homesteads.
4. Question: What are your views regarding the possible establishment of a new mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South and River Road areas?
I don’t like the idea. The Upper Valley has quite a bit of empty commercial and retail space and decreasing amounts of open, undeveloped land.
5. Other than the adoption of a town plan, what are several issues that you think the Town or Selectboard should or must address in the next 12 to 18 months? Why? Do you have any specifics on how to address?
Everything deserves attention but I am concerned about preparedness for the increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather. I also would like to examine the ways that Norwich can influence state government into adopting programs such as universal single payer healthcare that could significantly reduce the net costs of health insurance.
Photo is screenshot from CATV video of Norwich Candidates Night 2/27/18. Watch that video on the CATV website by clicking here.