Selectboard Candidates Questionnaire: Linda Cook

Linda Cook at Candidates Forum. Source: CATV screen shot

Linda Cook and Roger Arnold are running for the three-year seat on the Selectboard. Below are Linda's responses to all five questions in the Norwich Observer Questionnaire. Roger's responses are here. The video of the Q & A from the Candidates Forum is available for viewing at this link

Communications. Are you satisfied with how Town government communicates with Norwich residents? Why or why not? By how much would you be willing to INCREASE the Town Budget in order to to improve communications? 

I am not satisfied that we are reaching everyone. The Select Board agrees to hear a proposal I am working on with Claudette. I would set a cost of 1,200 to do this.  We need to improve communication with Town residents who are not connected to any electronic media (list serve, email, twitter, face book and others).

Development. The Planning Commission is working on a new Town Plan, which may be sent to the Selectboard for public hearings and approval within the next 12 months. It seems inevitable that the topic will arise regarding the creation of a mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South area. What are your views regarding the possible establishment of a new mixed use zoning district in the Route 5 South area? 

The Planning Commission is working on a new Town Plan which will come to the Select Board for pubic hearings in the next 12 months. I voted no on the Town Plan. I would like to see the Planning Commission establish new mixed use zoning districts else where that do no harm to our residents or our environment.

Affordable Housing. Nearly everybody is in favor of more affordable housing in Norwich. What do you think Norwich’s local government should be doing to promote or create affordable housing in Norwich? 

We need to look for creative solutions that aid long time residents to stay here and opens the door for new residents to come. Do you have a second floor in your house or a room over the garage that is not being used? Maybe it could be used for a mother in law apt,  a studio apartment or share your house with someone. The additional income may be helpful to you.
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Look around you at other buildings  and what they could be used for.
Let’s explore other incentives. Small gatherings of homes could be developed.

Goals. What are the 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? 

To have our Town Plan passed by the Regional Planning Commission. This will allow us to apply for larger grants.  

Review and update our Capital Plan with future projects and costs for 5-10-20 years.

Develop a plan for dealing with disasters/storms which may become more frequent and how to budget for them.

Up date all of our policies.

Budget. The Selectboard sent to the voters a FYE 2020 Town budget of $4,271,793. Although the amount of the budget declined by about 5%, the property tax rate [without the separate monetary Articles for various nonprofit organizations] is projected to increase by 1.51%. For John and Linda: How did you vote on that budget and why? For Doug and Roger: How would you have voted on that budget and why?

I voted no. We were able to reduce the budget to cover our overages this time. We need to increase our revenues and find other ways to cover our budgets. 

Voting for Town Officers and for all articles on the Warning will be by Australian ballot. The polls will be open Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

POSTED: 03.02.2019
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