by Rep. Terri Williams
I was born in Concord, VT in November 1956 and have lived in North Concord and Granby for most of my life. I graduated from Concord High School, which included two years at the St. Johnsbury Academy Vocational Program studying bookkeeping. I also studied for one year at New Hampshire college, majoring in business.
For ten-plus years I owned and operated Barnie’s Market in Concord. Other endeavors include manager at Fairbanks Scales and McDonalds in St. Johnsbury, administrator at Concord Schools, bookkeeper at Hovey’s Shops, clerk at St. Jay Hardware, and owner of an antique shop in Concord. For a short period, I served by appointment as interim Town Clerk and Treasurer for the town of Granby as well as served as select board member and auditor for the town of Concord.
My civic involvement includes establishing a big game weigh station at Barnie’s Market. I was a member of local “Board of Directors” that included Lyndon Institute, Fairbanks Federal Credit Union, and Northern Counties Home Health. I presently sit on the boards of NVDA and Rural Edge. In my earlier years, I was a coach, athletic director, and 4-H leader.
I feel I have been and can continue to be a strong voice for the people of the Northeast Kingdom. I have lived amongst you most of my life. I moved away for a few years (Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts). There is no place like Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom. This is and always will be my home.
I am not much of a campaigner. I am more of a doer. It has been a very busy summer for me so far. I attended the Veterans’ Summit held at NVU Lyndon. As a result, I am working to organize a Town Hall event that will bring resources and services to the veterans. Gosh, if the veterans can’t come to me, I will go to the veterans. My goal is to make sure they know what’s out there that may help them. They were there for us. We must be there for them.
I also participated in the Vermont’s Forest Industry Summit in Burke on June 9th and 10th. It is very important to me to understand and support all aspects of the Forest Industry: job growth, tourism, economic development and stability, conservation, climate impacts, wildlife, food, fuel, medicines and so much more. I got to meet and listen to many folks who are connected to the forest in one way or another.
I had a very informative meeting with Abby Long of Kingdom Trails in June. Abby so graciously shared the goals, accomplishments and concerns of this wonderfully growing economic success story. Later in the month I got to sit in on one of Kingdom Trails Community Chats and learned a bit about the trail system.
I have been brainstorming with a group of concerned hunters and trappers to help preserve their (my) way of life while making sure we continue to respect and coexist with others who enjoy hiking and watching the wildlife.
As a new member to the Board of Directors for Rural Edge, I had the opportunity to see their work in action. At one location the Rural Edge employees volunteered to put on a picnic lunch for the residents and at another location they volunteered to beautify around one of the housing developments. I then had an orientation meeting with Executive Director Patrick Shattuck and Director of Community Development Robert Little, to discuss what Rural Edge does to serve the community, what being a member of the Board of Directors means, and how my experience and leadership will serve the organization.
In Gilman I attended one of their Monday night bingo sessions. They are fund raising to help support the renovating of the Lunenburg, Gilman, and Concord Senior Center located in Gilman. This is such a noble project for them. I hope to find other ways to contribute to their cause in the future. I encourage others to reach out and see what they can do to help as well.
Another meeting consisted of a casual and informative ride up the Connecticut River on a pontoon boat supplied and driven by the folks at Fairlee Marine with Kathy Urffer and Ron Rhodes from the Connecticut River Conservancy and other members of the legislature from both sides of the river to talk about the benefits, economic opportunities and needs of the River. I encourage all to take advantage of the benefits and assets of this beautiful river.
Events in the coming days: On July 14th I will be attending the Town of Concord Community Meeting Day. The Vermont Council on Rural Development will assist in helping set priorities for the future of the town. I love brainstorming sessions. I hope you will be there as well. On August 6th I will set up a table at the Lunenburg Old Home Day. I have been invited to be available to the folks of the area for any questions or concerns they may have. This will be an official campaigning event. I set up there two years ago and had a wonderful time and met lots of great people. I appreciate Lunenburg including me in this special day.
Yes, I have a lot going on. With 8 towns in my district and a total of 10 by next election due to the redistricting there is little time to be idle. The towns I represent now are Granby, Victory, Kirby, Concord, Lunenburg, Guildhall, Maidstone and Brunswick. If reelected I will lose Concord and Kirby and gain Burke, East Haven, Bloomfield and Ferdinand. Even though I will officially lose Concord and Kirby there is no way I can/will forget about them. They have been an important part of my life for my entire life. My concerns for them will never go away. I hope they continue to reach out to me for assistance as they have so many times before.
I do have to run against another Republican in the Primary, John Kascenska. John is a good man. I got to know him in the legislature this last term as he was there filling a vacancy from a representative that chose to move on. John was appointed to take his place. I told John that if he were to win, I would support him 200%. It is important to me that we work as a team to help the folks of the kingdom.
My respect for John DOES NOT MEAN I want him to win. I really feel I am the best fit for the position. I know the people; I grew up with many of these folks. As one of them, my concerns and their concerns are much the same. I have so many more people I want to meet and hear from. Many new folks have been moving into the area. I want to hear from them; understand their concerns. I am here to help. Let me try to do just that. I hope all the towns will invite me to come and meet with them. I want to get to know them and I want them to get to know me. I don’t want to intrude in their lives so an invitation will make me feel welcome to come into their homes and communities. My phone number is 802-535-4704. My email address is TWilliams@leg.state.vt.us.
The Chronicle welcomes a similar profile from Rep. Kascenska.