25 Middle Road
“I have lived in Hawley since 1977. I was a Hawley Selectman for 5 years (from 2013 – 2017) and would be honored to be elected back on to the Selectboard again.
I am a taxpayer in Hawley so keeping taxes as reasonable as possible is very important to me.
High speed internet should be coming soon and that is very exciting. I think solar energy is a great thing and the Town needs to move ahead carefully with proposed solar fields.
Right now the Town has no bylaws concerning solar fields and I believe it would be a good idea to have some regulations to protect the town and its residents.”
Bob says he would be happy to speak with residents of Hawley about his candidacy.
My name is Courtney Ann Hoyt. I live in west Hawley with my husband Paul and my wonderful family. I am a mother of two, a member of the Hawlemont School Committee, and a member of the Hawley Fire Department. As you may know, I have run for a seat on the Select Board before.
This is a time of great sadness for us in Hawley, because this election is to fill a vacancy created by the passing of a very qualified, dearly loved leader in the community: Sally Rich. I worked with Sally on the School Committee and I know how much she did for this town. It will not be easy filling her shoes, but someone needs to try. She’d want us to.
My experience on School Committee has taught me that the schools are our town’s biggest expense. We need to keep that expense under control, but we also need to make sure that we are providing our children with a first rate education. It’s about striking a balance and solving problems creatively. I am a mother. I am a taxpayer. Believe me, I get it. One solution I am very enthusiastic about is the process underway to bring Heath into the Hawlemont School District. This is about small towns working together to keep our schools sustainable in the face of declining enrollment. The Select Board has a role in supporting this process and representing our town’s interests in the coming negotiations.
On the Fire Department side of things, I have also learned a lot of useful skills and lessons. I understand the need to protect the lives, health, and property of our citizens, many of whom are elderly, all while working within a limited budget. I know that the Fire Department handles a lot more than just fires: actually much of what we do involves being the first responders to 911 calls for medical events. Handling this issue means training people to be EMTs, putting out information for residents about how to be prepared for or to avoid common hazards, and providing lifesaving training like CPR to our town office staff and Highway Department. The Fire Department has been doing this lately with support from town government. I would like to expand this by putting on free CPR classes for residents at Town Hall, in cooperation with the Council on Aging.
Another issue concerning the emergency services involves plans by the county to either upgrade its aging communications network on which first responders depend every day to do their jobs, or scrap that network and join a different system run by the state. There are several options and they all have pros and cons, costs and consequences. Upgrading the existing network would involve build costs that would be shared across 26 towns, but joining the state system means that Hawley would have to replace all of its radios, at a tremendous up front cost. Without state aid, this is not realistic for us. We also need to know more about the state run system’s coverage, especially how it will perform in the summer when foliage tends to block radio signals more than in the winter.
This year, Hawley is also working to update its Hazard Mitigation Plan, a document FEMA requires us to have to be eligible for federal disaster funding…think Hurricane Irene. The Select Board has oversight over this process so my background with the emergency services means I can make a lot of meaningful contributions to it.
Finally, there is a process underway to review and update Hawley’s protective bylaws. A lot of you have heard about this in the context of solar fields and commercial cannabis. Those are issues to be sure, but they are only part of the equation. The big picture, as I understand it, is to make sure that we have fair, easy to understand, bylaws that put all commercial enterprises operating in town on a level playing field. It’s not about one bylaw for solar, another for marijuana, and another for short term rentals. It’s about having one general set of rules that applies to everybody. We need to protect our environment and community and make sure public safety considerations are addressed, but we also need to be a welcoming community for businesses and encourage the development of sources of tax revenue to offset our rising costs.
In all of these things, I will be an advocate for Hawley. I am willing to listen to what everyone has to say and consider all sides of any issue. Ultimately, the decisions I make, in cooperation with my fellow Select Board members, will be ones I think are in the best interests of our town and our community. In that spirit, I respectfully ask for your vote."
Courtney says she would be happy to speak with residents of Hawley about her candidacy.
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