Marielle Blais: Why I’m running for Brandon select board — again


Marielle Blais

Public service is important to me, both professionally and as a volunteer. I have taught preschoolers to graduate students and adult learners. My teaching centered on students with disabilities, especially communication disorders and/or learning disabilities. During thirteen years of teaching as a speech language pathologist in the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union—six years at Lothrop and seven at Otter Valley—I’ve been fortunate in getting to know many community members. Though I’ve retired from teaching, I continue to volunteer for several local and statewide organizations. I would like to serve Brandon as a member of the Select Board. 

As someone who grew up in a large family on a small farm in Derby, Vermont, I learned early that if I wanted something, I had to work for it. Decades later I’m still grateful for the financial aid which made it possible for someone like me to get a good education at UVM without amassing huge debt. I have degrees from UVM, Middlebury College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My skills pertinent to select board work include proofreading, editing, grant writing, representing union members in grievances, and negotiating labor contracts. I will work diligently both during and outside of meetings. 

As a voter I want to know where select board members stand on important town issues. Initially in new roles I tend to observe and listen, but once familiar with procedures and policies, I will express my opinions openly and respectfully. A diversity of perspectives, I believe, is essential for making select board meetings welcoming to the greatest number of people. Often attendance at select board meetings is sparse, but when more voters attend, the discussions are noticeably more robust and interesting. 

On Town Meeting Day 2022, I lost my race against a Brandon Select Board incumbent, 396 to 466. I would have been disappointed to have lost in a landslide, but I was very pleased with these results, which suggest I have considerable support in Brandon. During the next few weeks until Town Meeting Day 2023, I look forward to hearing from voters about what they love about Brandon and what they would like to see improved. 

Thank you,
Marielle Blais
2143 Forest Dale Road 

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