To the editor: I’m seeking a fourth term on Sheffield’s Select Board because of my honest enjoyment of serving on this board and belief I can continue to make positive contributions.
Over my past three terms, my top priorities have been to strengthen Sheffield’s finances; perform a selectman’s entire job; engage state and local entities through advocacy and grant applications; and increase transparency and citizens’ involvement.
Working with our town administrator and Select Board members, each of these priorities has been well-advanced; Sheffield has benefited from our collective efforts. I will continue to work on these if reelected.
The challenges of this past year have brought opportunities. If reelected, I will increase my attention to town infrastructure including broadband, roads and a new highway garage; the American Rescue Plan Act and funds to help Sheffield, its residents and businesses/nonprofits; marijuana businesses in Sheffield and how marijuana funds are spent; and developing a workable housing plan.
My interest and success in getting grants started while on the Planning Board. Grants are fundamental to stretching taxpayers' dollars, as grants fund projects while not usually requiring taxpayer dollars. They address true needs, like Route 7 crosswalk flashing beacons, or provide a strong return for taxpayer funds, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding 75 percent of a new police cruiser. Grants get things done that would not likely make town budget, such as the soon-to-be-completed Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant town park paths.
Sheffield’s many Community Development Block Grant awards, in addition to funding town building designs and renovations, have funded home repairs, up to $40,000, for numerous low-to moderate-income Sheffield residents who qualified.
I’ve been fortunate to have served on a wide range of town boards and volunteered with nonprofits over the past 20-plus years. My prior work experiences and these local experiences help me leveraging my time and effectiveness in serving Sheffield. I believe I have a reputation for being ethical, honest and respectful. I return calls, am responsive to resident’s concerns and viewpoints and work for all of Sheffield. I am guided by what I believe is best for our entire town.
I respectfully ask you for your vote in Sheffield’s May 10 town elections, whether you vote at the polls, by mail-in or early voting. Thank you.
Rene Wood, Sheffield
The writer is chair of the Sheffield Select Board.