Seven Days reporter
Mekiah Smith and two college friends hung out on the Cabot Common in Smith's hometown on a recent single-digit Saturday. If it seemed too cold to be chitchatting outside, it probably was. But Smith and her friends had an advantage. The students at Craftsbury's Sterling College were moving while they talked, skating in arcs and circles on a DIY rink that, every winter, transforms a corner of the common into a slick space for recreation and camaraderie.
Smith, 18, grew up skating on the common rink, she said, so it felt natural to bring her friends there on a visit home. For 10 years, she's joined family and friends on the crew that constructs it. The rink is across the road from the United Church of Cabot and Cabot School, which serves about 165 pre-K to 12th-grade students.
"I love having a skating rink in the middle of Cabot," Smith said. "It's always a great place for people to come together."
Cabot Chronicle staff
Two vacancies, 5 candidates, 6 questions: in lieu of an in-person candidate forum for voters to speak directly with candidates for the two vacant positions on the Selectboard, The Cabot Chronicle and Cabot Community Association (CCA) posed these six questions to each of the candidates for election.
1. What do you think is the most important issue facing the Selectboard?
Skip Bothfeld: The biggest issue facing the Select Board is looking forward for the future growth of Cabot. Pursuing funding, partnerships, and helping ensure this is a quality place to live, work and feel connected.
R. D. Eno: Just when our local economy was revitalizing itself with new business, the pandemic struck. Our biggest challenge will be helping to restore economic momentum. I will devote myself to that objective, and I will do my best to reawaken volunteer enthusiasm as part of my effort.
Ruth Goodrich: Planning for the future infrastructure of the town – putting $$ aside and seeking grants available.
Amy Hornblas: The most important issue facing the Selectboard now is figuring out how to protect citizens from infringements on our ability to live here. We live in rural Vermont because we love nature, and enjoy living in harmony with it and each other. According to the town survey conducted for the Town Plan over a decade ago, a leading concern was our ability to continue living here. Too many nonsensical policies and rules can interfere with our ability to do for ourselves. In 2014 the town of Cabot was about to implement a new set of zoning rules which would have made it more difficult for people to live here, by restricting our ability to share our land with our extended families, have a home-based business, or grow our own food. That’s when I spearheaded a ballot question which returned zoning decisions to the voters. The ballot initiative passed with over 400 votes in favor, and only 50 against. Through the process, I met many of my neighbors and had great conversations. I’ve continued to participate in town activities, such as budgeting and planning meetings, and have promoted more transparency by recording meetings and making them available so people can be informed of decisions that are being made and their impacts.
Lisa Olson: I believe that one of the most important issues facing the Selectboard and the Town of Cabot is the lack of affordable housing. We need to be able to attract more families with children to our town. The more children that we enroll in our school, the less expensive our per pupil costs become and this directly affects our tax rate. I want young families including our own grown children to be able to afford to buy a house and raise their own families in Cabot.