The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Letter to the Editor, for Anne Gallivan

Dear Editor,

My husband Harry Chen and I were among those who urged Anne Gallivan to run for State Representative. Harry was honored to represent the towns of Chittenden, Mendon, Killington and Bridgewater for three terms. We know that Anne is the kind of conscientious leader who will take the commitment to serve her communities as responsibly as Harry did.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of current State Rep. Jim Eckhardt. We learned with dismay that he took off two weeks each year of the two-year term. This is almost unheard of - and meant skipping almost three times as many votes as the typical House member, along with key hearings and important committee work.

In his second year, Eckhardt's record was especially dismal - he missed 22 out of 74 votes (nearly one third of the votes!) Eight were from his own Health Care committee, including the year's most important bill, H.559, the centerpiece of Vermont's health care reform. How would a businessperson evaluate this kind of performance?
The legislative session is only about four months long. Harry knew his constituents counted on him to be there, and missed only a handful of votes during six years in the legislature. He never considered taking time off during this time, even though we had children with February and April school vacations.

Add to this the fact that Eckhardt barely showed up in his towns during the weeks following the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. We urge voters to consider whether they want a legislator who takes this lackadaisical approach to representing his constituents.

Anne Gallivan will be a legislator you can count on to show up, be a tenacious advocate for her communities, and take the job of State Representative seriously. Please vote for Anne Gallivan to represent Chittenden, Mendon, Killington and Bridgewater!

Anne Lezak, Burlington, Vt.