By Stephen Seitz
Springfield resident Randy Gray is one of three Republicans hoping to represent Windsor County in the next legislative session.
The other two are Jack Williams of Weathersfield and Wayne D. Townsend of Bethel. They seek to replace incumbent Democrats Alice Nitka (Ludlow), Dick MacCormack (Bethel) and Alison Clarkson (Woodstock).
Gray said, via email, that, if elected, improving the state’s economy would be high on his list of priorities.
“My priorities are many,” he wrote, “but my main goals are to improve Vermont’s economy, growth, availability of skilled workers and affordability. I also have a multi-faceted plan to resolve our drug issue from better prevention to much stricter penalties for dealers. Water quality is another top priority, fixing municipal waste treatment before cleaning the waters, otherwise you are bailing a sinking boat. Act 46, 60 and 68 are also on my to do list either by repealing or seriously modifying, bringing back school choice and local control to the communities.”
Gray said he is no fan of the state’s current education system.
“Act 46 is on my list for repeal,” he wrote, “If not repeal, then modify significantly, bringing back local control and school choice. I am also extending an invitation to educators, not administrators, to speak with me and offer suggestions for reducing our education costs without harming the quality of education.”
Regarding school safety, Gray said he’d like to see tighter security.
“There have been several examples of the effectiveness of armed resource officers,” he wrote. “I also feel that having only one monitored available entrance to the school, equipped with metal detectors and video monitoring, would help. I am not against the idea of armed and trained volunteer staff. Mental health is the main underlying problem and we need to have effective recognition and proper treatment options.”
That said, Gray said he disagreed with Vermont’s recent tightening of the state’s gun laws.
“I do not agree that the gun bills signed into law on April 11 will do anything to prevent school or mass shootings, only infringe the good citizens’ rights,” he wrote.
Gray also outlined his ideas to improve Vermont’s economy.
“Expanding Vermont’s economy is on the top of my list of priorities,” he wrote. “I feel we need to revamp Act 250, making the permitting process easier and faster while continuing a commitment to the environment, excluding all single family residential. I want to help bring a secondary vocational trade school to Windsor County.”
Gray wrote that he would restructure the tax system.
“I will move on a plan to reduce Vermont’s business tax to 7 percent instead of the current 8.5 percent, tying with the lowest in New England,” he wrote. “Reducing or eliminating the Vermont’s sales tax would make us more competitive with our New Hampshire neighbors, especially those businesses in the Connecticut River Valley. A three-year business tax-free start up is also part of my plan. All of this will change our revenue structure but the revenue will increase naturally with more businesses and employers adding to the till.”