The most challenging concern ahead, he said, is to see the hazard-mitigation projects through to completion.
Garrow’s challenger, William Lincoln Sr., was not at the election forum.
Likely the most heartfelt tributes to a town in recovery came from candidates up for Town Council.
Fred Balzac is running against incumbents Amy Shalton and Archie Depo. Their political parties didn’t factor into the discussion at all. In fact, parties weren’t named by forum moderators in introducing candidates.
The focus remained steadfast on what each person believes is best for their community.
“I’m seeking re-election because I care about the people in this town,” Depo said. “I deeply care and want to keep helping rebuild our town after Irene.”
Shalton’s voice wavered a bit as she recalled her family’s ties to the region, coming home with her husband and children after traveling with his job in the U.S. Navy.
“I love the mountains, I love the people,” she said. “The people make this town.”
Her goal, she said, is to continue to help people find new homes after losing so much in Irene.
Fred Balzac, too, described his move north to own and operate a bed-and-breakfast in the Town of Jay, saying it was a great decision.
“I want to give more townspeople a say in our town government,” he said of his goals.
Sally Sears Mack, moderator for the League of Women Voters, had encouraged the 40 or more people who attended to put questions on index cards as they came in the door. The bleachers in the former high-school gymnasium were more than half-filled.
She had everyone stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, asking all “to please listen carefully to the words.”
QUESTIONS FROM CROWD
There were mothers with children sitting quietly listening to the local lawmakers.