Rep. Sibilia: September news and updates

Goodbye to legends

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and closeup
Phil Bartlett

Please join me in offering condolences to the whole Bartlett family on the passing of Phil Bartlett today. Phil was a legend in Dover, serving many roles including Selectman, Road Commissioner and State Rep for the Windham – Bennington district from 2002-2006. I will share service arrangements when they are known.

Image result for paul bruhn photo
Paul Bruhn

Vermont lost another icon this week, Preservation Trust of Vermont’s Paul Bruhn who had special ties to the Deerfield Valley and the fundraising for and rebuilding of Dot’s Restaurant after Tropical Storm Irene. Preservation Trust has also been instrumental in funding restorations of the Bullock Building in Readsboro. Paul’s services have been announced for Friday, October 11, 1pm, at the Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT.

Broadband next steps

Great turnout for a meeting in Wilmington on September 11th which examined how towns can take the next steps on broadband expansion in Windham County and southern Vermont. Representatives from the towns of Rockingham, Putney, Brattleboro, Marlboro, Halifax, Whitingham, Guilford, Jamaica, Readsboro, Dover, Wilmington, Wardsboro and Shaftsbury were in attendance.

Technical assistance to form a Communications Union District (CUD) – which is an entity that provides broadband services – is going to be available through the state and other regional resources. The process of forming a CUD will require two towns to agree to work together to design, build, operate and maintain broadband infrastructure. This can be done in partnership with an existing provider, or can result in a new entity being formed, like EC Fiber in Central Vermont.

Windham Regional Commission, BDCC and the Windham County Delegation will be gathering additional interest and information and organizing a next meeting between the towns and the technical assistance. The Windham Regional Commission has agreed to act as a contact recipient for interested parties. If you would like to be notified of follow up information please send an email with your town and your contact information to:

On September 11th, I participated in a panel with legislators from Maine and New Hampshire in Rockport, ME to speak to independent telephone companies from the three states and Consolidated Communications about each of our legislatures broadband efforts in the past session. We encouraged telephone operators to consider taking advantage of Vermont’s new legislation and coming forward with proposals to help us bring fiber to every address. Vermont’s Act 79 allows for the possibility of municipalities partnering with telephone or electric utilities.

Reminder: What to do if your land line phone is not working in Vermont

Immigration in Vermont?

While Chittenden County and the surrounding areas of Vermont continue to grow, Southern Vermont, like much of rural America, has seen some population loss and has gotten much older. Some strategies to grow rural Vermont’s workforce and resident population include the possibility of encouraging immigrants.

This paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: Aging and Declining Populations in Northern New England: Is There a Role for Immigration? discusses the current trends of immigration in Northern New England and what other options to grow the population are likely.

STATE OF VERMONT Website dedicated to data, information & planning for Climate Change in Vermont


Apportionment & Redistricting discussion in Dover
Students, public encouraged to attend

This Wednesday September 25th at 6 pm Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos and the 2010 Chair of the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board, Tom Little will participate in a discussion and Q&A about Vermont’s Apportionment and Redistricting processes and what local voters should know on Wednesday September 25th at 6 pm at the Dover Town Hall next to the Dover Free Library. Route 100 legislators John Gannon, Laura Sibilia and Kelly Pajala are hosting the event. 

Working Communities Challenge Information Meeting
Tue, Oct 8 Memorial Hall, Wilmington 2:00pm -3:30pm
The Working Communities Challenge in Vermont is a three-year grant opportunity designed to strengthen Vermont’s rural towns, regions, and small cities by encouraging cross-sector teams to work collaboratively to benefit all residents—particularly residents with lower-income.

Constituent Meeting with Rep. Laura Sibilia
Stamford Saturday October 12th 9-10:30 Bring your questions, concerns and ideas to the Stamford elementary School gym. I’ll have muffins & coffee for our conversation.
Turnip Festival Is Rain (Snow) or Shine!

Gilfeather Turnip Festival October 26th
The 17th annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival and Gilfeather Turnip Contest will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission. Rain or shine. At the Town Hall, and The Big Tent – all on Main Street. America’s best turnip culinary event! Join the whole town for Gilfeather turnip soup and turnip recipe tastings at the Turnip Café, outdoor soup kiosk, farmers’ market, craft vendors, 1000+ lbs of turnip, turnip seeds, all new Gilfeather Turnip Cookbook

Wardsboro Selectboard Meeting
Tuesday October 29th at 7 PM Rep. Sibilia will meet with the Wardsboro Selectboard after a presentation on regional economic development by BDCC and SeVEDS

This will be a opportunities to testify, display/demonstrate, participate in a press conference about the importance of tourism. We’ll be organizing an info meeting in the next few weeks, but for now if you’re interested in helping coordinate participation from the valley, testifying or putting together a demo or display send me an email at

Please contact me with questions or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or You can also sign up to receive my e-newsletters on my blogsite at
Kind regards,

Rep. Laura Sibilia

Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s