Rep. Manwaring endorses Sibilia for re-election

Ann has been a trusted friend and mentor for almost 20 years – I am grateful I was able to serve my first term while she was still in the House and I will miss her in the coming years.  I’m honored to have her endorsement.  Even though we have occasionally disagreed on policy, we have always been a united team in our dedication to high quality education, helping the people of our little valley towns and the great state of Vermont!

September 13, 2016
To the Editor:

Summer is over way too fast and it is now election season for real, and even though many of us believe that our national election can’ t be over soon enough, we do have local elections which are important to all of us.  Early voting has started where we can now ask our Town Clerks for absentee ballots either by mail or by stopping by the Town offices.

Laura and Ann at last weeks legislative issues forum in Dover

Laura and Ann discussing the upcoming session at last weeks legislative issues forum in Dover.

As you consider whom to vote for to represent you in the Vermont House of Representatives for the next two years, I would like to share with you that I support the re-election of Laura Sibilia to serve for another term Representing Voters in Dover, Wardsboro, Searsburg, Sommerset, Readsboro and Stamford and a portion of Whitingham.

Even before Laura was elected to Represent your District two years ago she and I had worked extensively on issues concerning Vermont’s education system, specifically issues that affect our small rural communities.  It won’t surprise any one reading this that Vermont public education and its financing framework is a complex system, and sometimes we were able to shape good things and sometimes the job was to keep bad things from happening. There is so much more work to do, and I have enormous respect for her knowledge, understanding and commitment to keep this issue in the forefront on her time and energy in Montpelier.

But that’s not all.  In addition she takes to Montpelier her considerable experience and skills around economic development in Windham and Bennington Counties.

Laura hit the ground running in her first term, and I believe the voters in her District would be well served by sending her back to Montpelier for a second term.  I am sorry I won’t be returning to Montpelier, but I hope to continue to work with her from home.

Thank your for your consideration.


Ann Manwaring, Representing the neighboring

District of Halifax, Whitingham and Wilmington


Support from Wardsboro

October 22, 2014

We were raised by parents, community, and teachers of the Greatest Generation (as named by Tom Brokaw) to be hardworking, frugal, generous, and moral (to live by the Ten Commandments). One of us attended a one-room school, one of us attended a bigger elementary school, both of which met all of our early education needs.

We truly believe that in the lower grades, it is most important to learn the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic. If one gets a good basic education in these, one can go out in the world and learn anything else that comes along. But if you don’t know how to read, write, or know your math, you aren’t going to get anywhere. The whole world can fool you – even computers, from the smallest statement to the largest, and you’ll never know, because you didn’t learn how to think for yourself. And I don’t think that concept will ever change in spite of what people today keep trying to hype.

Several years ago when John Moran opposed Phil Bartlett and a debate was held in Wardsboro, we asked both candidates why the state couldn’t set a standard for every school – a list of what was required of each school to teach the students – and anything extra would have to be voted on in each individual town such as a new gym, a new football field, an aide for every classroom, etc. etc. both John and Phil said, Oh No, we can’t tell local schoolboards what they can have in their budget.

Well, now John Moran is pushing this very idea and acting like it’s a new concept when it has been around for several years and always proposed by Laura Sibilia and the Dover schoolboard..

We first heard Laura speak several years ago at a gathering of like-minded people concerned with the high cost of education and the out-of-control spending on our local school level. WOW! – she had her head screwed on right and she was calling for a statewide agenda for schools and what should be required in each school curriculum, and extra stuff should be voted on by each town whose schoolboard wanted extra curiculum or extra additions to the local school property.. She was on the Dover schoolboard at the time, and Dover has done everything in their power to keep the school expenses under control, but the state and federal governments have made it very difficult to keep up that practice.

Laura doesn’t just accept what people tell her – she goes out and digs for the truth, and the consequences, of what will happen if certain new rules are put into law. And she can tell you why certain new ideas (consolidation of schools and a cap on the ed tax rates are two) won’t work and what she believes would be a better way of doing it – all very sound and sensible thoughts.

We need young people like her – she is not new to Montpelier, having been up there many, many times giving evidence of ideas that should be the new future of Vermont education and funding. We believe in change at the local level to get new ideas and new topics out there for the citizens to ponder.

We speak of education costs mostly because that is what makes our property taxes so doggone high! But there are many other areas that our local representative will be addressing – Mr. Moran has had his 8-9 years of getting his ideas put into law – it is now time for new, fresh, reasoning to have a chance as the old laws and rules aren’t working out so well.

We will be supporting and voting for Laura Sibilia as she is a truly concerned citizen who will work hard in Montpelier for ALL of us and be fair to ALL of us.

Michael and Janice Hull of Wardsboro, VT

Vicki Capitani endorsement

I would like to express my public support for Laura Sibilia, an independent running for state representative in Windam/Bennington house district. I have known Laura in many capacities for over the past 15 years and have always been impressed by her. We have served together on the Dover School Board, where I learned how passionate, hardworking, and informed Laura always is. Our children have attended schools together and n here I found we had shared values of family, education, and fairness. When something needs to get done, whether it be a fundraiser, manning the booster booth, or dealing with issues that affected our children Laura was the first person I would call. She has been relentless in her efforts to keep our small schools safe from statewide changes that would negatively impact them. She a true advocate for community based education and the benefits that is can have for our families and communities.   As the chamber of commerce director and now as economic director at BDCC she continues to fight for the economic viability of our area.

Laura will be a fantastic representative for our entire district.   She will be accessible, honest and incredibly hardworking. She will hit the ground running because of her knowledge of issues, people and the legislative process. She will be visible to all the communities she will serve. If you contact her with a question for concern she will get back to you. I am truly excited that have the opportunity to vote Laura and can’t wait to see what she can do.

Victoria Capitani

Small business endorsement

I have known Laura Sibilia for many years, personally and professionally. I was impressed with her leadership, as the head of the Mt Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce. Laura did an excellent job moving the Chamber forward and always represented the best interest of the business owners in our community. After Hurricane Irene, Laura delayed starting her new job to assist the cleanup efforts in the Valley because of her commitment to the community. Working with BDCC & SeVEDS, Laura remains visible and active in Southern Vermont economic development. I do not know Laura’s position on many political topics, but I do know she will represent her constituents to the best of her ability and not have her own agenda.

Laura’s organization and knowledge of businesses and residents of southern Vermont, her understanding of state funding, grant writing, and taxation is impressive. She has taken strong positions as a member of the Dover School Board on education tax reform. Most importantly, Laura is never afraid to express her opinion, something which I feel is often lacking in Montpelier. She won’t let Montpelier forget Windham/ Bennington is part of Vermont – she knows the needs and she visibly supports our causes.

I am not a resident of Windham/Bennington district so I cannot vote for Laura, but as a business owner in Dover and a tax payer I want to express my support of Laura Sibilia for State Representative and I hope that you will give her your vote on November 4th.

Arlene Palmiter
Business Owner- West Dover

Adams endorsement

Laura Sibilia will also get my vote on November 4th.

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Laura during her tenure as Executive Director at the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce. I have seen first hand Laura’s love for our Valley; and the determination that she has to protect it.   Laura has the energy and backbone to fight for what she believes is in and the best interest of everyone. As Chamber Director, she had successful campaigns for raising money for local charities through the beloved Bears in the Valley, Vermonsters, and Best Seat in Vermont. She has also put together the Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, The Blueberry Festival to bring people to the Valley. Seeing what this tremendous individual has done on a local level; I cannot wait to see what she will achieve on a State level.

Laura understands the concerns that a mother, spouse, employee, employer, business owner, and residents of the district have. Economic development, taxes, health insurance, education are all hot topics anywhere you go. Three years ago, Irene devastated Wilmington along with many towns throughout Vermont. Laura exuded strength, guidance and leadership that got the necessary resources to relieve the fear and uncertainty in the Valley. Laura worked day and night, making sure that our towns received the help they needed which required coordination with State and Federal Agencies. She also made sure everyone was updated on the status of the roads, meetings and important information to keep the Valley and its visitors safe.

A change is needed in our district. We need to be represented on our needs in the district; not just a few towns in it. We need someone that will use her voice, strength and love for our area in Montpelier. Laura is Our Independent Local Voice!

Lorre Adams

Endorsed by bipartisan Reps Ralston and Scheuermann

On October 2, 2014 a pair of bipartisan Vermont legislators announced their endorsement of Laura Sibilia, Independent candidate for the Windham-Bennington 1 Vermont House District.

 “While southern Vermont is facing some economic challenges at this time, it also has significant opportunities,” said Rep. Paul Ralston (D-Middlebury), co-founder of V2AVT.  “Throughout her many years working in economic development formerly at the Mount Snow Chamber of Commerce, and now at BDCC and SeVEDS, Laura has demonstrated her ability to tackle the challenges head on while at the same time taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.  I am confident she will do the same for the region while serving in the House.”

 “Laura will bring both a fresh vision and true independence to the Vermont House, both of which we desperately need at this time,” added Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), co-founder of V2AVT.  “She has the ability and determination to ensure that the voices of those in the southeastern part of the state, so often neglected, are heard and understood. And, more importantly, that critical investments in that region are made.”

Ralston and Scheuermann, founders of Vision to Action Vermont (V2AVT) work to support candidates for political office – regardless of party affiliation – who share their desire to put the health of our state’s economy at the forefront of the legislative agenda come January 2015.  They want to ensure that legislation and initiatives to invest in and grow our economy are promoted and seriously considered, and that all legislation is thoughtfully considered in terms of the impact it will have on our state’s small businesses, and our economy overall.  For these reasons, V2AVT has encouraged the voters of Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, and Whitingham to elect Laura Sibilia to the Vermont House of Representatives.

Wallace endorsement

Laura Siblia will get my vote on November 4th.

I met Laura when we first moved to the Valley, some 26 years ago. The friendship developed and my admiration for her grew when I was elected to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

As a long time member of this community, Laura has always had this Valley and Southern Vermont in her heart. As Executive Director of the Chamber, Laura helped guide the positive growth we needed. After Hurricane Irene blew through, and with the excellent direction by Laura, our towns, although down, but not out, were able to re-build. Unless you were in the Chamber’s re-located offices 24/7, you may be unaware how Laura was in contact with our Legislators, FEMA and others examining how we should proceed; and then she led the way.

After Laura left the Chamber for different pastures, she again acquainted herself with the people and agencies who strive to make our little part of Vermont a better and more economically developed region. With that same determination and persistence, Laura will make sure our ‘local voice’ is heard in Montpelier. We need Laura!

Hopefully you read in last week’s Valley News that, unlike our current representative, Laura returned all of the PAC money sent to her campaign. Returning the money again shows that she will not have a National and partisan agenda; her agenda will be here, Southern Vermont.

Please give Laura Sibilia, our ‘local voice,’ your vote!

Kristen Wallace

East Dover

Taylor Endorsement

Though I am not a voting member in the Dover-Readsboro-Stamford-Halifax-Wardsboro district I have the privilege of expressing my support for Laura Sibilia as the next state representative for these Vermonters.

I have been fortunate to know Laura as a friend and as an associate as we continue to work in the state legislature to protect the interests of small schools and rural communities. What has impressed me most about Laura is her natural talent to be a strong, outspoken advocate for all Valley towns and schools. I have spent numerous occasions walking the halls of the capital building with her while the legislature was in session. She has a remarkable ability to connect with our legislators and clearly present the issues facing our residents.

I recall one occasion when a powerful senate leader passed by and squawked at her with amusement about a legislative proposal on economic development which she was lobbying for. He commented that it didn’t have much of a chance. She smiled, and joked back with the Senator, inviting him to look at how the proposal was a benefit to all towns in the area and this was a vital issue that effected all of Southern Vermont. With some back and forth points on the matter, he left amused and with appreciation for the proposal. I just looked at her and said, “so, when are you running for state representative.” She was just a natural for this type of work. Having been exposed to the legislative world, I have really begun to understand what it takes to be an effective legislator–a far more difficult job than most people would think.

It takes incredible energy, persistence and an innate drive to do not what seems good, but what is right. Laura Sibilia has these qualities including a sensible pragmatism that knows the limits and place of state regulations–where they are effective and where they are not.

To those of you who have the choice to vote for Laura Sibilia, I can honestly say that she is one of the best representatives to have fighting for the interests of your district and of Southern Vermont.

Philip Taylor

Wilmington, VT