Why am I running?
Probably, the question I get asked the most is, why are you running? While there are specific issues I feel strongly that the City Council should address, I decided to run so that I could give back to the community.
Since moving to Montpelier in 2012, my wife Wendy and I have been gradually updating and restoring our home on Kent St. We have moved from room to room, slowly and methodically rebuilding tired, cracked, plaster walls, updating electrical, and reviving the beauty of a house built more than a century ago. Along the way, we have received help from family, friends, and neighbors in the effort. From demolition to painting, we've been grateful to the many helping hands that have turned this old house into our home. One and a half bathrooms and a kitchen later, we are now beginning to enjoy the fruit of our labors.
Looking back on the last 6 years, I couldn't stop thinking about all of the heartfelt positivity we have experienced from this community, and how, despite the fact that my wife and I both work full time, we couldn't have afforded to pay tradesmen to complete all of this renovation. I also couldn't ignore the encouragement and inquiries from a number of Montpelier residents to run for a seat on the Council.
So, I have decided that this is a great opportunity for me to not only repay our community for all of the support and goodwill we've encountered since arriving in 2012, but it might also be a way to help contribute to creating more opportunities for joining this wonderful place for people in a similar situation to my family. I hope to do this by making this community more affordable and, consequently, more accessible so we can grow together in sustainable and responsible ways.
Who am I?
I am a 33 year old, dedicated husband, public servant, and IT professional. I moved to Vermont in 2003 to attend the University of Vermont and haven't looked back since. While there, I developed an interest in both the environment and how technology can be leveraged to better understand the natural world around us. I graduated UVM in 2007 with a degree in Geology and extensive studies in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). After graduating, I applied these skills in the workforce and eventually decided that I wanted to focus more on technology. While working full time, I decided to pursue graduate studies with Boston University via a distance learning program. In 2015, I graduated Boston University with a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems.
I met my wife, Wendy (a Vermont native), in 2011 and finally found someone that has equal parts appreciation for the outdoors, sci-fi, dogs, and VPR. We decided to move to Montpelier because of the vibrancy of this small city, its community feel, and proximity to our jobs.
When we decided to move here, we were originally seeking to rent. However, after 4 months with not a single rental opportunity in sight, we asked the question: Can we afford to buy a house? We were shocked to find out that we could, as long as we were willing to put in a lot of sweat equity and find the right sized house.
Fortunately, we were lucky enough to find a small house that fit our needs and our budget. In our experience, which is not too uncommon, our house was on the market for all of 2 days before the owner signed a contract with us at asking price, despite the many other offers that were received after ours. We are grateful the chips fell where they did for us.
When we are not working at our jobs, Wendy and I can be found skiing at Morse Farm, walking or running with our dog around town, or mountain biking on one of the many mountain bike trail networks outside of Montpelier. As someone that has learned how to restore many aspects of our home, I have also helped neighbors with some of their house projects and become an amateur fine woodworker in my spare time.
Since moving to Montpelier and settling down, we have found that this community is genuine, creative, and a beautiful place to live. Despite having seen many people in our demographic leave Montpelier because of a lack of gainful employment or too high cost of living, so we are conscious of how lucky we have been to be able to plant roots here and plan on calling it home for a long, long time.