Seats for this year’s August primary are unchallenged in the Chittenden-10 district.

Incumbent Chris Mattos and newcomer John Palasik, a Milton selectman, will feature on the Republican ticket come November. Then, only one Democrat – Todd Buik – will challenge for one of two seats.

So voters can get to know the candidates, the Milton Independent posed them a series of questions, giving a 400-word limit to split between three answers. They were also asked to provide a short biography. Another round of questions will be posed to the primary victors before the general election.

Next week’s Indy will feature candidates from the Grand Isle-Chittenden district.

Here are the questions and each candidate’s responses:

  1. Why are you running for office, and why are you qualified to serve?
  2. If elected, what will be your main priority and why?
  3. How should the state address education funding in the future?

The primary is Tuesday, Aug. 14. Voting will be held 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Milton municipal offices.

Todd Buik

TODD BUIK
Democrat

Bio

  • Engineering technician at IBM
  • Coast Guard captain-100 Ton
  • Head Ski Coach Mad River Valley
  • Attended Johnson State College (political science) and University of Vermont (mechanical engineering)
  • Volunteer – Milton Community Center
  • Raised on Brigham Hill, Essex Ctr. Resident 17 years Milton.
  • Married to Roberta Frohock

1. Avoid budget chaos; using our tax dollars in an efficient and productive manner. Cutting through partisanship creating progress not walls.

2. A balanced budget: The worst business model is waiting till something becomes a major problem or disaster. Then just throwing money or shotgun solutions at it. Some of the immediate issues of concern are senior care, health care and of course jobs.

On senior care we need to support services, such as Meals on Wheels and the Visiting Nurses Association, allowing seniors to live in their homes and enjoy a quality life. Preventive health care would save millions of dollars. I look at it as either changing the oil in your car or replacing the engine. The local economy may be improved by attracting companies of ten to hundred employees and utilizing Milton’s industrial park or other locations. This would only improve our tax base.

3. A good start is Education Act 46, which is an opportunity for districts and supervisory unions to unify existing separate governing bodies to preferred governing bodies. There are multiple phases of property tax incentives. Tax breaks for an accelerated merger is 10 cents per dollar of residential property value or for a conventional merger 8 cents, each reduced by 2 cents per year.

Tax incentives are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. These incentives are a transitional aid which will build a better and stronger system. 

Chris Mattos

CHRIS MATTOS
Republican, Incumbent

Bio

  • Born June 18, 1988
  • Education: Milton High School, University of Vermont – B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting
  • Occupation: Senior financial specialist – UVM Medical Center; real estate agent – Century 21 Jack Associates
  • Organizations: National Association of Realtors, Vermont Association of Realtors, Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors
  • Interests: Golf, local/national auto racing, fishing and spending time with friends and family
  • Member of the Vermont House of Representatives since 2017. Appointed to fill the seat vacated by Ron Hubert. Currently serve on the House Committee on Education.

1. I am running to continue to represent and serve the Milton community in the Vermont House of Representatives. I have been a lifelong Milton resident and have created many strong relationships within the community. I take great pride in being one of the two representatives for Milton to actively listen to your thoughts and concerns. Also, my grandfather, Paul Robar, represented Milton as a member of the House in the 1980s. The diverse skill set I have acquired through education, work and life experiences have lead me to be highly qualified to continue to serve and be a new generation of thinking in Montpelier.

2. My priority, if elected, would be to promote the need for affordable housing. As a real estate agent, I see firsthand the difficulty home buyers have in finding a home. Affordable housing is the basis of economic development. In order to provide more and better jobs, the people and their families need a place to live. Affordable housing does not just entail the cost of the home, but the need to lower property taxes and create a higher level inventory of homes.

Act 250 has created a long, complicated and expensive permitting process that is felt by the developer trying to provide the housing and by the end consumer, the future homeowner. By revamping Act 250, the permitting process can be redesigned to better facilitate residential and commercial development projects, while still keeping the beauty of Vermont intact.

By creating a more business friendly environment with economic opportunity, Vermont can increase jobs and create more affordable housing to make it a more attractive place to live and work.

3. In 2018, the legislature addressed the need for reform within special education funding. Being part of the House Committee on Education, we spent a significant amount of time on this issue. As a result, H.897 was passed and Act 173 was enacted. Act 173 will provide greater flexibility for special education by moving away from a reimbursement model to a new census-based model.

With this flexibility, there is more opportunity for efficiencies and potential savings of several million dollars while still providing high quality education. Also, the education finance system needs to be reformed. Currently, local voters are not tied closely enough to their spending habits. When local school budgets are voted on, the true impact to tax rates are not realized until all the state’s school budgets have been approved. Reconnecting local school budgets to their communities by steepening the yield curve will more closely tie district tax rates to their spending.

John Palasik

JOHN PALASIK
Republican

Bio

  • Served 2 years on Milton Selectboard – Elected to a 3-year term in March
  • 20-year business owner of Security One
  • 37-year law enforcement career (30 years Milton Police), retired sergeant in 2015
  • 16 years Milton Rescue, 15 years as chief
  • 3 years Vermont Army National Guard as unit administrator
  • 6 years Active Duty U.S. Army in Army Administration & Military Police
  • Graduated Milton High School
  • 53-year Milton resident
  • Married to Mary Ann Palasik
  • Two children: Jenilee Freidhof and Laura Palasik
  • Proud grandfather of Chase Freidhof, age 4 ½ months

1. I am running for state representative to represent the citizens of Milton. I have been a long-time resident of Milton, went to school here, built a home here and raised a family here. I worked in this community for 33 years as a police officer, volunteer rescue member and member of the town selectboard. I believe my knowledge of the community and experience of town business matters will assist me to be a responsible state representative. My personal dedication to this community is extremely high.

I sincerely hope to be given the honor to serve as a state representative in Montpelier for the next two years and will sincerely appreciate your support.

2.My priority as a member of the state legislature would be to make every possible effort to help Vermont become a more affordable state to live, work and raise families in. Our high taxes and fees have become unsustainable and unaffordable to many people. We have seniors striving to live on limited incomes and this is not acceptable. Vermont is not a small business friendly state. Citizens are leaving Vermont for out of state companies that offer better careers and better paying job.

The lack of affordable housing in Vermont is a major problem. Our legislature needs to support economic growth which brings businesses and jobs to this state. Good fiscal responsibility is never spending more than you take in. The legislature and myself if elected to serve, need to pay particular attention to the ability of our citizens to pay.

3. About 20 years ago Vermont adopted laws designed to provide more equal educational spending by school districts. Not having a large personal knowledge of state education spending, I did some research on the subject. We currently have a declining number of students. Our cost to student ratio has increased. Special education costs have grown considerably.

The legislature recently made good progress to make school spending more affordable, specifically for special education. In May a bill was passed with bipartisan support and signed by the governor, that was designed to provide better special education services and changed how the state funds special education. It was estimated several million dollars could be saved by 2024, which makes this was a big win for special education services and our taxpayers. Hopefully, the legislature can continue with bipartisan support on school spending and other fiscal matters as well.