Turner is best choice for lt. governor
The Nov. 6 election approaches fast. Vermonters have an important decision to make when they vote for lieutenant governor. History tells us how easy it is to vote for the incumbent or to vote the “party line.” I want to urge you to vote for the best man for the job at this critical time in Vermont’s history, Don Turner Jr.

I grew up in Milton. I’ve known Don my entire life. I’ve witnessed his long list of successes. Each were the result of hard work, talent and persistence, but most importantly caring for others and always seeking solutions to problems that were effective and frugal.

In Don’s role as fire and rescue chief, he excelled at molding and leading two critical town departments, keeping the rosters full of talented volunteers ready to provide community emergency services 24/7 and did so in a budget-conscious fashion. Lives were saved under his leadership.

Don built a strong team and has accomplished in one year as Milton town manager a very long list of critical tasks and projects which for many years had only been goals. He is a problem solver with a unique skill set that finds solutions where others can’t and does so always remembering his duty to serve the taxpayer. He so fully respects where the funds come from in our municipality and spends them wisely.

He worked tirelessly and rose to leadership during his 13 years in the state legislature. Vermont truly needs his continued service to the state. Please vote for Don Turner Jr. He is the best choice.

John Bartlett

Assistant judge, probate judge, side judge … ?
I have encountered many voters who seem confused about the difference between an assistant judge and a probate judge. I would like to help clarify the differences between the two judgeships, so that Chittenden County voters can make an educated and informed choice in the upcoming general election on November 6.

A probate judge is required to have a law degree (not a requirement for assistant judge), and deals with “matters of law” including decisions regarding adoptions, guardianships, estates and trusts. An assistant judge, commonly called a side judge, deals only in “matters of fact.”

In hearing a case where there is no jury (often family court cases), there are two assistant judges sitting on either side of the presiding judge to represent the citizens, (thus the term side judge). Together, the three judges decide on the facts of the case, determining whether to rule for the plaintiff or the defendant. The resulting decision is considered to be “a matter of fact” and must be agreed upon by at least two of the three judges. The presiding judge then takes this “matter of fact” and applies it to the law when coming up with his or her decision.

Assistant judges also have administrative duties – setting the yearly county budget to keep county properties running effectively and efficiently. These include the sheriff’s office, the probate court and the civil court. Assistant judges are also responsible for hiring the county clerk, the sheriff’s secretary and the sheriff’s bookkeeper.

I hope I have cleared the air regarding the differences between probate judge and assistant judge (side judge), and defined for the voter the duties of the assistant judge, a position I have been honored to hold for the past eight years.

Connie Cain Ramsey


Hidden costs of marijuana legislation
The Democrat-controlled Vermont Legislature legalized the possession of marijuana for recreational use and it became law in July 2018. Their eyes were blinded by the report of new businesses that will be formed, reduction in no-victim crime, and the siren call of large inflows of tax money from the regulated sale of this mind-altering drug. The unintended consequences of their action will be felt by Vermonters in higher taxes to compensate for increased costs of regulation, increased crime, black market sales, the gateway to stronger drugs, and the damage to developing children. Yes, children will get their hands on it – just as they can get hold of tobacco and alcohol.

Grand Isle’s representatives were split on the issue. Mitzi Johnson, although a supporter, didn’t have to vote in her position of Speaker of the Vermont House, and Ben Joseph voted against it, likely due to his history as a judge and seeing the damaging effects of drugs.

Let’s look at some things we do know. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists marijuana as the second most abused drug in the United States, after alcohol. Although legal, excessive use of alcohol costs employers and taxpayers $250 billion per year. Proponents of legalization try to convince us that legalization just decriminalizes the users of today, but in the next breath tout the increase of businesses that will open and the positive effects on the economy. In the legal marijuana states of Colorado and Washington, positive tests for marijuana increased by 20 and 23 percent, respectively. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that “Drugged driving accounted for more than 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010 …” and the main drug was marijuana.

The U.S. Attorney for Colorado stated that his state’s youth marijuana use is 85 percent higher than the national average, marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up 151 percent. Indoor marijuana grow uses 17 times as much energy as the average residence and each plant consumes 2.2 liters of water per day.

It is time to put more Republicans into our legislature, who will not support liberal group-think and instead will vote for what is good for Vermont – not what the vocal left scream for. Leland and Michael Morgan are hard at work campaigning to be the representatives for Grand Isle and Milton.

Dick Trudell
Grand Isle