• Four vying for open Montpelier council seat
     | February 05,2013

    MONTPELIER — A free-for-all among four candidates for one City Council seat will go before the voters in March.

    Five people took out nominating petitions for the seat being vacated by Angela MacDonald-Timpone. But one of those five didn’t return it and signed another candidate’s petition, making it a four-way race. Another picked up a petition from the city clerk’s office only Monday, the day they were due.

    The seat is to represent District 3, which covers property south of the Winooski River.

    Steve Cook, Zachary Hughes and Jessica Edgerly Walsh filed petitions Monday, and Ron Wild turned in a petition last week, which will put their names on the Town Meeting Day ballot. The term lasts two years.

    Wild, 57, is on his third term as a justice of the peace for the city. He works as a program assistant with “Everybody Wins! Vermont,” a children’s literacy program. He said he’s running to help make Montpelier livable and welcoming through responsible growth and keeping Montpelier affordable.

    He and his wife have a son in college.

    Edgerly Walsh, 28, said she is interested in working on a variety of issues, including creating more walkable connections from neighborhoods into downtown, adding housing that will attract young families, broadening Montpelier’s tax base, and making smart investments in sustainability projects that will protect the city from rising energy costs.

    She has worked as the state director of the Montpelier-based Toxics Action Center and more recently as the lead solar community organizer at SunCommon, where she currently works. She lives with her husband on Blackwell Street.

    Hughes serves on the boards of the Central Vermont Community Land Trust and Washington County Mental Health Services Inc. He also has experience as a Montpelier Taser committee member and on the state’s Child, Adolescent, and Family State Program Standing Committee from 1999 to 2008, including as chairman from 2002 to 2008.

    Hughes, 35, of Prospect Street, said he’s running to bring new ideas to the city for possible funding such as grants, and to give a voice to people like himself. He uses a mobility scooter due to cerebral palsy.

    He works as a peer support facilitator for Washington County Mental Health Services. He is a native of Texas and has lived in Montpelier for 22 years.

    Cook, 33, of Mountainview Street, is the deputy commissioner of the state Department of Tourism and Marketing. He has worked in state government for more than 10 years, helping communities in marketing and economic and development strategies.

    “I have worked in government for a long time and have a lot of experience in serving the public,” he said.

    He has three children, ages 12, 9 and 3. He said that although he’s a big supporter of the Montpelier city school system, he wants to take a look at overall spending with working families and longtime residents in mind.

    Incumbents Anne Watson in District 2 and Tom Golonka in District 1 will be unopposed.

    david.taube @timesargus.com

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