I voted 'yes' on the garage. It was not an easy or a quick decision. I spent a lot of time last fall reviewing publicly-available information about the project and asking questions of city officials. An important factor for me was the city’s responsiveness to public comment, and the efforts made to address a wide range of concerns and explain the assumptions used to inform the process.

Like any complicated project, this one involves risks and uncertainties. It also presents opportunities: Opportunities for cleaning up and revitalizing a portion of our core downtown; for re-imagining downtown parking and shifting away from a reliance on surface lots; for bringing more tourists and business travelers to Montpelier; for promoting public transit by locating commuter parking adjacent to the transit center; for realizing green space and river access where none currently exists; perhaps most importantly, for supporting our downtown businesses.

The community voted. The bond passed with 57 percent of the vote. Now is the time to come together as a community to do the work. Together, we can make this project a success - and we can realize the above visions and more. Let’s not stand in our own way.

Gretchen Elias

Montpelier

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