Dedicated to Newport’s Progress | Laurie Pomeranz Grimm

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To the Citizens of Newport City:

My name is Laurie Grimm and on March 5th you will have an opportunity to vote for me for a seat on the Newport City Council. Let me tell you about myself:

As a member of the community since 2006, I have been actively involved in volunteering with the local schools my children attended, churches with my family, Girl Scouts, eldercare, performing arts, sports and more.

My work history includes retail, business management, employment services, insurance, education, and healthcare. Since 2017 I have been employed in Farm Credit Lending both on the direct lending side and most currently as Business Analyst in software development. My husband is a retired teacher having taught in Vermont schools for 41 years with his last 10 at North Country Union High School. Our adult children are both school teachers, having developed their passions for music/theater and culinary through the school systems here.

Since 2009, I have been a constant participant in the numerous Newport City public study groups including the AIA R/UDAT Study in 2009, Community Matters in 2013, and ReNewport in 2017/2018, just to name a few. All these studies left us with many great ideas but unfortunately little to show for the time spent.

One thing I was able to participate in was the formation of the Community Commons discussion group where many in the community were able to discuss current events concerning Newport. We met with local and state officials to discuss housing, drug use, homelessness, business growth and both sides of the EB5 program from the start to the finish.

While the group eventually disbanded, we continue to have a social media presence on Facebook where we discuss the issues in our community. Being involved means you have an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with your neighbors. You never know who has the same ideas as you until you start talking, listening, and caring.

I am running for City Council because it is time to move Newport Forward. We have come through what some may call a decade of discontent. It is time now to look towards a more positive future. Newport has so much to offer, with many great outdoor possibilities including the Recreation Path that leads from downtown to the Canadian Border, arts and music events throughout the year, churches and community groups for all ages, and businesses that need our support.

We need to do more for the health of our lake which is considered by many to be “Newport’s Greatest Asset.” We need to encourage business development, which is what the Newport Downtown Development group is doing. We need to discuss and move forward with ideas to help the many current situations in our area including the lack of moderate-income and senior housing, the drug use issues, and homeless concerns in our community.

We need to create a city that people want to move to and be a part of.

As a member of the City Council, I pledge to use my background in community building and business to work collaboratively with other members of the council, the Mayor, and our new City Manager to consider what is best for our city and those of us who live here.

Our vision must be on the future and I am ready to help get us there.

Thank you for your support.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your update Ms Grimm. I have worked for pay solely in the private sector. As much as I enjoy “community” stuff and various groups, which tend to be non-profits typically in need of money (grants or donations), I’m hesitant to be so concerned with that, especially since the community as we like to refer to it has done that, decade over decade, in this area. The community is intact in many ways and can carry on with its creativity however they all feel they’d like to go — and whichever direction — forward, sideways, or diagonally.
    What disappoints me is that every candidate I’ve listened to begins their changes to Newport with everything but increasing its revenue. The lake is an asset, but the lake doesn’t pay taxes. It can however bring in some income. But besides the Northern Star, that’s about it. It can be a clean asset and be a clean income earner for us, at the same time. One boat is okay, and maybe two boats is better. But I fear this sort of thing would cause a horror for anyone with the slightest distaste for competition in the area. A couple fishing party boats would be nice. Would all the environmentalists freak out?
    We always are going to have community needs and environmental needs. That’s life everywhere. If we focus only on those issues, all we’ll ever have is government and agency employment here, which is basically the main income of most of Vermonters. Money apparently grows on trees in Vermont.
    I personally do not find that very sustainable. We homeowners on a fixed income know how that will end. We have to sell and leave for lower tax states. You all with more money get to stay, and people with higher incomes will come driving up the housing costs some more, and that’s how the town gets its increase in taxes… a windfall that they will waste in one year, and then come looking for more. Every town and city does this in “progress” land.
    I’ve been here for 5 1/2 years in my own home, pay my bills ahead of time, and do not get in trouble with the law, don’t have kids (ever) while paying school taxes for over 46 years, and I see little for all my efforts, while lawbreakers and others who just can’t roll out of bed or go a day without their drug fix get rewarded with money and services.
    I do not think we have one candidate or anyone in local or state government who knows anyone alive that can run a positive ROI operation around here. And so I have no hope for any future for Newport except that the same crowd will impress themselves with all the new acronyms for all their new community groups that care about stuff that will only fizzle out anyhow if you can’t maintain them… without a commercial tax base of more than just one or two homeboy type operations. And who pays for it? Fred’s Energy passing the tax hikes to us living indoors trying not to lose that privilege and winding up becoming additions to the burdens of the taxpayer by becoming homeless ourselves. WTF???
    But that’s Vermont in general. Really backward for a mindset calling itself “progressive.” To me, that is just code for more grants and tax spending. Know why? Because that’s exactly what it is. And it is unsustainable. More bread and circuses, even in a resort town, is just not enough to support it.
    Sorry for the rant. But if you wanna look at needs, we desperately need a cash flow here. Not more grants and tax hikes. And two department stores to choose from, while half of Main Street has signs for lease or shopkeepers who are seldom even open… not gonna cut it.
    Potential, yes. Investors, no. What’s wrong with that picture? Bad marketing?

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