Peter Berger, independent candidate for state representative

Dear Editor,

My name is Peter Berger. I’m a moderate independent candidate for the House seat representing Ludlow, Mount Holly, and Shrewsbury.

I’ve lived in Mount Holly for 40 years, where I serve on the planning commission. I retired this June after three decades teaching middle school English and history, and my newspaper column, “Poor Elijah’s Almanack,” appears in the Rutland Herald. In it I try to bring reason, common sense, and a little humor to education issues. I would hope to bring the same perspective serving you in the Legislature.

I’m an independent for the same reasons George Washington offered at our beginning. He predicted that political parties would lead to polarized government where representatives would be caught between party loyalty and their better judgment on particular issues. We see that conflict and partisanship in Congress and increasingly in Montpelier. I don’t condemn those who join parties, but it’s not my understanding of government.

I’m a moderate because governing isn’t a winner-take-all proposition. Our government’s decisions and actions should represent not only the slightly more than half who are the majority, but also the substantial number of citizens who are at that time the minority.

Simply put, I believe in modest government and support local control, especially with regard to education. At the same time, I recognize that state government can be a force for good when it secures the common well being of its citizens.

Whatever the issue of the day – healthcare, taxation, education, the environmental climate, or the business climate – a representative has three obligations: to participate in an informed debate, consult his constituents, and adhere to his conscience.

I’ve always taught my students that self-government requires that people be willing to participate and serve.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Peter Berger

Mount Holly

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