Vice president of the Castleton-Hubbardon School Board, member of the Castleton Town Board, two-time CSC alumnus and mother. These are just a few of the titles held by Cristine Smith, a New York native who moved to Castleton, Vt. in 1985. Now, with her passion for the town and its people, she is running against Joe Bruno for a spot on the Castleton Select Board.
In the only contested race for a position on the board, she plans to win with her “common sense” approach that will benefit the welfare of all of Castleton’s people.
Smith has three major topics that make up her platform for this race: better relations between the town and the college, more federal grants and funding and improvements in recreation.
Despite several calls and messages, Bruno could not be reached for comment for this story.
Smith, who graduated from CSC in ’89 with a degree in journalism, and again in ’95 with an associate degree in nursing, knows that the college is an asset to the town of Castleton.
“Having been a student at Castleton in the early 80’s, I see now the number of changes President (Dave) Wolk has made. It’s impressive to say the least. I think this town can learn a lot from what has been done over there,” Smith said.
When she attended Castleton, there were no street lights, no walkways, and badly maintained sidewalks, she said. She hopes to establish a working relationship with Wolk that would open up discussions on how the town and the school can work together for improvement.
With fire in her speech, Smith has a desire to make the town more accessible and lively.
“We should have people spending their time here. I want to highlight the beauty in this town,” said Smith.
One of the other major issues seen by Smith is the poor management of Dewey Field. Located a short walk from Main Street and the college campus, Dewey Field is the biggest park in Castleton.
By working with the Recreation Committee, Smith wants to revitalize this field and host children’s baseball and softball tournaments there. This way parents wouldn’t have to take their children to Fair Haven, Poultney or Whitehall every time they participate in tournaments.
“We need to plan for the future. We need to improve on what we have. One of the greatest assets we have in Castleton is its people. I feel like I can inject some energy, some new perspective. I want to turn inertia into action,” said Smith, knocking things off the table with her hand gestures while she spoke. “I’m in this to win. I won’t give up.”
Even if Smith doesn’t win it this time, she plans on running again and again.
“I teach my kids that you have to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means taking risks,” she said.
Smith is taking a risk by running for this position. Bruno, has been on the Castleton Select Board for three terms.
Elections will take place at the Castleton Village School on Tuesday, March 4