After ten and half hours on her feet, Cristine Smith found out the results of the Castleton Select Board election immediately after the Tuesday night meeting. With over 150 votes more than her competitor Joe Bruno, local Smith won a spot on the select board on March 4.
“It took a while for me to come down and go to sleep that night!” Smith said.
Smith was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came out to vote, possibly a record number. This is, Smith believes, because the presidential primaries were timed perfectly with the town elections.
“It was really nice to see all these people come out and be a part of the process,” Smith said. “This truly was a community effort.”
Smith begins her position on Monday, March 10. She hopes to “get her feet wet” by learning how everything works. The first large order of business Smith will have to help figure out is picking a new town manager. According to Smith there are a lot of great resumes being looked over.
One project Smith is fired up about working on is Dewey Field. Smith plans on working with Martha Clifford, who has been the head of the recreation committee for 30 years, to get the bathrooms open for baseball and softball season, and to survey the land to see if another field could fit. The conditions of the roads is another issue that will be discussed at Smith’s first meeting.
When it comes to working on town/school relations, Smith is ready and willing to sit down and talk with President Dave Wolk. Smith believes he has some “unbelievable plans” such as the football stadium, with new projects going on all year round.
“He is providing an excellent product to the students coming in,” said Smith. “Dave has a respect for the students.”
Wolk, who is in his seventh year of working at Castleton State College, has met with the town board many times to establish relations. Wolk believes so far the town and school have had a good relationship.
“The college is extremely important to the town in terms of the towns economic vitality, as well as cultural,” said Wolk. “For someone like Cristine to say she wants to work with us is excellent.”
With all of the projects going on to improve the campus, Wolk explains that this also benefits the town with The Castleton Student Initiative.
This allows school facilities to open up for the town when students are not using them. Along with that, town citizens have the opportunity to go to Soundings events, plays, concerts, Glenbrook Gym, expanding on the cultural vitality and recreation of the area.
The goals, planning and vision which Wolk has for Casteton State is exactly what Smith wants for the entire town.
“I believe that the town should be treated like a business. We are in it to make money and to sell a business to the people,” said Smith.
According to Smith, having her on the board is a good balance.
“They need a woman on that board!” Smith said, with a bit of a laugh.