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COVENTRY â€“ Republican Michael Marcotte of Coventry is seeking his fifth term for the House of Representatives for District Orleans-2, which consists of Newport City, Newport Center, Irasburg and Coventry.
Marcotte said heâ€™s enjoyed the past eight years in Montpelier. â€śItâ€™s been a great learning experience,â€ť he said. â€śI enjoy working for constituents in my district.â€ť
Marcotte is vice-chair of the Economics Committee and has an excellent working relationship with the chair of his committee, Bill Botzow, and with Speaker of the House Shap Smith.
â€śIn order to do things to help your constituents, you need to have those relationships,â€ť said Marcotte. â€śYou have to be able to work on a bipartisan, tri-partisan manner in order to be affective.â€ť
Marcotteâ€™s committee created the Vermont Telecom Authority and pushed for wide-spread broadband and cellular phone service in the rural parts of the state. The committee also worked on a bill to deal with private roads when there is no written agreement over who maintains them. Without such a law, homebuyers face issues when trying to get a mortgage.
Marcotte is not keen on wind power, but likes nuclear. â€śWe keep hearing more and more about health issues,â€ť said Marcotte, referring to wind. He's heard unconfirmed stories about how wind turbines affect the climate. â€śItâ€™s supposed to be green and weâ€™re blowing the tops of our mountains to accommodate these. Weâ€™re never going to get those back.â€ť
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â€śI think nuclear should play a role in Vermontâ€™s portfolio,â€ť said Marcotte. â€śUnfortunately, our utilities are buying nuclear, but theyâ€™re not buying it from Vermont Yankee, theyâ€™re buying it from Seabrook.â€ť
Talking about the permit process, Marcotte said Tropical Storm Irene taught Vermonters that things can get done fast and cheap, but that doesnâ€™t mean Vermonters have to let up on protecting the environment. There is no reason something that goes through the Act 250 process needs to take years, Marcotte said.
Marcotte is confident that job creation will start to take shape in the region; this includes the biotech centers and the companies that will follow them. Anything to create jobs in Orleans County is good for everyone, Marcotte said.
Marcotte, who is also the chair of the Coventry Select Board, has been working with the Newport Renaissance Corporation on projects like expanding the runway at the Newport State Airport as well as the Foreign Trade Zone.
â€śThereâ€™s a bright future coming for Newport and the Orleans County area for everyone," said Marcotte. He sees good paying jobs and more tourists coming the region. â€śThereâ€™s a lot of potential here.â€ť