GLOVER – Rep. Sam Young, who lives on the land his ancestors moved to just after the Civil War, is looking forward to serving the people of the Northeast Kingdom.
Young, a Democrat, has served the voters in the Orleans-Caledonia district for one term alongside Republican Vicki Strong in the two-member district.
“I like the work and I’ve learned a lot,” said Young. Young said voters invested two years in him and it took him that long to get good at it. “If I spend two years of my life doing something, I want to get good at it.”
While in the legislature, Young was appointed to the Vermont Telecommunications Authority Board. He feels it’s important to have better service in the region. The board, said Young, worked on the Hardwick to Newport fiber project, which Young believes will be completed by the end of the year.
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Young did a lot of committee work, which includes rewording bills. In one case, changing a lower case m to an upper case M meant the difference between millibytes and megabytes, he explained.
“It’s one of those examples where having someone with a background in technology has been helpful in the legislature,” said Young, a web developer.
Trying to build up cell communications has been difficult because the major carriers are in places where they can make money and places not covered are areas where carriers won't make money, Young said.
“We’ve tried to come up with a bunch of different alternatives,” said Young. “One was this microcell project that would have covered 1,000 miles of state highway and could provide service on AT&T and Verizon. But the company we were going to fund got blocked from having roaming contracts with them and made the project un-financially viable.”
The state is doing a project with the company, identified by Young as Vanu Coverage, but it’s only about 200 miles. Sprint is the only company that will be on the system for now.
Young said he worked hard on the Cloud Tax exemption that legislators delayed until 2013. He also worked on the project that gives legislators iPads instead of using piles of paper. The iPads, said Young, cost about $500, about the cost of paper one legislator uses in a year.
Young, who is currently running unopposed, said he will have time to work on legislation over the summer.
Young said that if wind towers are constructed, he would like to see a lighting system that only comes on when needed instead of continuous blinking. The light system, said Young, doesn’t have FAA approval. Young also wants to make sure the wind towers have a decommissioning fund.
Young aid he would rather not have wind power, but if the wind farm in Sheffield will power 20,000 homes and the farm in Lowell will power 30,000 homes, then the demand for power in the Northeast Kingdom has been met.
“We don’t need more projects here,” said Young. “I’m not in favor of them, but I know the majority of the legislature doesn’t agree with me.”
Vermont Yankee is an old plant and probably should be shut down, said Young, who doesn’t foresee a new plant in the state. Young thinks the decision whether or not to keep the plant open will be in court for years. The federal government has decided the state legislature doesn’t have a say, but the public service board said it does, said Young. The decision is out of the hands of the legislature.
"Radioactive waste takes a minimum of 24,000 years where it is really potent," Young said. “We have to do something to keep society alive for the next 24,000 years so we can actually figure out a solution for the waste. Burning all the carbon off the planet isn’t really helping us either.”
Young favors a smaller Wal-Mart type store, maybe something around 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, as opposed to the superstore currently under consideration for Derby.