SIMS VERSUS HIGLEYDERBY – Incumbent Republican Mark Higley and Progressive Katherine Sims faced off in a forum at the IROC Monday evening for a bid for Orleans-Lamoille’s only House seat in Montpelier.Higley, originally from Gilford, worked on a dairy farm throughout high school. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy Seabees. Returning home four years later, Higley married and spent two years on the Brattleboro Select Board where he was on the Agricultural Committee and the Solid Waste Management Committee. Higley and his wife adopted a couple of children, moved to northern Vermont and adopted a couple more children. He is a lister in Lowell. He also held several town positions. Higley has served as a member of the House for four years.Sims also lives in Lowell with her fiancé. She said her father grew up in Vermont but moved away for better job opportunities. She spent many summers visiting her grandparents where she learned how to garden. After graduating from college, she moved to Vermont. She served as Westfield Town Auditor for four years. Sims founded and is the director of Green Mountain Farm to School.Sims believes that businesses are the heart of communities and when businesses thrive, communities thrive. She said the state needs a predictable and reliable permit process, but doesn’t think the state needs to gut regulations.Higley said that during the past four years, Vermont proposed many well-intended laws with unintended consequences for businesses. He doesn't support the Shumlin energy policy because of the aggressive percentage of renewables some want in the state's energy portfolio; however, he supported the Lowell Wind Project.“Seventy-five percent of the voters who voted in the town supported the project,” said Higley. “I thought it was my job to get them the best representation they could to make sure they were well represented in dealing with Green Mountain Power.”The project has benefited some local businesses and residents, Higley said.Sims has a different viewpoint and supports a moratorium on industrial wind development. She’s seen how the divisive issue pit neighbor against neighbor. Sims believes there needs to be investments in alternative energy like hydro, methane, biomass and solar. Vermont also needs to be less dependent on fossil fuels.(For more of this long article, see Wednesday's Newport Daily Express, Oct. 24, 2012, Page 3.)KILMARTIN, MARCOTTE, DE LA BRUERE, MONETTEDERBY – Politicians are gearing up for November’s General Election – now less than two weeks away. In Orleans 2, four well known individuals are in a race to fill two seats.During a forum at IROC Monday, incumbents Duncan Kilmartin and Mike Marcottte, both Republicans, faced off with independents Tim de la Bruere and Paul Monette.  Monette, mayor of Newport City, grew up on the East Side and graduated from North Country Union High School and Lyndon State College. After college, he moved to the Boston area to work with Weather Services International. He had the opportunity to travel around the country installing weather equipment. After nine years, Monette got homesick and moved back to the Newport area. He worked for a software company in Richford and later owned his own consulting and computer repair store until he got the opportunity to work at the Newport City School as technology coordinator. Monette has served on various boards and committees.Marcotte was born and raised in Newport City and attended Sacred Heart High School. After graduation, he went on to trade school for 10 months. Upon returning, he moved to Coventry to help his grandparents. Marcotte is married, has two sons and one granddaughter. He owns the Jimmy Kwik store and is on the Coventry Select Board, where he has served as chair for the last 14 years. He served as the Exalted Ruler for the Derby Elks in 1989-1990 and four years later became district deputy for the six northern lodges in the state. Marcotte has been in the legislature for the past eight years.Kilmartin is married, has two daughters and three grandchildren. He is a retired trial lawyer and church deacon. He worked his way through college and law school as a pipefitter. Kilmartin has been in the legislature for 12 years.De la Bruere, a graduate of Sacred Heart High School, said local small schools are important to him. He has served the community for almost a third of his life. De la Bruere went to St. Lawrence University. He currently works as a 911 state police dispatcher. De la Bruere is also on the Newport City Council.Speaking for himself, not the police, De la Bruere said the police deserve respect and put their lives on the line every day. He’s been offended by some of what appeared in the press and what has happened over the last few months. De la Bruere said there are two sides to every story and he sees why some things were said.Kilmartin said that, except for the national media craze around Roger Pion, he has never known the police to lack support, although there was a death several years ago that got some criticism. People have serious concerns about the number of state police and their ability to respond to crimes. Kilmartin said the Town of Derby either has to combine forces with Newport City and create a regional department or develop its own police resources.(For more of this long article, see Wednesday's Newport Daily Express, Oct. 24, 2012, Pages 3 & 12.)