This town meeting day, Winooski voters will see two candidates running unopposed. These individuals are Mayor Kristine Lott and Winooski School Board Trustee Alex Yin.
Because Lott and Yin are running without a challenger, it is possible they could continue leading the Onion City. Both know re-election is not guaranteed, but they have their eyes set on creating a more equitable city.
“We know in our region, there is a serious housing crisis. There’s not enough supply, the prices are too high,” said Mayor Kristine Lott.
Lott says Winooski specifically lacks housing for larger families; a problem compounded by the pandemic.
“We have big families squeezing into one and two bedroom apartments and there’s no way these folks can isolate or quarantine,” said Lott.
She says she is beginning policy discussions to figure out how to influence more development. Another Winooski member is having similar discussions of improvement, as it pertains to the school district.
“I want to make sure I’m building a school in a community for the current community now, ” said Alex Yin, Trustee for the Winooski School Board.
Yin says a new school is projected to be completed by the fall of 2022; a $57.8 million bond vote from 2019. He says learning doesn’t just happen in a building, the building has to create a conducive learning environment.
“It’s almost unethical to work in a school where teachers are working in closets or janitorial spaces, there’s this fear that the boiler might not last for another year,” said Yin.
While the bond is a hefty sum, yin says it is more cost-effective and beneficial in the long run.
“These students names are going to appear on our Wikipedia pages for Winooski as notable people who live…Because I see greatness. I see future governors of Vermont, I can see future researchers of in science,” said Yin.
With Town Meeting Day next week, Mayor Lott and Board Member Yin advise Vermonters to drop off their ballots or vote in-person as opposed to mailing them.