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Essex 1-8-11

I've finished roaming the highways for a while, having taken in the sights of urban Texas and coastal Alabama, neither of which is very appealing if you're used to the Champlain Valley. The trip home was rather easy, since there was little traffic due to the New Year's holiday. Trucks crawling side by side up long hills were largely absent, and the police were likewise scarce, until you get to New York, where a radar cop guards the border. This is anecdotal, but it seems to me we are heavily policed on the roads compared to other states. I just use my cruise control and they don't bother me- the last time I got a speeding ticket, or any ticket for that matter, was in 1971. I'm not free of roadway sins, and it's a matter of time before they catch me doing something stupid.

Here in Essex, I've been spending time at the town hall working on little projects, like getting the town hall itself insulated. The town got a grant for the work, but to actually hire a contractor is not easy. The grant comes from a federal program through the state, with reports, specifications, certifications, prevailing wages and endless details to attend to. Luckily, I have years of experience with arcane and maddening government paperwork, but this seemingly simple project is a doozey. The next grant to work on is getting facing stone on the Lake Street wall in the hamlet. I'm told this money comes from a different pool and is much less cumbersome a process than the insulation job. Just to let you know, this is volunteer work on my part, as I am no longer the deputy town supervisor. Mark Wrisley, a board member, has taken the position, which is proper and a more effective arrangement. I'm happy messing with paperwork and glad the supervisor is very healthy and traveled out of town infrequently. I had to chair only one meeting in her absence during my tenure as deputy.

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