Kitchel Seeks Senate Seat
BY JAMES JARDINE
Caledonian-Record - June 8, 2004
Jane Kitchel of
Jane Kitchel of
Kitchel, a Democrat, is running for one
of two Senate seats in Caledonia-Orange District, which includes all of
Caledonia County , as well as the towns of Bradford, Newbury, Fairlee,
Kitchel is no stranger to state government,
having recently retired as secretary of Human Services. She began
as a social worker in the
Kitchel grew up on the Beattie farm in
She said her decision to run was not made
quickly, commenting, ìI weighed it all out.î She knows ìto serve
the people well is hard workî but she is prepared to make the commitment.
Kitchel said someone told her running for public office ìis like a job
interviewî and she looks forward to getting out all over her Senate district
and meeting voters.
Kitchel believes one of the major issues
facing the state is health care and government organization and structure.
She said numerous compartmentalized programs have evolved that provide
services to narrow categories of recipients, but that this compartmentalization
is inefficient, expensive and can be frustrating to someone looking for
help, who may not ìfitî into the tight boundaries of a particular program.
According to Kitchel, the Legislature has
not grappled with the large question of how state health-care services
will be financed. In a few years, Medicaid will face a $40 million
shortfall and the Legislature must make some very tough decisions on how
to handle the shortfall. Kitchel believes her background and experience
can be helpful making the tough decisions on financing and organizing
human service programs.
She added, ìThatís why I decided to run;
I can be a voice on issues.î
She stressed, ìYou have to accept the fiscal
realityî that the state canít afford to do everything and ìyou have to
prioritize where you want your public resources to go.î
Kitchel asserts, ìYou have to have spending
that is sustainableî and ìyou have to decide the right balance.î
Kitchel mentioned a quote by the environmentalist
John Muir, ìEverything is hitched to everythingî as she discussed the
connections among health care, mental health and corrections and how all
of those topics lead back to strong, healthy communities. She said
strong communities include good jobs. She talks about ìlooking at
our systemsî and ìseeing how state policies can help communities.î
A very strong believer in community and
local control, Kitchel sees healthy communities helping people in ways
the state cannot.
ìCommunities are so important,î said Kitchel,
who looks forward to getting out and meeting people in towns she will
represent, seeking their input to learn what the publicís priorities are
and how and where to spend the stateís limited dollars.
óSource: The Caledonia-Record.