E l e c t

Ernie Fernandez

t o

T o w n o f W o o d s t o c k , V T

S e l e c t b o a r d

Email: erniefdzvt@gmail.com

Instagram: @erniefdz

Election Day is Tuesday, March 1, 7am-7pm at Woodstock Town Hall.

You can call Ernie with your questions about himself, his views, or his goals for Woodstock at (802) 432-8132, or email at erniefdzvt@gmail.com.

Who is Ernie?

Ernie lives in Taftsville with his fiancé, Alexandra, and their cat, Leela, directly across from the Taftsville Covered Bridge in the gray cape house with red doors (which, until the wreath went up, had the giant Cuban flag on it).

Before moving to Woodstock, Ernie and Alex lived (and met!) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During that time, Ernie earned a Masters of Education and a Masters of Divinity from Harvard University. He is proud to come from a family of teachers, including his mother (now retired) and two sisters.

In his professional life, Ernie works (mostly) from home as Associate Director of Business Solutions at Harvard Business School supporting all aspects of the school's External Relations work.

As a volunteer, Ernie has served since 2016 as an officer and the current President of the Cambridge Masonic Temple, an historic, 45,000 sq/ft active community center in Porter Square, Cambridge. There he has executed successful fundraising campaigns, managed a major interior renovation, and most recently led the organization through the covid-19 emergency.

In his own time, Ernie is an avid traveler and woodworker (though he now has just one client: Alexandra). He is a life-long lover of stand-up comedy, folk music, hiking, cooking, architecture and interior design, American history, and the writing of Wendell Barry.

Ernie believes that the role of local government is to serve and empower citizens to build the best possible lives for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. He values community, respects tradition, and loves to make things happen. As a member of the Woodstock Selectboard, Ernie will bring these skills and perspective to the work of making Woodstock an even better place for current and future generations.

What is Ernie's priority for Woodstock?

A Selectboard member makes decisions that impact the lives of Woodstock's residents, so their priorities matter.

Ernie's priority is to improve quality of life for Woodstock's residents.

What does "quality of life" mean?

It means streets and sidewalks that are in good repair.

It means reliable responsive emergency services.

It means preserving Woodstock's historic character and identity.

It means caring for our seniors.

It means options for childcare.

It means the best schools for our kids.

It means well-maintained parks and trails.

It means timely plowing.

It means good housing options for our whole community.

It means no empty storefronts.

It means supporting small businesses, farms and entrepreneurs.

It means strong civic organizations and communities of worship.

It means caring and neighborliness.

...in short, "quality of life" means putting the real needs of Woodstock residents first.

How does Ernie intend to improve our quality of life?

Ernie believes that the role of town government is not to tell residents what is best for them. It is to empower, enable, and assist residents to build better daily lives for themselves, their families, and community.

The Selectboard manages many unpredictable challenges each year--and even the predictable ones comes with surprises. It is therefore a Selectboard's members values and leadership style, and not their pet projects or narrow agenda, which matter most.

Ernie's values are democratic. He believes that Selectboard members are responsible for considering every resident's needs and interests when making decisions, and not just their own.

Ernie's leadership is inclusive. He believes that for the Selectboard to be successful, all residents must have a chance to give input into the decision-making process, and not just a small number of highly-engaged individuals.

What does Ernie want to change about Woodstock?

Nothing. Ernie came to Woodstock because he likes it just the way that it is. And, as a member of the Selectboard, Ernie will work to build bridges in and for Woodstock to help keep our community, economy, and infrastructure together so that Woodstock can stay the way that it is. That includes:

Bridges between long-time residents and newcomers.

Bridges between wealthy residents and working-class residents.

Bridges between those who use public resources and those who do not.

Bridges between those who invest money in Woodstock and those who invest their whole lives in Woodstock.

...and bridges between the town and State government, to ensure the Town of Woodstock gets it's fair share of State resources.