Politics

Businessman brings fiscal focus as new Mad River Valley lawmaker

Gov. Phil Scott has tapped a Waitsfield business owner and longtime member of the Fayston Selectboard to fill a vacant position in the Vermont House.

Ed Read was appointed last week to the seat formerly held by Adam Greshin, who was recently named commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management in Scott’s administration.

Ed Read
Ed Read was appointed to the Legislature. Courtesy photo
Read, like Greshin, is an independent. He was among 13 people who vied for the seat.

Read, 50, co-owns a gardening supply center and property management firm and formerly worked at Sugarbush. He will represent Fayston, Duxbury, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren.

Scott said Read knows the issues after 27 years living in the Mad River Valley. He has served on the Fayston board since 2002 and ran unsuccessfully for state representative in 2014.

“As a small business owner, local elected official, and someone who has spent years in the tourism industry, Ed brings valuable experience and perspective to the Legislature. I look forward to working with him and his colleagues to grow the Vermont economy,” Scott said in a statement.

Read said in an interview he would focus on making Vermont more affordable. He cited high property taxes as a major concern but did not have a ready solution. He described his politics as centrist, leaning conservative on budget issues and liberal on social policy, including being pro-choice. Read said he supported Scott’s push for a uniform health care contract for teachers where they would pay 20 percent of the premiums, a debate that extended this year’s legislative session.

Read and his wife, Trish, own Mad River Garden Center in Waitsfield, a business they purchased in 2001. They also own Mad River Property Management. They offer gardening supplies, landscaping and property management services. They have two children.

On state spending, Ed Read said: “There’s only a finite amount of money to spend. Spend it properly. Be smart. Use your common sense.”

He said he would step down from the Fayston board before the Legislature returns in January.

Read joins Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, in the two-member district.

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