HIGHGATE – Former Franklin selectperson and current Highgate town moderator Kyle Lothian will likely be joining Highgate’s selectboard this coming Town Meeting Day, running unopposed for a seat being vacated by Joshua LaRocque, who is not seeking another term.
In an interview with the Messenger Thursday, Lothian said he hoped to continue a longtime tradition of community service that began in his original hometown of Franklin, where he served on the selectboard and, before then, the planning commission.
Lothian also served as a firefighter and emergency medical technician with Franklin’s emergency service providers.
Franklin’s volunteer fire department still lists him as an honorary member on Franklin’s website.
“I’m a big believer in community service,” Lothian said. “I’ve always been a big believer in community service.”
Lothian, who lived most of his life in Franklin, moved to Highgate about four years ago, where he now serves as the town moderator.
He said he was already a familiar face in Highgate even before the move, however, having worked at O. C. McCuin & Sons for two decades.
Lothian said he did not have any particular agendas he looked to forward as a new selectperson in Highgate, saying that he only hoped to provide “a level head” as the selectboard navigates the town through larger projects on the horizon.
In particular, he cited the ongoing redevelopment planning for a town-owned property in Highgate Center’s village core and the stabilization of Machia Road, where severe erosion from the nearby Missisquoi River threatened to undermine the road.
“They’re very active in trying to keep things rolling,” Lothian said of the selectboard. “I know the people on the board and I have a lot of respect for them. I figure if I can add my two cents, it might help.”
Lothian also said he hoped to bring his people skills and an “honest” voice to the selectboard, something he said was “nothing more than what the selectboard already has.”
“I want to look out for what I think is best for the people,” Lothian said. “To me, that’s what a selectperson does – they go in and try to look out for the people of Highgate, save them money where they can, and keep everybody informed 100 percent of the way.”
Alongside Lothian, incumbent selectperson Bruce Butler is also running unopposed for his seat on the selectboard.
Lothian is also running unopposed to return as Highgate’s town moderator, a position Lothian called a “learning experience” as he presided over several of Highgate’s more intense Town Meeting Day votes from recent memory.
Town Meeting Day is March 3.