Castleton Man Tells Story of Town Manager Who Lived in a Different Town


Jim McCoy, 64, has lived in Vermont 45 years. McCoy lives in Castleton. He is married and has two kids who live in Oklahoma because they couldn’t afford to live in Vermont.

When asked if Castleton had a strong community, McCoy said, “Yeah, it’s not a bad community.”

When asked what could be done to make the community stronger, McCoy said, “I think their working on most of the point just activities, that sort of thing. Trying to bring the community together.”

When asked if he likes living in Vermont, McCoy said, “I have so far. It’s getting a little expensive to live here in Vermont, but the quality of life, absolutely.”

When asked if there was anything unreported in the news, McCoy said, “A lot of it’s covered, but I don’t know about the spectrum of unbiased opinion. So a lot of the opinions of what are media is bias because I work for this company and this is what we cover. And a lot of it’s covered but not all by the same people.”

When asked if the average move rate for the American of five years and the common practice of moving away for college had the effect of ripping communities apart, McCoy said, “Oh yeah definitely when they have to go some place then a lot of times they’ll end up moving or living in that area. Doesn’t mean it’s bad. That’s how we’ve, you know, we move different places and start different things. Nothing’s like, you’re born here, you live here, you die here. People just go to different places now. They have more of an opportunity to go different places now.”

When asked who he saw as leaders in the state, McCoy said, “The best leaders that I can see in Vermont are the people that just put the time into teach. For other people to learn. Not necessarily schools or anything like that, but just people who are interested and care enough to teach, expand people’s opportunities.”

When asked if he thought elementary students should be taught how to grow food in a hands on environment, McCoy said, “Absolutely. Everybody should know how to take care of themselves. How to feed. Grow. Whatever it might be. There it’s all in the teachings, but not necessarily through the schools.”

When asked if human instincts were as complex as other animals, McCoy said, “Yeah, probably. We have different types of what we have to learn and know, so the complexity is more so for the humans.”

When asked if emotions were instincts selected by nature for survival, McCoy said, “Yeah, that’s gotta be something that’s just into our…into us, that for the emotions you speak of because I don’t think animals have all those emotions. I think it’s just being the human and of course emotions have a big factor on how people think and therefore what they end up doing with it.”

When asked if students should be taught about instincts and taught to follow their good instincts, McCoy said, “Yes. We should be able to be exposed to whatever the people want to be exposed to.”

When asked if he lamented that courting rituals were gone or if they were still alive and well, McCoy said, “No a lot of that has changed. I think it’s longer than what it used to be. It used to be a courting ritual few months and that’s it.”

McCoy isn’t on Facebook.

“I think it’s getting to be more good than selfish. There are always the people who think about no one but themselves, but I think a lot of that’s changing. Especially you get into the type of atmosphere, people looking more to help each other rather than help themselves from each other so you’re not taking you’re giving.”

McCoy does support legalizing pot in Vermont.

“I really don’t do a lot. I’m self-employed and most of my time is spent working. All my hobbies are all part of work.”

When asked if he gets to town meetings, McCoy said, “Some of them. Unfortunately I end up with a biased opinion. A lot of the times people that are in the towns, running the towns came from other places and they just wanted something to do so they become involved in the town while everybody else is working to try to make a living and don’t have time to go to the town. A lot of the towns are being run by people who aren’t even from there. For one instance in Castleton they had a town manager, they have a new manager every couple of years in Castleton, and one of the managers, I asked him where he lived and he said, Oh, I’m renting a place in Benson because I can’t afford to live in Castleton. But yet he was the town manager of Castleton. That was a few managers ago.”

When asked if he thought we focus too much on the economy and not enough on surviving together, McCoy said, “Well the economy is part of us trying to survive here. Vermont has turned into more of a tourism state. I’ve seen them shy away from a lot of manufacturings over the past few decades, and so yeah, they focus more on the economy than the people.”


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