If political change is in the air following Gov. James Douglas’ decision not to seek re-election, it would seem that the race for governor is the Democrats’ to lose.
But lose they will if their agenda is seen by Vermonters as so liberal that the state simply cannot afford a party that seeks to expand government programs and will not be shy about raising taxes to pay for them.
Jim Douglas is doing what only one other governor has done in the last 47 years: He is leaving office from a position of strength.
Every governor since 1962 – except for Deane Davis – stayed at least one term too many. The only problem was that no one knew it was too many until it was over.
Phil Hoff’s third and final term – he served 1963-1969 – was an absolute disaster, by his own admission. He was distracted by the national unrest and was exhausted by his first two terms.
A milestone in the Bristol town planning process occurred recently when the Bristol Planning Commission signed off on its third draft of the revised town plan and sent it to the Bristol Selectboard for review. It’s a milestone because the planning commission has spent four and a half years crafting a 100-plus-page document that significantly rewrites the town plan.