Archive - Editorial
September 21st, 2009
When Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca visits the Vergennes Union High School board of education next week he is expected to have two key items on his agenda: school board consolidation and “school transformation.” VUHS has been a statewide leader on both issues (see story Page 1) and is deserving of the attention Vilaseca’s visit brings to the school. But we also hope the commissioner will spend a few moments talking about what the state needs to do if we are truly going to compete in the global marketplace.
While Congress is up to its neck wrangling with health care reform, the financial wizards of Wall Street are greasing the skids for a return to the high profits seen before last year’s financial meltdown, highlighted by the failure of Lehman Brothers a year ago this week. President Obama went into the den of Wall Street on Monday with the warning that the public would not stand for more reckless behavior.
The pertinent facts about the status of health care in this country should have been ample evidence to persuade Congress and the American people that ‘kicking the can down the road’ for another few years is not befitting, as President Barack Obama told the nation in a joint speech to Congress last Thursday, of our national character.
It is in the American character, the president reminded us all, to address the tough issues and to rally around those in need.
Give Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon points in courage for bucking the majority and switching to the minority party, but Vermonters should be wary of his reasons.
First, he blames Vermont Democrats for a budget process that was “rife with deficiencies and dysfunction,” and second, he says the Republican Party’s grasp on the fiscal crisis facing the state is better anchored in reality.
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.
The Bristol Planning Commission took a welcome stance last week when it staked out a more thorough process to solicit public comment on gravel and resource extraction that would be included in its revised town plan. The revisions have been ongoing for the past couple of years and the planning commission hopes to have the proposed draft completed for selectboard review this fall. It has finally put a full-court press on gathering public opinion on this controversial topic — but, hey, better late than never.