Opinion: Lisman provides new direction for Vermont voters
As a regular reader of the Addison Independent and the views shared by Editor Angelo Lynn, I must say I am perplexed by his recent op-ed titled, “Note to Mr. Lisman: Less Donald, more substance.”
Lynn’s op-ed, which seemed unbalanced and unsubstantiated, aimed to discredit the moves made thus far by Vermont gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lisman.
First, Lynn questioned Lisman’s moniker of “non-politician” simply because he has entered the race for governor. Well, of course, he is now in the political arena and by default is now a “politician.” What he is missing here is the clear distinction between Lisman and the other candidates.
Lisman has spent all of his time outside of Montpelier, listening to the concerns of Vermonters and addressing them in his plans for a better Vermont. Despite extensive management experience, Lisman has no past history in Vermont politics and ultimately brings a fresh, unbiased and non-partisan approach to the state’s challenges. No debts to other “politicians,” no political insider games, and no party commitments. The way government should be.
Meanwhile, all the other candidates have either participated directly in the poor policy-making of the current administration, or stood by silently and passively as they’ve been made. Maybe they’re all “politicians” by their involvement in this race, but it’s very clear who isn’t the usual candidate, and who won’t play politics as usual.
Second, Lynn seems to desire more substance in terms of Lisman’s stance on various key issues. However, as a voter, I’m not sure I could ask for much more from Lisman than what he’s given so far. Whether you like him and his ideas or not, he has been very clear on his positions and proposed solutions.
On Act 46, Lisman has called for a repeal, proposing starting from scratch and getting it right for all stakeholders — most importantly Vermont students and property tax payers. Meanwhile, Lynn supports the implementation of the embattled Act 46 — with future tweaks. In other words, keep patching the potholes year after year instead of rebuilding the road right for future longevity and sustainability.
On the budget, Lisman has been the only candidate to clearly state the need to return our state to responsible, sustainable spending practices. Lynn criticized Lisman’s proposal to cap state spending at 2 percent, arguing that it will restrict, not enhance, economic growth.
Economic growth should be driven by private enterprise and not state spending. Frankly, our state spending has created a poor operating environment for businesses, unfair and costly property taxes and a lack of high-wage jobs. Tightening the belt on the budget would actually help to spur economic activity and development in the future. From this stance, Lisman has nailed it. Let’s realign spending with the growth of the economy, reevaluate the performance of our state programs — using quality data — and make them as efficient and effective as possible before proposing any spending increases.
Lynn denounced Lisman’s proposal to abandon the state’s Health Connect system and switch to the federal exchange, as he said its “unwise” to bail on something mid-stream. Given that the project is now several years in, who’s to say it won’t need a major overhaul in the very near future to maintain pace with current technology? If so, what would that cost be? This issue needs greater perspective, and I believe Lisman can provide that.
Bruce Lisman is a smart, well-intentioned man who loves Vermont. He’s shown strong leadership and has led with substance. Perhaps Mr. Lynn is satisfied with the status quo, but I, for one, think Vermont needs a new direction, which I believe Bruce Lisman can provide.