Vermont’s House Natural Resources Committee is considering reforms to wildlife management. It is about time. In Vermont wildlife is a public trust. Like any trust, the trustees have a duty to avoid waste and to act in the best interests of the beneficiary. In this case the beneficiary is the public. Management decisions should be in the public interest and should be based on sound science. Today they are not. The final decision-making power over much of Vermont’s wildlife doesn’t rest with the professionals at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. That power rests with a volunteer board appointed for six-year terms. That board is chosen in an opaque, closed-door process, without public input or review. Qualified applicants frequently don’t even get an acknowledgment of their application.
Last April, I suggested positioning Vermont as a work-from-home capital to encourage people to live and work in our beautiful state and bolster our post-pandemic economic recovery. Since then, I spoke with hundreds of business owners, CEOs, and team leaders in Vermont that sent workers home following Governor Scott’s initial Emergency Order. I learned their responses to this grand experiment are quite similar, despite being from diverse sectors. When asked how remote work is impacting their companies and employees, leaders responded at length. Their experiences are summarized below in a few key areas.
The pandemic upended most of our collective routines and Town Meeting is no exception. But for most of the towns in our readership area, today remains the day when the majority of NEK residents will have their say in how local government is run for the next year.
On my first full day as a Vermont State Senator, the Senate broke for lunch. Veteran lawmakers went off to wherever they’d learned to go, but as a newbie I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. Another newbie remained right in front of me as the chamber emptied out. He suddenly noticed I was behind him. I was surprised when he unexpectedly said: “Hey, want to do lunch?”
All Vermont public school students are supposed to be taught personal finance, but I would bet that many parents would have a hard time finding a young person who has learned about credit scores, investing or compound interest.