Forum: June 5: A Masquerade of Good Governance in Vermont

Monday, June 04, 2018
A Masquerade of Good Governance

As a man of high principles, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vowed that there would be no new taxes and no new fees. We presumed these principles included sound fiscal management, not spending money we don’t have and a good bit of Yankee common sense. We also supposed he had a sound plan to balance the budget while building our economy and protecting the most vulnerable. At least that’s what he said, but we’ve been fooled.

In keeping with the pledge he made in January, he stated repeatedly that he wouldn’t sign H.911 and H.922, the budget and tax bills. The budget passed with overwhelming tri-partisan support. H.911 would raise the residential education property tax about 2.5 cents. Never mind that when voters passed school budgets at Town Meeting they were expecting tax rates to go up 5 to 6 cents. They voted to provide education to support local needs and expectations.

Scott’s rhetoric is a violation of the very principles he claims to uphold. He wants to spend money we don’t have — up to $68 million that he promises to repay somewhere down the road, jeopardizing essential parts of the budget along the way. His cuts would weaken the economy by ignoring the basics of good education and hurting the most vulnerable — mortgaging Vermont’s future against shaky assumptions about the economy several years hence. The governor has painted himself into a corner, stuck between his no tax pledge and principles that seem to have blown away — leaving only a masquerade of good governance behind.

Rep. Jim Masland

Thetford Center

Byrne Cup All-Star Lacrosse Coming

High school lacrosse is in full swing in the Upper Valley, and I wanted to send a reminder to all lacrosse fans in the area that the 2018 Hanover Lions Byrne Cup Twin State All-Star Lacrosse Games will be held on June 23 at Hanover High School.

This will be the 26th year of the event. We are proud to honor the outstanding graduated senior high school boys and girls lacrosse players from Vermont and New Hampshire with an event that culminates their high school lacrosse careers.

At the same time, the event serves as one of our important charity fundraising events of the year. All net proceeds are returned to the Hanover-area community in our charitable giving efforts, supporting many different individuals, organizations, causes and community needs, including the Lions’ traditional mission of providing help to those who cannot afford it for sight and hearing needs.

Admission to the games is free, but donations will be accepted.

William H. “Star” Johnson

Event Director

Revealing How Roseanne Thinks

The actress Roseanne Barr tweeted what she now calls a joke “in poor taste.” It’s likely Donald Trump chortled when he read it, but only people who think it is OK to make “jokes” about the disabled or those with food addiction would appreciate the humor.

With the cancellation of her show, everyone associated with the production of Roseanne is now out of work. That’s a lot of people. It’s regrettable that the act of one has an impact on so many others. But what’s worse is that it is improbable that Roseanne will be any less racist as a result of the fallout from her revealing how she thinks.

Mary Jean Mueckenheim


A True Picture of Our President

I take my hat off to Steve Nelson for his wonderfully funny piece “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Trump, About Donald …” (May 27).

Although I got many laughs from it, sadly, it is altogether a true picture of what our so-called “president” is like. How we ended up with such an ignoramus as the head of our country’s government is more than I want to contemplate. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next election.

Lorraine Zigman


Words — and Context — Matter

In her May 26 Forum a letter, “The Power of Words,” Susan Ferraro wrote: “Referring recently to illegal immigrants, the president said, ‘These aren’t people. These are animals.’ Words matter.”

Yes, words do matter, especially when taken out of context. I saw the interview with the president and was not surprised by the comments since several TV news outlets also quoted the president out of context.

The president was addressing a question about MS-13, which is known to be a gang of raping, murdering, illegal immigrant thugs.

Yes, words do matter, when the whole story is not told.

Bruce St. Peter