Questionnaire for article in The Bridge
What is one of your top priorities if elected?
Would like to and have been planning to implement in Barre City an instance of the "Brain Barn" project initially proposed during the James Douglas administration in 2008 by the Vermont Software Technology Alliance (vtSDA). The current statewide plan is included on this site (http://bbbvt.org/), specifically Barre City would be the prototype using the project plan located here: http://docbox.flint.com/~flint
Because we need IT, and by IT I mean Information Technology advanced education, research, development and entrepreneurial-ism. Better training and an innovation economy may eliminate the un and under employment pandemic in Barre city.
No idea. Call me a "Man with a plan", or the Flatland Fred Tuttle...
What have you done in the past to help improve Vermont and/or your
In my student days at Windham College (Now Landmark), I became General Manager and Chief Engineer of WVUS 88.9 FM Putney. I married a girl from Bennington and spent the next 30 years or so working in DC and raising a family (see resume: http://family.flint.com/flint)
Of the Barre City things I have done, I have spent a decade operating the Barre Open Systems Institute (http://bosivt.org) "Adult Swim" in the basement of Hedding United Methodist Church here in downtown Barre City. The BOSI program has been the most fun, and while not remunerative, quite rewarding in what we have produced in terms of open source technology educated workers.
Can you point to any specific accomplishments?
Beyond continuing renovation of the Old Milne Household Property, my volunteer activities include being an active member of the Democratic party, Aldrich Library open source projects, civic projects such as the Barre Heritage Festival, the TechnoRubble project (http://technorubble.org), operating the Barre Open Systems Institute "Adult Swim" youth outreach, and finally Gun Metal Grey Skies Research and Development (Blue Sky R&D is out of the question here in the Cloud covered Hills of Vermont).
I also play guitar (sort of) Sunday at Maria's Bagels (1-3PM) and at the Methodist 10-12.
Do you support the governor’s efforts to change the staff-student ratio
at Vermont schools.
I believe that Phil sees aspects of unfunded mandates in the rules and regulations that created such surreal and expensive staff-student ratios. Unfunded mandates are bad government. The Devil is in the details...
If so, why? If not, what is a policy you would support or lead to improve Vermont schools?
Set some aspect of state participation (for instance Information Technology support) based upon improvement in the staff-student ratio.
Are you satisfied with the state's efforts to encourage youth to remain
in state and immigrants to move to the state?
Possibly the worst bit of Law I ever saw. 10K$ to move in?
How could it be improved?
A withholding tax credit to companies who have remote employees in Vermont. Use Tax policy whenever possible. Train them at the local Brain Barn!
Do you support stronger gun regulations than already exist in Vermont?
For the answer to this question, please see Article II U.S. Constitution:
Also, please listen to the Chorus of our campaign ditty:
If so, what’s an example?
An interesting example is Switzerland.
As a politician, how do you plan to build consensus with the other
parties in the government and not bring Vermont politics into something
like the tribal warfare of Washington D.C.?
As I was born and raised in DC, IMHO Vermont has nothing like the tribal warfare not to mention the blatant corruption of DC. Rather Vermont Politics is all about the almost subliminal "Scratch and tickle" corruption of an old and slightly stinky form of political complacency.
Nearly 1 in 5 Vermonters are 65 years old or more. How better can
Vermont support their needs, particularly with housing and transportation?
Lets start with transportation:
- Busses must run on weekends
- Could School Busses serve the tourist community in the Summer?
- David Blittersdorf's AllEarthRail Regional Rail System needs to
start at the Williston Industrial park in Barre Town and run to
Burlington Station on a 7 day schedule.
- Vermont needs a "Complete Streets" program. Complete Streets include:
1. Pedestrian Accommodation
2. Bicycle and Alternative (ATV) facilities.
3. Pot hole free automotive surfaces.
Now, on to housing. You cannot have housing without income, and you cannot have income without inexpensive and ubiquitous transportation as detailed above. To get housing you must have the opportunity to income. To solve unemployment Vermont needs proper industrial re-education and re-tooling. Could the horrible truth be, to quote Charles Dickens Christmas Carol; "Are their no Workhouses?" Could the Brain Barn Project train and accommodate the Aging Vermont population above the national geriatric?
Do you support a fully taxed and regulated market for marijuana, the
status quo, or a reversal or tightening of the law?
I believe that in passing VSA H.511, Vermont as a state allowed for the laissez faire fair decriminalization. From a commercial point of view the current vacuum of viable law and regulation 5112 creates is actually an excellent beginning of a vibrant Marijuana industry here in Vermont. So Dude, let it grow and then figure out how to painlessly tax it.
Can you give an example of a policy or perspective you’ve evolved on as
a result of your conversations and interactions with your constituency?
One constituent who stops by regularly, always leaves his Styrofoam coffee cup on my porch. I would like to propose that a nickel deposit be placed on Styrofoam cups as well as all water bottles.
How do you assess the state of Vermont’s environment?
Thanks to Vermont's venerable act 250, not in bad shape. The question becomes what should Vermont be, the lifeboat or the country club. What we got now is a lifeboat being ruled by a country club...
Is the state doing enough to fight the causes and effects of climate change
Please point out all of the DOE, NOAA, or EPA research sites and federally funded research going on in Vermont. We do what we can. Vermont's size should allow us to be a petri dish for all manner of innovation. But that is not the case. This I intend to get to the bottom of.