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.
MONTPELIER — In the wake of Thursday’s announcement by Gov. Jim Douglas that he would not seek re-election, speculation has focused on the mix of candidates likely to compete for the gubernatorial post.
Longtime Vermont political observer Eric Davis, Middlebury College professor emeritus of political science, said Douglas’s announcement was clearly timed “to give other candidates time to organize campaigns. The Democrats are out there already.”
MONTPELIER — Lawmakers are already speculating as to what affect Gov. James Douglas’s impending political retirement will have on the 2010 legislative session.
While his decision officially makes Douglas a lameduck governor for the next 16 months, he warned legislators that he will not be a pushover.
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BRISTOL — After a day of luaus and roving through Hawaii’s scenic vistas, Jim and Jennifer Vyhnak ducked into the first place they saw with air conditioning: Scotty’s Music shop in Kalaheo, Hawaii. Not only did the shop have air conditioning, but hanging just beyond the door were walls of peculiar-looking instruments. The shop owner immediately plucked one of the “miniature guitars” off the wall and handed it to the couple.
“Almost every tourist gets a ukulele,” she told Jim. “But few ever actually play it.”
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.
ADDISON COUNTY AND BRANDON — The Otter Valley boys’ soccer team has the honor of kicking off the local high school sports season this fall: The Otters host Proctor at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31, when also they will christen OV’s new athletic field behind the building.
Two-and-a-half hours later the OV girls’ soccer team is next up, with an away night game at Mount Anthony. By Sept. 8, when the Middlebury Union boys’ soccer team opens with a 7 p.m. game at Fair Haven, all 18 varsity teams at OV, MUHS, Mount Abraham and Vergennes will have hit the fields or the trails.
This school year will see almost all Middlebury Union High School sports competing at the Division II level, with the exceptions being field hockey and both lacrosse teams.
Other Tiger athletic programs are already in D-II, including basketball, soccer and boys’ cross-country. Still other girls’ programs are now technically in D-I, but are in the process of being moved to D-II, according to MUHS activities director Sean Farrell. Because the numbers are within appeal guidelines, Farrell expects the Vermont Principals’ Association to OK the changes.