In order to make Vermont more affordable and to grow the state’s economy, we must have a full-time leader that Vermonters, lawmakers and state employees can trust.
Damage has been done in the last six years and trust in government has been eroded. Without faith or trust in our public institutions, Vermont lacks the crucial foundation it needs to move forward and ensure a secure and prosperous future.
Here is my plan for restoring that faith and trust in state government:
1. Put public service first – Public servants must be accountable to the people at all times. My administration will change the way government interacts with everyone it serves and will always require professional discipline and respect.
2. Focus on the fundamentals and always follow through – We need to make certain our programs are current, our systems are sound and our service is high quality. To strengthen the economy, make Vermont more affordable and improve state government, we need a steady and focused leader at the helm. That is what I am prepared to deliver and why I’m running for Governor.
3. Be honest with the people about the scope of our challenges – There will be difficult decisions ahead as we address failed fiscal policies, Vermont Health Connect and the other challenges in front of us. We must be honest in our assessment of those challenges. It will take both innovation and common sense to get back on track. Restoring faith and trust in government requires an administration willing to move beyond sound bites and slogans as a means of justifying hasty policy decisions or political goals.
4. Provide balance, work towards consensus, lead with action – The best ideas are born when a dynamic range of views are considered. Further, in a three-party political environment, the discipline needed to achieve compromise and get things done also results in better policy because the ideas are more thoroughly vetted with a larger portion of stakeholders invested in the outcome. One-party rule has stifled debate and excluded leaders from collaboration. To restore faith and trust in government, we need to restore equilibrium in Montpelier and allow more voices – especially those of working Vermonters – to be heard.
5. Rebuild transparency & accountability – Transparency and accountability have eroded under current executive leadership. Despite promises of greater transparency, more Vermonters feel they are not being given the full story on critical matters. My administration will reinstate these pillars of good government.
To start, I will require the Department of Finance and Management to provide quarterly online updates in the following areas:
• The schedule and budget status of all modernization and IT initiatives;
• All expenditures by state government sorted by fund, agency and department;
• A full list of contract bidders and vendors, including the amount and purpose of the contract awarded;
• The total number of full-time and temporary state employees, including a searchable salary database; and
• Progress toward my goal of reducing the operational cost of every agency and department by one cent for every dollar currently spent.
We can no longer afford disengaged leadership, expensive policy experiments and misguided proposals. We need a Governor who listens to the people, sets deliberate priorities and, above all, delivers measurable results.
I will be a leader who will restore faith and trust in state government.