Gov. Scott visits Chester as part of ‘Capitol for Day’

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Governor Scott arrives at The Fullerton Inn. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

Saying that it’s good to get out of Montpelier and see people, Gov. Phil Scott kicked off the Windsor County leg of his 14 county “Capitol for a Day” tour on Tuesday at the Fullerton Inn in Chester.

Scott brought “the entire cabinet” with him to “see what we can do to help and what we can do better.” Those seated around the conference table – heads of cabinet departments, as well as deputies standing in for the boss – outlined where they would be going in the county for the day. These included the prison in Springfield, King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock and mountain biking at Suicide Six in Pomfret.

Former state representative Leigh Dakin and Scott talk before the session.

After about an hour, the audience of 14 got to ask a few questions. NewsBank’s Dale Williamson who noted that the company – which has 150 employees at its Chester facility – wanted to hire more in 2005, but could not find them. In the end, the company opened a facility in El Paso, Texas, that currently employs 120.

“We wish we could have grown here,” Williamson said, noting that in addition to those jobs, NewsBank has had to hire 28 remote workers and that other states are collecting the employment taxes for all those jobs.

Scott said that the idea that “there are no jobs in Vermont” has become folklore but that’s not the reality, but turning that around is the challenge. “There are lots of opportunities in Vermont,” said Scott.

Scott and his cabinet.

Saying that communities south of Rt. 4 feel like orphans, Chester attorney Bill Dakin asked the governor and the cabinet not to forget Southern towns. “Keep us in mind,” said Dakin.

Dakin’s comments were especially apt as a number of the cabinet admitted that they had never been to Chester before today.

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  1. Randy Miles says:

    There comes a time when you have to decide on some change, change that is in the best interest for a town and or state. Vermont is a slow-growth state holding at about 650,000 people; has been that for a while now.

    We do not promote new growth because we do not want to see things change or lose its beauty. With that comes loss of revenue to grow our towns, business, infrastructures and all the other things that are needed to run a state and town.

    Without growth we rely on the same amount of people to pay for running cost, getting hard to bare every year. The schools are now showing real signs of loss because they are not growing and we are unable to pay for better education or better schools.

    We consolidate them to save money but not better them! We as a state and all of its towns need to find a way to promote growth for families and business to come here and be welcome to our communities and help us off set all the costs and keep the money in Vermont’s economy. Or we stay the course and keep paying from the 650,000 people until we simply cannot afford it anymore.

    Change may not be easy but it is inevitable. I believe we can have the best of all of it if we do it right, and there are lots of ways to do it right. thanks

  2. Marilyn Mahusky says:

    I’d be curious to know whether the Town or one of its committees reached out to NewsBank to discuss the particular challenges they experienced in recruiting prospective employees to Chester? That’s a lot of presumably good paying jobs not coming to Chester!

  3. Yes, this is what happened.

  4. Tim Roper says:

    Is this the whole story?