by Peter Freyne
Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington of Jericho shared with reporters, Thursday, what she described as the “still evolving outline of my vision for economic development in Vermont.”
It’s a product of her travels around the state this fall, listening to Vermonters with an emphasis on what works in Vermont and why.
“It really helped me from my thinking for this strategy for economic development in Vermont. I have, for the last five or six weeks, really been test-driving this approach, building on Vermont’s strengths, articulating and being intentional about what we do well in Vermont and why people come to Vermont to locate and grow a business and then using those strengths as the place from which to build."
She told us she intends to kick off the 2008 Legislative Opera with a “Why Vermont Works" Forum on the second Wednesday of the session. A dozen business leaders will be invited to discuss what works in Vermont and what can we be doing to make things work better.
Asked by a reporter what she had heard raised in her travels as the No. 1 concern of Vermonters, Speaker Symington said it was "the cost of health care." She said she’ll have more to say on that issue next week.
Good. Because a lot of Vermont small business opened the mail within the last few days and read that their health insurance premiums are increasing 15-20 percent.
Speaker Gaye's "Why Vermont Works" six-pager is a work in progress, but it is available for your perusing on her website - column left.
Asked where all the "negativity" out there is coming from, Speaker Gaye replied:
"There’s an increasing message and much of it is driven by Gov. Douglas and the message he puts out, but I also find it in the businesscommunity itself and I am trying to suggest there’s a more constructiveway of framing issues so that we can make progress and not getentangled in all of the negativeness."