On October 14, 2020

Give Shank a chance

Dear Editor,

To be fair, one can’t really write a letter about the upcoming election without referencing the current Covid crisis.  That said, this global pandemic has done more than jeopardize our personal health and well-being.  Covid has also done an efficient job of shining the spotlight on some long-standing economic problems in our region.  With small business suffering and institutions like Thomas Dairy shutting its doors, the financial implications of this public health crisis are speeding the demise of economic systems that have been creeping downward for a generation.

Population decline and limited work-skills training opportunities are two huge contributing factors to the economic crisis in Rutland.

So how do we keep younger people in the area and attract more people to our towns?  We start with the foundation of any community: the people, us, our neighbors; we start with the foundation of any economy: the workers.

Various workforce training and business initiatives already exist, both regionally and at the state level. But leadership is needed.  We have to imagine: could Rutland become a networked community of highly skilled workers engaged and motivated in their craft?

If we are able to hold that vision for a moment, we would see people thriving, earning dignified wages while working at dynamic and innovative businesses rooted in the needs and priorities of our local neighborhoods.

We would see business ventures eyeing the Rutland County workforce as an ideal community in which to invest their efforts and capital.  But again, it takes leadership to collaborate and coordinate these endeavors.

Lucky for us, we have a candidate that has the experience and track record of doing just that.  Michael Shank has spent his life in the work of community sustainability and resilience.  Through his town and regional planning involvement, his advocacy for mentorship and the arts, and his local, state, and national leadership and teaching in the areas of climate and conflict resolution, Shank is uniquely qualified to help transition Rutland County into the vision we all share: a vibrant hub of sustainable economic creativity and cultural depth.

Join me in voting for Michael Shank for Vermont Senate.

Jed Pauls,


Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Short-term rentals are a scapegoat for every housing issue

June 12, 2024
Dear Editor, Short-term rental owners are not the evil housing tycoons we are sometimes made out to be. Vacation rentals peppered around our state make up just 2.5% of our housing stock yet contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to our state budget in the form of rooms/meals taxes and consumer spending. I’ve lived in Guilford for…

Override Scott’s veto to protect pollinator, ecosystem, public health

June 12, 2024
Dear Editor, In the peaceful farmlands and meadows of Vermont, a silent emergency unfolds. Bees, the heart of our agricultural ecosystem, face unprecedented threats to their survival. Despite Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Market reports claiming that bee populations are thriving, beekeepers around the state emphasize the deteriorating health of their colonies. These adverse…

Vermonters deserve affordability, but Gov. Scott has no ‘grand plan’ 

June 12, 2024
By Rep. Rebecca Holcombe Editor’s note: Holcombe is the state house representative for Windsor-Orange 2 and member of the Vermont House Appropriations Committee. She also served as the Vermont Secretary of Education 2014-2018. It’s groundhog day. Governor Scott vetoed the yield bill, again leaving Vermont school districts adrift. The reason: all the school budgets voters…

‘Time we stopped, hey,what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down’

June 5, 2024
Dear Editor, The movement to stop Israel’s murderous campaign against Palestinian civilians is up against the entire American military/industrial/congressional complex and assorted American war/death culture allies like AIPAC, The Heritage Foundation, and Fox News. Leaders of the most powerful American institutions and major party presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden want to continue official…