Access to Government is Key to Vermont's Charm

Bennington Battle Monument (completed and dedicated in 1891)

Bennington Battle Monument (completed and dedicated in 1891)

Steeped in history, The Shires lay claim to Vermont’s first chartered town (Bennington) and our first state capital (Arlington). It was here that Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys defended land they had purchased from the Governor of New Hampshire against claims by the State of New York, and from here that Patriots marched to the pivotal Battle of Bennington in 1777.

The impressive Battle Monument rises 306 feet above its footprint and is Vermont’s most visited Historic Site.

It should come as no surprise, that the key to Vermont’s charm in terms of politics is it’s unfettered access to governmental leadership.  Perhaps in this day and age it is a surprise!

A marvel held by many new Vermonters or transplants from other regions of the country is the access state representatives, senators, house speakers, lobbyists and yes, even the Governor, who can be seen driving to work just like the rest of us.

It is that access and dialogue that excites the common resident and harkens back to a time when Norman Rockwell painted his Four Freedoms which was also done right here in The Shires of Vermont.

Governor of Vermont Phil Scott with 2019 Chamber Board President David Evans (left) and Chamber Executive Director Matt Harrington (right)

Governor of Vermont Phil Scott with 2019 Chamber Board President David Evans (left) and Chamber Executive Director Matt Harrington (right)

Many Vermonters like to say with pride, “you can walk right into our state capital without a security pass.”  It may sound strange or even naive in the world we live in to have a full state building and leadership that vulnerable.  But, there is also something magical about it too.

It is the base, the foundation of our freedoms to have access to our leadership.  There is a belief that if we were to take that away then what’s the rest worth fighting for.  It also helps that Vermont is a relatively small and safe state!

In holding onto those truths and, quite frankly, expectations, President Coolidge’s famous quote continues to ring out through every inch of our state government, “If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.”

The Chamber will be hosting a Legislative Breakfast on Monday, February 11th beginning at 7:30am at the Hampton Inn in Bennington's Hannaford Plaza. Many of our Chamber members, along with Bennington residents, have questions/concerns about the issues that legislators within Vermont will be tackling in this session. Local representatives, senators and other stakeholders will be in attendance to answer those questions and give insight to provide an outlook of the year ahead. Learn more here