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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



ANR change

George Crombie out, Jonathan Wood in as state Agency of Natural Resources secretary.

Crombie has been with the Douglas administration less than two years, lured the one-time Burlington Public Works director back from Massachusetts to run the agency after Tom Torti left.

Wood has been with Douglas from the beginning, serving as Forest, Parks and Recreation Commissioner since 2003.

For those of you who follow enviro issues, what do you think this means?

- Terri Hallenbeck

I guess Douglas gave Crombie the green thumb.
Crombie was a very difficult man to work with. He was no a team player. Jonathan Woods will be a welcome replacement. Agency employees are very excited to work with Jonathan.
Good news for the environment, though we have to keep in mind who his boss is and that the job is political. That's why the ANR Secretary job has been a revolving door, a hot seat, or whatever you want to call it:
The most important part of Woods' resume is that he has been able to hold a job in state government under Jim Douglas for five years. Hopefully those of us who work for clean air, clean water and a healthy planet will stop being treated like the enemy and be invited to be part of the solution.
Woods is a good guy and a straight talker.
Good for him. We have to all work together not against each other. This administration is more willing to work with people than they get credit for.
The Douglas administration is only willing to work WITH people IF folks agree with his position.
Much like Shumlin and the Dems.

So who's to blame? You had a chance to throw the bums out but didn't. Don't whine now.
No, at least Shumlin, Welch, and Symington over the last few years adjusted much of their legislation to make it more acceptable to the Governor.

The compromise came from the Dem side with the Gov holding fast and not willing to compromise much.

The Governor, with Mike Smith along with Jason Gibbs and did everything from a political and re-election standpoint - not from a position of what is right or the best for VT.
It couldn't have been adjusted too much since nothing has been able to get passed.

Again, the mark of a real politician is to be able to reach across the aisle to get the support needed to enact meaningful legislation. Clearly, Shumlin and Symington were unmitigated disasters.
If you are a hard working Vermonter with kids Shumlin and Symington were a DISASTER!
Crombie is/was hated inside his building and out. He was an ineffective manager, a dour and angry person and wholly unable to work with anybody. Next to go should be John Sayles who is as mean and vindictive as Crombie - and as equally ineffective.
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