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



Gov's office transactions

Here's how Gov. Jim Douglas is filling the vacancy that will be left by Deputy Chief of Staff Dennise Casey's departure at the end of the year:

Elizabeth "Wibs" McLain, his former secretary of Natural Resources, returns as special assistant to the governor. She'll be the legislative liaison.

Heidi Tringe, who has been secretary of Civil and Military Affairs (a title that shouldn't be taken too literally but really pretty much means special assistant to the governor), will become deputy chief of staff.

David Coriell, who was special assistant to the governor, will become secretary of Civil and Military Affairs and communications director.

That all happens Jan. 1, when Casey leaves for a job with the Republican Governors' Association.

It also answers the question (no) of whether Douglas would be bringing in someone new to his inner circle for his last year in office.

Casey says there will be no change in pay for Tringe or Coriell. McLain's salary is not set yet, she said, but should be no more than Casey's, making for an overall break-even or decline in staff salaries.

- Terri Hallenbeck


The 5th floor makes sure never to leave a vacancy unfilled - all the while starving programs across state government.
But Douglas seems to be missing the point. When there is an opening the expectation is that it will go unfilled and the functions of the position will be distributed to others. That is, the functions that are really needed. All other functions will simply disappear off the face of the earth. What does the
Governor not understand about downsizing, aka "doing more with less?"
The Governor always takes care of his people - those who support him.

Heidi Tringe has no qualifications other than she supports the Governor.

John Zicconi as Director of Planning in AOT - give me a break - he was a news reporter.

Jason Gibbs was given a Commissioner position for which he has no qualifications - except by his own admission, he was boy scout!

It goes on and on...

Everyone keeps saying that Shumlin and other Dems are the reason for partisan ship in the statehouse. News Flash -- the Governor and his team of PR folks are the real reason partisanship has gone to new levels.
Let's hope Ms. Tringe and all the governor's lackies are lame ducks like their boss. Once this plague is gone from the fifth floor, all of them(especially Tringe) should have to find a job like the many VTers they had a hand in putting on the unemployment line.
She will be fine. Dougls will see to that. What do you think the last 7 years have been about? Vermont? No way. Money talks and bs walks.
Jim Douglas has created the most partisan, political administration in order to take care of all of his supporters and friends in the history of VT politics.

He gives out private contracts and then demands campaign contributions from the same.

See: Fecteau Bros., Entergy, Corrections Corp of America, Prison Health Systems, etc.
"all the while starving programs across state government."

You haven't made the case that those programs are necessary -- only that they exist.

Big difference.

You want my tax money? You must prove that every dollar of mine that you take away is absolutely necessary.

Now get started.
Ok - how about 13-15 PR people the Governor added to state employees (exempt) to tell us how good the governor is?

That cost the state about $800,000 to $1,000,000 per year.

I mean really - how many PR people does he need?
And how many deputy commissioners do these people need? What a waste.
There was more middle and upper management added to the state employee work force during Douglas' years than at any other time in history!

Seems like if you ran for public office and lost - Gov Douglas gave you a nice state job with higher pay than the predecessor - no qualifications needed.
"And how many deputy commissioners do these people need? What a waste."

And how many unionized employees do we need laminating licenses at the DMV office at $45k a year, standing around between cig breaks waiting for someone to have their picture taken?


State workers should not be unionized anyway.
Yeah, bring back slave wages and don't give anyone health care or a pension. Screw 'em. What is this? America?

Thanks Glenn Beck. That's a good plan.
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