Gov. Peter Shumlin: taking on tough battles

POULTNEY-The sixth annual Rotary Club Community Dinner highlighted keynote speaker Gov. Peter Shumlin at Green Mountain College's Withey Hall, March 26.

Club President Jon Mathewson welcomed a sold-out event after the social hour. He jokingly said, "Jeanne Root is fantastic, but please don't tell Green Mountain College President Paul Fonteyn that she runs the college."

Lara Bitler delivered the invocation. "The poet and suffragist, Alice Meynell, once said, 'Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind,' said Bitler. "When a group of Rotarians make up their minds to get a job done, it happens, practically effortlessly. Thus, happiness is brought about worldwide. We ask blessings of such mindful works. Shalom, Namaste, Amen."

Poultney School Board Chairperson, MaryJo Teetor, gave special thanks, since the Rotary has raised more than $15,000 for the benefit of the Poultney District schools. The proceeds from this dinner will profit the Poultney High School students.

After dinner, Mathewson introduced Gov. Peter Shumlin, who had a number of anecdotes, one of which he discussed the difference of his hometown of Putney versus Poultney and finally said, "I'm from Poulney."

Another included his recent disappearance.

"The toughest thing was going on vacation," he said, "I had a better tan from the TV cameras on my way back. That was my first four days off in a year."

Gov. Shumlin thanked the Rotarians for the acknowledgement of the legislators, as well complimented the kitchen crew that he had lobster on steak.

For the remainder of the evening, he focused on climate change, broadband, marriage quality, health care, infrastructure, renewable energy, agricultural future, budget and funds for students.

Shumlin's agenda unites what the job entails by creating the jobs and raising the income of those who work the jobs.

"The same money 10 years ago does not cover such things as clothes and gas, since the cost of living is up," he said. The budget passed the day before, which he feels should make a difference. Shumlin intends continued cuts and is "excited" about getting off oil, which equates to a huge economic opportunity.

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