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Re: “House Panel Votes to Ban Teacher Strikes

I could see doing this if the bill included a requirement for binding arbitration of contract disputes.

But allowing the school boards to prolong negotiations and impose the existing contract during the process puts all the power in their hands and takes away any negotiating power the teachers might have. This bill simply encourages school boards to delay and filibuster for months instead of negotiating in good faith.

If you're going to take away the power of teachers to strike, you need to take away the power of the school boards to impose as well.

13 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 03/17/2015 at 10:38 PM

Re: “Calling Shumlin Victory 'Premature,' Milne Considers Contesting Result

Is Scott Milne trying to tarnish the very positive spin he could have had coming out of the election?

He started out the campaign as a complete unknown, a political nobody. In almost pulling off a huge upset, he could make himself a credible political figure for the future, running again for statewide office (or getting election to the State Senate or House). Or he could become state party chair and work to rebuild a weak Vermont Republican Party.

Instead, he seems determined to fritter it away by being a poor loser, reversing his own previous stance on what the legislature should do, and making himself look like a fool in the process.

He started out the campaign looking inept and silly. For a few weeks this fall he seemed to hit stride and act like a serious candidate. Now he is reverting to the form he started with.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 11/07/2014 at 11:40 AM

Re: “Goddard's Commencement Speaker Is Controversial Mumia Abu-Jamal

"How can he speak if he's in prison???"

Via prerecorded video.

As it says in the story "The commencement speaker, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a convicted murderer who is sending his speech, prerecorded, from the Mahanoy State Correctional Institution in Frackville, Penn. "

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 10/01/2014 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Spaulding Named Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges

Maybe Spaulding is a good choice for this job, but...

... why did the Board interview only one candidate (an extremely politically well-connected one) after initially promising to do a national search for a replacement?

... why was the promise to involve the faculty in the hiring process completely reneged on?

... why was there no transparency in the search process? (I can find no indication - with fairly extensive on-line searching that the Board ever publicly solicited applicants, no publicly posted job description/requirements, engaged a head hunter, or otherwise conducted the kind of open search one would hope for such an important position.

Jeb is a very smart, very talented guy. He will probably be a good Chancellor. But the process of a politically appointed Board naming the ultimate political insider after conducting a perfunctory closed search is simply unacceptable for a position that will be responsible for an academic system that faces huge challenges. Faculty, staff, students, other academic institutions, and the public deserve a far more open and accountable process than this kind of insider deal.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 09/24/2014 at 5:31 PM

Re: “In Vermont's Primary Elections, Low Turnout and Few Surprises

I suspect the number and percentage of write-ins will grow as towns formally report their result to the state.

If you look at the numbers on the Secretary of State's website, there are a number of large towns (South Burlington for example) reporting no write-in votes. It seems very unlikely that no one there wrote in a candidate in any of the 3 races with a significant number of write-ins. In my own case, I wrote in Racine for Governor, but my town reported no write-ins in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. (They did, though, report write-ins for Lt. Governor.)

It appears that there are inconsistencies in the ways different towns report the write-in totals. That probably means that the Feliciano and Racine numbers will rise - perhaps rather significantly - as the official count is done.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by terjeanderson on 08/27/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Lisman's Group Accuses House Democrat of Solar Conflict

I'm sure Mr. Lisman will be equally vigorous in demanding that an Representatives who own businesses that employ people be prohibited from voting on the legislation that would mandate sick days - after all, using the same standards he applies to McCarthy, they have even more of a conflict of interest.
Of course he could also argue that anyone who is an employee should also be prohibited from voting on the sick days bill - after all, they might benefit.
Using his logic, the only people who would be able to vote are the retired and the independently wealthy. Anyone who works for a living, owns a business or is otherwise engaged in economic activity is going to have a "conflict of interest" with much of what the legislature does.
Lisman isn't actually concerned about "legislative ethics" - he's just making a partisan attack and finds McCarthy a convenient whipping boy for his efforts to discredit Montpelier Democrats.

Posted by terjeanderson on 02/01/2014 at 7:19 AM

Re: “A Crowded Field Emerges to Replace Fox in the Senate

That would cost tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to hold a county-wide election - costs that would largely be borne by the towns in the district.
The turnout would be abysmally low.
And it would take so long (the legal requirements for filing period, signature gathering, primaries, etc) that by the time the election was held, most of the legislative session would be over before the replacement was sworn in. (Based on the current electionslaw timelines, it would be impossible to complete those steps in time to make a special election coincide with town meeting day....)
With our two year terms, the Vermont system of appointing a replacement (based on recommendations from the political party of the official being replaced) is the best way to fill these vacancies when they occur - it files the spot quickly, with minimal expense, and allows voters to have their say at the next election.

Posted by terjeanderson on 01/17/2014 at 2:13 PM

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