A Tree Falls in our Woods

I love working in the woods and I’ve come to know all the great trees on our land. They’re like friends – the surviving American elm that looks like a […]

When reverence for our past blinds us to our future….

I love Vermont. I’ve lived here seventy years, and like my father, I’ve turned down opportunities to move away and earn more money. But I don’t trust the Vermont myth […]

Creative Invention: Plan for the future, learn from the past

Many small colleges are struggling with low inquiry, application, and admission rates, including here in the Northeast. Rising tuitions, student loan abuses, and radical change in employment patterns have discouraged […]

Ethics Meltdown in Legislature

The Legislature is at an impasse trying to decide whether to establish and adequately fund a statewide ethics commission that has real enforcement capability. There’s been considerable favorable testimony by […]

Vermont’s Ageing Legacy Systems

Vermont’s Ageing Legacy Governing Systems How we understand our complex systems affects the quality of our discussion about them, as well as any agreements we might make toward progress. Too […]

Vermonters Want a Real Ethics Commission

The Vermont legislature is at an impasse trying to decide whether to establish and fund a statewide Ethics Commission. There has been considerable favorable testimony by Vermonters, ethicists, and our […]

Consensus or Democratic Stasis?

Vermont has a “consensus” problem. We don’t understand the concept. This confusion manifests itself especially when leadership is weak. For example, there’s broad agreement that we need more affordable and […]

Ethics and Strategy

Whomever we elect to lead us for the next two years, we’ll need to confront two gaping holes in our governance: strategic planning and ethics. Our last few decades ought […]

We Can’t Afford Our Future

Periodically, we must relearn old lessons. A key such lesson is Franklin’s “Ounce of prevention…” adage – as relevant today as when Franklin applied it to fire prevention 250 years […]

Open Letter to Vermont Legislators

As the new legislative session ramps up, I’d like to offer some thoughts. Don’t micromanage complex issues. We already have too many laws and administrative statutes, many poorly drafted, ambiguous, […]

Comments to Chamber Meeting of Business, Non-profit and Legislative Leaders 12/16/15

In opening, I’d like to make just a couple of points. They are similar to the points I made to your Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency. There are three legs […]

Vermont’s Next Governor – Why It Matters

The national media’s rife with bread-and-circus candidates of every ideological stripe and I.Q. and that’s gotten me thinking about what I’ll want to see in Vermont’s next governor. There are […]