Jeff Wilson

It's completely understandable why after three terms representing Manchester, and now jointly representing the neighboring towns of Arlington, Sandgate and most of Sunderland with Cynthia Browning, Jeff Wilson has decided three was enough. Being a legislator in Vermont's citizen statehouse involves sacrifices, both in terms of time and foregone income. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme to be a lawmaker here, and the people who step up to offer themselves for that public service do it, by and large, because they care about and are interested in shaping public policy, not for personal gain. No doubt there have been exceptions to that, but a lot rarer than in other states. Like New York, for example.

Jeff brought to his post as a state representative a long background in local government as Manchester's town manager for nearly 17 years. His financial skills and acumen were quickly recognized by the leadership of the House of Representatives, which placed him on the influential and important Ways and Means Committee, which gets to weigh in on virtually all important money bills, taxation and finance questions. It's a plum committee assignment, and Jeff has earned a reputation for being a thoughtful, pragmatic voice of reason at a time when reasoned discourse in politics is not always over-abundant; and in spite of his long and intellectually questionable allegiance to the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox. :)

It's always a good thing to see someone able to move on to their next act in life on their own terms, and Jeff will now be able to devote more attention to his work in the private sector and spend more time with family.

His calm and reasoned voice will be missed, but that's better than hanging on too long. And it creates an opportunity for others who may harbor ambitions of public service to step up and await the judgment of the voters.

Good luck, then, to Jeff, and we hope his voice will remain part of the audioscape of the Northshire on the issues that will come and go. And good luck to those who may want to try for the legislative post - it's difficult and demanding, but should also be one that is enormously rewarding. For those interested in making their mark in history, there are few better routes to take.


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