In a recent commentary (June 27), Mr. Ellis takes John McClaughry to task over a piece John wrote earlier (June 22). Mr. Ellis is certainly entitled to his views, even though there is little I agree with as well.
One of the items he mentions is in reference to a lack of quality of life and decent jobs jobs in Vermont. Mr. Ellis, business and industry produced a great cross section of tax base, and along with that, good jobs at one point in Vermont. But the political power in this state that was coming to life back in Gov. Hoff’s days later had in place policies and plans that drove much of that out of the state to other parts of the United States.
Rutland County was home to Howe Richardson, Tam Brands, Moore Business Forms, Mal Tool, Metro Mail, Williams Machine in Poultney, and a much bigger Omya than exists today. Lack of a good transportation network was the key reason why these exits were made, along with no plan to upgrade or improve that situation like our neighboring states have done. So we not only lose the businesses, we lose employees; the people who worked there, their monetary contributions to the local economy such as local stores, restaurants and such.
And speaking of restaurants, the higher end in particular, they will never be back as we knew them, no matter what. Remember Royal’s, Sirloin Saloon and many others.
So we once had what you are advocating for now; the problems were that the political forces who were of similar mindset to your thinking drove it away. This happened all over the state; there is not a corner of this state that does not have in its history book a similar story to tell.
When there is a goose laying a golden egg, it might be in our best interests to really think about things before too much political work passes down the wrong path. These are lessons we can do without, but started being taught to us over 50 years ago. What we gained from that in economic well being is miniscule at best.
James B. Hall is a resident of Center Rutland.