by Bruce Lisman Good public policy badly executed is not better than bad public policy executed well. The outcome is often the same for Vermont citizens—bad. And, of course, bad ideas executed badly are a special hell for Vermonters. We’ve just re-elected a government that has made bad ideas, bad management, and bad leadership seem ordinary. No whining here. The people voted to return many of them to office—but protested by withholding support for our Governor and reducing the ruling party’s majorities in the House and Senate.It’s a rebuke and a fair warning to those just elected. The Governor is wrong: we don’t want ‘bold’ leadership; we want competent leadership. We expect them to act as fiduciaries for the public’s money. We want them to take seriously the embedded philosophy of Vermont that would offer a helping hand or a comforting hand to those in need but balanced with those other great Vermont characteristics, frugality and commonsense.My colleague, Tom Pelham has written and spoken often of our government’s unwillingness to restrain their passion to spend money without regard to the state’s constrained resources, its modest economic growth and the obvious uncertainties in the broader economy.The Governor proposed budget increases that averaged 4.8% over the past three years; he and the Legislature reached agreement on budget increases that averaged 4.5%. Of course, those increases far outstripped economic growth and could only be accomplished by using one-time stopgap funds, cost shifts and other budgetary gimmicks. With disappointing tax receipts, the Governor was forced to rescind $20 million of spending and employ yet another $10 million in one-time funds and, 5 years into an economic recovery now faces a more than $100 million deficit. Worse, our government doesn’t have the capacity to invest in the very priorities they’ve outlined. Delusional leadership. Vermonters pay the price.Now, everyone seems to know about the education funding/property tax crisis after thirty-five towns voted down their school budgets in protest, with more protests likely to come next March. We don’t expect our elected leaders to predict the future, but we don’t expect them to create a future crisis, either. That’s exactly what the Governor and the Legislature did in 2011 when they transferred $27 million to the general fund that should have gone to the education fund. It caused the growth rate of property taxes to accelerate, even as they hung more mandates on school budgets. A lack of transparency and short-term thinking gave us long-term problems. The Governor is now proposing consolidation but without data that would support that strategy; and the Speaker of the House has a secret plan. That’s like someone breaking your leg and then offering you a crutch. It’s the people who pay for bad ideas.Vermont Health Connect is a catastrophe of major proportion—its poor execution is already legend; the $100 million spent is astronomical, the loss of credibility is nearly complete. However, those Vermonters who use the system are paying the price – incredible delays, lost information, uncertainty, questionable access to services and medicines, and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for many.Campaign for Vermont believes that our government has an obligation to tell taxpayers not only where money is spent, but how well it’s spent. Our government can’t do that. Our leaders don’t have critical information when analyzing current challenges, so they make decisions blindly. They can’t manage our government to serve the people.And, the implications of this are significant. Problems cannot be properly analyzed, the costs of the cure cannot be measured, and the benefit value of real solutions for real people cannot be evaluated. I know of no successful enterprise that operates without data to support decision-making, the capacity to execute policy, and the willingness and ability to measure outcomes. Because of such dysfunction, Vermont leaders and managers in our government are handicapped and Vermonters pay for their failures.Bruce Lisman lives in Shelburne and is a co-founder of Campaign for Vermont Prosperity, Inc.
– Hetmyer tells of the vibes at Providence .‘There’s no place like home,’ is a saying that many recall from the fairytale ‘The Wizard of Oz’ but for thesensational Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer, it is a testament of his love for plaing at the ProvidenceNational Stadium.Looking at the CPL schedule for season seven, the 22-year old left-hander has six chances to thrill his fellow Guyanese during the Amazon Warriors’ five home games and a play-off encounter. So far in the 2019 season, ‘Hetty’ as he is fondly called stood out in the Guyana Amazon Warrior’s match against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots with an unbeaten 70 to lead the Warriors to their second victory at home. Aside from this, Hetmyer has been brilliant in the outfield holding on to some stunning catches and saving valuable runs.While winning on the road is equally as important, the victory is just a little bit sweeter when it is shared with his fellow Guyanese, who turn out in their thousands to support the local franchise.“That’s why we put every single bit of our energy to make sure when we’re playing at the Guyana National Stadium that we do everything in our power to win the game just for the Guyanese fans,” Hetmyer explained.But playing at home for Hetmyer is more than just familiar conditions and a familiar space; for the Berbice batsman, performing well at the National Stadium Providence, is something extremely special. Moreover, for the 2019 season of CPL, Hetmyer is elated about sharing those exceptional moments with his fellow countrymen. “Knowing that this year the bulk of the team is Guyanese as well so that’s also a good feeling to know that,” the 22 year old stated.The Life of the PartyWhile Hetmyer is known to light up the National Stadium Providence, the 22 year old batsman is also know to ignite fireworks in the dressing room, according to his teammates. As Captain Shoaib Malik tells it, there is never a dull moment with ‘Hetty’ around.“Having someone in your dressing room who’s constantly talking, joking and interacting with other players, you need someone who can give something to the dressing room or to the players,” Malik shared.Meanwhile, Chris Green enjoys the same view that the fans have of the promising Berbician talent; watching him dispatch the ball to all parts of the ground.“A lot of the guys look up to him, being how good he is. So he’s actually a leader in our group. What we saw last year, that hundred in Fort Lauderdale against Jamaica was amazing to watch and countless other times. It’s just his ability to hit the ball cleanly,” Green said.Having been around Hetmyer for years now, fellow Guyanese Sherfane Rutherford, believes that the jokes, wise cracks and overall good vibes that Shimron brings to the team is just a part of who he is.“It’s always good to be yourself, so I think that’s him and we accept him for what he is,” Rutherford noted.On the other hand, Hetmyer explains that his jovial personality is more about ensuring that his teammates are in the best spirits ahead of each game.“If you see someone that’s down you just try to pick them up as quickly as possible and just make sure that they know that the team is there for them as well,”Whether it is cheering a player up in the dressing room or giving the Guyanese fans something to cheer about while at the crease, Shimron Hetmyer reflects on his humble beginnings at times, noting that the beauty of it all can make him emotional.“From playing cricket in the streets to now playing international cricket, rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world, it’s something I sit and think about every now and again. And the more I think about it is like the warmer I feel, it gets a little bit emotional at times.”With all that is happening for Hetmyer in Guyana’s cricket, he may soon be called ‘Mr Cricket,’ an accolade that he deserves.