• Legislators welcomed back to capital
    January 28,2013

    Legislators took a break from budgets and committees and enjoyed a taste of Montpelier in the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center last week as the city of Montpelier celebrated lawmakers’ return for the session.

    More than a dozen Montpelier eateries served house specialties to nearly 300 legislators, Montpelier officials, city volunteers and sponsor representatives.

    Mayor John Hollar and City Manager William Fraser spoke briefly to thank those in attendance and wish legislators well.

    The Governor’s Ballroom was lined with soups, sandwiches, and wraps as well as bakery, chocolate and gelato. There were tastes from every corner of the city and a number of foreign countries.

    “It’s a wonderful opportunity to welcome legislators to our great city and to thank our volunteers for making it such a great place,” the mayor said.

    The annual event has been held for decades and is one of the most anticipated functions on the lawmakers’ schedule.

    Although Gov. Peter Shumlin frequently attends, he was unable to do so this year. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott was happy to serve in the governor’s absence.

    Although sponsored and attended by a number of firms, including several seen frequently in the Statehouse, the evening is almost exclusively social.

    Preparation begins months prior to the event. Sandy Pitonyak, administrative assistant to the city manager, coordinates the event and arranges gifts for legislators and city personnel. Krista Metivier, assistant sergeant-at-arms, promotes the evening to legislators and gathers reservations.

    The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce assists with contacting restaurants and sponsors. Veteran committee members Ruth Guild and Teresa Randall assisted throughout.

    Fraser and the Chamber appreciate the business sponsors and restaurants that make the evening possible and so enjoyable.

    George Malek is executive director of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

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