• It must be nice to be governor
    May 25,2013

    It must be nice to be governor

    It appears that Gov. Shumlin, a millionaire, has received another sweetheart deal regarding the purchase of the Dodge farm (Times Argus, May 22, “After sale to governor: regrets”) which borders his property. According to The Times Argus, the governor purchased a distressed home appraised at $233,700 for less than $58,000. According to the article, Mr. Dodge did not have an attorney, was a high school dropout, did not know what other options he may have had and, according to a friend, Mr. Dodge “did not have the cognitive skills to advocate … or even understand the basic elements of the deal.”

    The governor was also effective in convincing the East Montpelier town to reduce the appraised value of the Dodge home from $233,700 to $140,000. The back taxes owed by Mr. Dodge, $17,000 from 2009, were based on $233,700, not the appraised value of $140,000, which the governor was able to receive. Because of Mr. Dodge’s condition he may have been unaware that he could have appealed his property taxes being too high. Instead of helping Mr. Dodge, the governor took advantage of his situation to enrich his holdings.

    Another sweetheart deal: The governor was able to purchase for $35,000 a 32-acre parcel next to the Dodge farm valued by the town listers at $147,000 in 2012. Tell me where I can as a native Vermonter purchase property as the governor has here, making over $200,000. In the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, the poet considers the value or otherwise, of boundaries. In contemplating whether good fences make good neighbors, the governor did not want Mr. Dodge as his neighbor — he was too near. Must be nice to be in a position as governor where you are able to increase your wealth.

    John Jacques


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