Member’s Thoughtful Letter To The JFC

"Over and over again, the Governor has shown that he is not interested in saving the jobs of hardworking State employees through compromise and common sense solutions to our budgetary issues: he simply wants to slash the State workforce by as many Vermonters as he can. It’s become apparent to me that, in the eyes of the Governor, I am not a valued employee providing highly skilled and important services to my community – I am merely a pawn in his political game and, it seems, a second class citizen in his eyes."

Dear Honorable Members of the Joint Fiscal Committee:
 
I am writing to you today to let you know how concerned, disheartened and frustrated I am by Governor Douglas’ refusal to accept any one of the various proposals that the VSEA has offered in order to help fill the budget shortfall that your Committee has asked both the Governor and the VSEA to plug during the current fiscal year. Over and over again, the Governor has shown that he is not interested in saving the jobs of hardworking State employees through compromise and common sense solutions to our budgetary issues: he simply wants to slash the State workforce by as many Vermonters as he can. It’s become apparent to me that, in the eyes of the Governor, I am not a valued employee providing highly skilled and important services to my community – I am merely a pawn in his political game and, it seems, a second class citizen in his eyes.
 
Since I was recruited to the Vermont Securities Division in 2001, from my previous position with the Arizona Securities Division, I have worked hard to give back to my community. As one of only two Securities Examiners in the State, I am tasked to, among other things, do my best to prevent and detect securities fraud, and I have helped to bring tens of millions of dollars in fines, penalties and restitution to our State and its residents. Additionally, I serve as a Commissioner on the Barre Housing Authority, I serve on the Barre City Elementary and Middle School Board, I have volunteered my time and skills for our local Cub Scout Pack, our local youth sports leagues, etc., etc., etc. I am not a unique example of a State employee – I simply followed the lead of my brothers and sisters within the VSEA. We are not financially rich, nor are we socially privileged, but together we enrich our communities and feel privileged to be able to serve our friends, neighbors and families.
 
Unfortunately, the Governor continually denigrates our service and value to our communities. He is constantly placing us in the public cross-hairs and encouraging members of our communities to attack us as being "unreasonable," "unwilling to make sacrifices," and a "drain on our State’s resources." It is time for this to stop! I implore each and every one of you to step up to the plate and do everything that you can to end the Governor’s slash, burn and salt the earth policies. He has destroyed our morale and ruined our reputations in our communities. 
Why??? I certainly don’t know with any certainty, but I strongly suspect that it has much to do with his ideology as opposed to any real fiscal need. If that was not the case, then surely he would have been able to accept any one of our numerous proposals.
 
Please help put a stop to this madness and begin restoring the morale and dignity of YOUR State workforce.
 
Thank you very much for your attention.
 
Very truly yours,
 
John F. Reese, Jr.