Shumlin Announces New Round Of Appointments

11/22/10 5:50PM By Ross Sneyd

AP Photo/Toby Talbot
(Host) Governor-elect Peter Shumlin has made another round of appointments to his developing administration.

Shumlin says his latest appointments are part of his commitment to improve the economy.

(Shumlin) "We felt it was very important that we put together a team of appointments that's going to reiterate our commitment to job creation."

(Host) For agriculture secretary, Shumlin turned to Chuck Ross, a longtime senior aide to Senator Patrick Leahy.

Ross has been in charge of Leahy's Vermont offices for the past 16 years.

Shumlin says Vermont has a bright future in technology, manufacturing and tourism. And he says Vermont also has great prospects in agriculture.

(Shumlin) "As we grow our local food movement to not only include Vermont, but also include as local everything within 200 miles of us, Boston, New York and Montreal, we will be growing food for America again. No one better to bring this mission together than Chuck Ross."

(Host) Ross is a former member of the Legislature and has worked on agriculture issues on Leahy's staff. He has also farmed.

Ross says there are variety of different agricultural enterprises in the state that can help achieve Shumlin's vision.

(Ross) "There's a whole new renaissance, a whole new opportunity to add value to our products, expand our markets and improve our brand, as the state of Vermont, we have an incredibly new dynamic group of people that are moving into the agricultural economy in this state. ...that is an opportunity we need to seize and capitalize on."

(Host) Shumlin also appointed one other cabinet secretary today. Lawrence Miller of Danforth Pewter will be the commerce secretary. Miller also was the founder of Otter Creek brewery in Middlebury.

Republican Patricia Moulton Powden will be the deputy secretary of commerce. She was most recently the state labor commissioner under Governor Jim Douglas.

Shumlin turned to Annie Noonan to be his labor commissioner. Noonan is the former head of the Vermont State Employees Association, which is the union for state workers.

With these appointments, Shumlin has filled half of the six slots in his cabinet.

He still needs to appoint secretaries of the Agencies of Transportation, Human Services, and Natural Resources.

There are also several dozen other offices that a governor appoints, including commissioners and other senior staff.

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