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Thomas Chittenden

Why are you running?

To set polices in Vermont that create more opportunities for current and future generations to stay, live, work and thrive here.

tell us about yourself

3 Term South Burlington City Councilor (currently serving).

University of Vermont (UVM) Faculty Senate President (currently serving).

Chair & Vice Chair of Green Mountain Transit (a.k.a. CCTA) 2016-2020.

2019 Grossman School of Business Faculty Member of the Year.

2017 UVM Presidents Distinguished Lecturer Award Recipient.

South Burlington Rotarian (currently serving).

Is Vermont business friendly?


No, it is too hard to lay roots and grow in the Green Mountain State. Our permitting layers in Vermont are overwhelming and overly restrictive. We need to find a better balance that considers the need for more opportunity, investment, people and infrastructure in Vermont to keep current and future generations in this state. Vermont is not a museum. We are one of these 50 states with people working hard every day to provide for their families for a better tomorrow. Thriving businesses have left the state because it is too difficult to expand their operations because of permitting layers designed by lawmakers who undervalue the need for economic activity to support our state priorities. We need policies that attract the next IBM, Onlogic, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters or to lay their roots deep in the Green Mountain state. And taxes are too high in Vermont. Our state could get better outcomes at lower costs if we sought economies of scale in how we manage and deliver public services. This can be done through increased collaboration of our towns & school districts through regionalization efforts motivated by state funding mechanisms.

Why should a business owner support you?

This pandemic has shown clearly that business is an essential part of society but for the last couple of decades I have heard rhetoric in Montpelier ‘other-ise’ free enterprise treating business as apart from society. As a senior lecturer in the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont, I understand the importance and value of free markets that reward innovation, industry and intellect. Competition brings out the best in people, markets and society while raising our quality of life by providing desired products and services. I am running for State Senate because I want to see Vermont apply time tested concepts like economies of scale and sustained growth to achieve better outcomes at lower costs while improving our quality of life. I would hope business owners would support my campaign because I intend to support them and I intend to listen to them. I intend to be a voice and advocate for free enterprise and business growth in Vermont just as I have been in South Burlington and in the UVM Grossman School of Business.

What could the Legislature do to support the creation of more well-paying jobs in Vermont?

I want Vermont to start growing again to welcome, appreciate and invite more people, opportunity and investment to the Green Mountain State. This can be done through strategic transportation infrastructure expansion, tax policy and permit reform. Interstate 89 was built in 1967 but in the 53 years since, not one additional exit has been added. But our state has grown since then. Interstate exits would decongest our roadways, reduce our CO2 emissions and most importantly give us the opportunity to steer smart development. World class employers are looking for office space in Vermont but they need easy access to labor markets and supply chain efficiencies. New interstate exits would give us the opportunity to build amenity-oriented park and ride to increase public transportation usage while also opening up land for more industrial high paying jobs here in Vermont. We need tax policy in Montpelier that understands the value of growth. Better to have a 5% tax on $10,000,000 than a 10% tax on $1,000,000. Permit reform – I hear time and again how the permits to develop land in Vermont is grossly out of step with our neighbors driving up the cost of our housing, our transportation and our living.