The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) recognized important champions of municipal government on Tuesday, September 26 at Town Fair 2023 in South Burlington: Moretown resident Karen Horn, Barre City Clerk Carol Dawes, and the fifty-plus members of the Rural Caucus of the Vermont House of Representatives.
“Americans have increasingly lost faith in national and state government, yet polls show local government remains trusted and valued,” said VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady. “The VLCT Municipal Service Awards recognize those people that build and keep that trust through daily service to their city, town, and village governments.”
During an awards dinner Tuesday evening, Brady presented VLCT’s former Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Karen Horn with the 2023 VLCT Lifetime Achievement Award. Horn spent 36 years ensuring that a municipal voice was omnipresent in the State House, resulting in increased transportation funding for local governments, local option tax authority, changes to dozens of municipal charters, public safety reforms, and more. Brady also said some of Horn’s greatest achievements were things the Legislature didn’t do.
Brady presented the 2023 VLCT Municipal Service Award to Barre City Clerk Carol Dawes, who has announced that she plans to retire in the coming year. Dawes started her municipal service as a City Councilor in 2004, then became City Clerk and Treasurer in 2008, to which she was re-elected seven times. She has been an active member of the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Association (VMCTA), where she chaired the organization’s legislative committee; was active in the education and certification committee; and was an influential voice in the creation of policy in the State House, in the Secretary of State’s office and in town offices across Vermont. Members of the VMCTA also presented Dawes with the VMCTA Award of Appreciation during the dinner. Dawes was previously recognized as “Clerk of the Year”.
For the first time in VLCT’s history, the 2023 VLCT Legislative Service Award was given to a legislative caucus. Brady presented the award to the officers of the Rural Caucus of Vermont: Representatives Laura Sibilia of Dover, Katherine Sims of Craftsbury, Lisa Hango of Berkshire, and Monique Priestly of Bradford. The Rural Caucus is a tri-partisan group of lawmakers comprised of more than 50 members of the Vermont House that advocates for rural communities. Brady said the caucus advocated for including changes to both state and local land use rules in Act 47, a bill aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage: before the caucus’s intervention, the bill largely ignored the role that Act 250 played in curtailing new housing.
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member-based organization that was founded in 1967 with the mission of serving and strengthening Vermont local government. It provides legislative advocacy, educational workshops, consultation, resource materials, and insurance coverage that are all focused on helping municipal officials and staff be able to deliver excellent service to their residents.
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On hand for the presenting of the 2023 VLCT Legislative Service Award to the Rural Caucus of Vermont were (l-r) West Rutland Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette, Representative Laura Sibilia of Dover, Representative Katherine Sims of Craftsbury, VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady, Representative Lisa Hango of Berkshire, Representative Monique Priestley of Bradford, and South Burlington City Manager Jessie Baker.
On hand for presenting the 2023 VLCT Municipal Service Award were (l-r) West Rutland Town Manager and VLCT board member Mary Ann Goulette, VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady, Barre City Clerk and Treasurer Carol Dawes, and South Burlington City Manager and VLCT Immediate Past President Jessie Baker.
On hand for presenting the 2023 VLCT Lifetime Achievement Award were (l-r) VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady, South Burlington City Manager and VLCT Immediate Past President Jessie Baker, VLCT’s recently retired Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Karen Horn of Moretown, and West Rutland Town Manager and VLCT board member Mary Ann Goulette.