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first_imgVermont Auditor of Accounts Tom Salmon, who was rebuffed by the Democratic leadership last spring, announced today that he was switching parties and will join the Republican Party. Salmon won the position of state auditor as a Democrat in 2006 when he beat one-term incumbent Republican Randy Brock. That race saw Brock apparently win re-election in a very tight race, before a re-count gave the race to Salmon by 102 votes. Salmon cited the lack of fiscal responsibility among legislative leaders during the debate over the state budget. Salmon had offered to mediate discussions between Republican Governor James Douglas and the Democratically controlled Legislature, but was turned down by Speaker of the House Shap Smith. He said the Republicans are better able to manage the fiscal matters of the state, as represented by Governor Douglas.Salmon further said he will likely run for re-election for Auditor, but there is “a 10 percent chance,” he will run for governor or lieutenant governor instead. Several Republicans are deferring their decisions on 2010 until Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie decides what, if any, position he will run for. Dubie has indicated he is considering a run for governor. Douglas has already stated he will not seek re-election and will not run for any office in 2010. Salmon made his announcement at the State House shortly after 11 am on Tuesday September 8, 2009.Salmon, 46, has served in Iraq for long tours of duty in the US Navy Reserve while also holding the post of auditor. Thomas M Salmon is the son of the former Vermont Governor Thomas P Salmon, who served from 1973-1977 as a Democrat. The elder Salmon served as a surrogate during his son’s re-election campaign because serving military cannot also campaign for office. Salmon met little resistance in being re-elected last year.Vermont Business Magazine conducted a Q&A with Tom Salmon December 2007 with Robert Smith. In that interview he explained why he ran for auditor:”I ran for state auditor, because as a Rockingham Selectman, I had moved from a simmer to a boil about how fiscal management was occurring in the state. I really didn’t think that anyone was taking responsibility for the fiscal management of the parts of the state. Prior to being a selectman, I go back to December 2005. I’m a Navy Reservist, a Seabee, construction battalion, dirt sailors – we’re never on a ship, so when people see us in our greens they say, ‘Look mommy, it’s an Army man!’ I was in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That situation moved me to want to commit to public service. I decided when I came home that I was going to run for the select board in Rockingham. The finances were a mess, the morale was not good, the divisive situation over buying the dam – you were here so you know.”Salmon is a CPA who was born and raised in Bellows Falls. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Boston College and was trained in auditing at Coopers and Lybrand (now known at Price Waterhouse Coopers) in both Hartford, Conn., and Los Angeles, Calif. He attained CPA status in 1993 and worked with a small public accounting firm in Southern California and later in Southern Vermont. Tom also became a licensed teacher and taught in the inner city of Los Angeles while continuing his accounting work.In 2002, Salmon and family returned to Bellows Falls until moving to St. Johnsbury. He is a former member of the Rockingham Selectboard, and is a member of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Certified Fraud Examiners Association, AICPA, and a member of various boards including the Three River Valley Business and Educational Partnership.Here is a copy of the letter Salmon sent to his supporters:”September 5, 2009Dear Friend,   It is an honor to serve  as Auditor for the State of Vermont. In 2006, I was elected as a Democrat. In 2008, I was re-elected on the Democratic/Republican ticket. 2010 will be different.I am changing my political affiliation to align myself with the party closest to my core beliefs. It is my belief that the VT Republican party is closest to accepting the realities of our times; and is therefore the party best equipped to manage the very real and troubling economic and social conditions which confront us not only today, but in the coming decade.As many of you know, in the face of the enormous fiscal crisis, I have sounded the alarm for new thinking, responsible budgeting, meaningful long-term planning and painful prioritization.When I returned home from Iraq, I witnessed first-hand a budget process rife with deficiencies and dysfunction.  There was little balance in the debate.As a Certified Public Accountant, I recently completed my required Ethics course for re-licensing.  The Professional Code of Conduct demands that I act with integrity, objectivity and independence. As Auditor, I have preached that Vermont is on an unsustainable track we cannot tax ourselves out of. I believe the majority of Vermonters do not want to see tax increases as a consequence of poor planning.  However, without major restructuring of human services, corrections management and public education (which together account for some 75% of our expenditures) we are going to find that situation unavoidable. Removing even greater sums of capital out of our job-creating private sector and the budgets of Vermont families will only hasten the ill effects of the current crisis. We all watch a healthcare reform movement focused on increased access rather than A) addressing the root causes of the problem B) fixing Medicaid and Medicare or C) promoting incentives and personal responsibility.  The big losers are our young people, the vulnerable elderly population and the viability of Vermont’s 1778 motto of “Freedom and Unity.”I am a believer in the America of hard work and “get oneself upstream” with a combination of personal commitment and external support.  I’m not a believer that all of our future tax dollars should go to interest on debt or “education, medication and incarceration.”  In the current form of these primarily government-controlled expenditures, this is a path leading to a dangerous imbalance of our “Freedom and Unity.”  Economic freedom is an essential component in achieving and maintaining political freedom.  Over the more than 200 years of our nation’s founding, too many of our fine soldiers have died for the protection of these freedoms. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you with full commitment and transparency. I promise to do my best to perform the job Vermonters have elected me to do.Thomas M. Salmon CPAVermont State Auditor”last_img read more

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first_img Share LocalNews CARICOM, Mexico to cement ties against common challenges by: – May 23, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! CARICOM heads of government with the president of Mexico at the CARICOM-Mexico Summit in Bridgetown, BarbadosBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (GINA) — The second CARICOM/Mexico summit opened on Monday in Bridgetown, Barbados with acknowledgement of the need for a strengthened alliance against the common challenges of citizen security, transnational crime and sustainable human development.Trade, investment, tourism and cooperation are expected to feature prominently over the two-day event but CARICOM leaders are also looking forward to a meaningful outcome on natural disaster risk reduction and the environment.Under two existing programmes; the Meso-American Territorial Information System and the Meso-American Environmental Sustainability Strategy; experiences are to be shared on regional co-ordination system for natural disaster risk reduction and projects in the areas of bio-diversity and forestry, climate change, green growth and sustainable competitiveness. Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar joined his other colleague Heads of State in CARICOM at the summit, looking forward most of all to an engagement with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon on strengthening responses to challenges in the social, economic and political realm.While accrediting the new Mexican Ambassador to Guyana Francisco Olguin on May 10, Ramotar conveyed the high value which the Guyana government believes the forum can engender with the challenges facing today’s world.He said that in the current global environment, all countries have become forcibly aware of the need to work together for a common good and hailed the bilateral relations between the governments of Guyana and Mexico especially as it relates to advancing the political economic and social objective on regional and international issues.CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque, in his remarks at the opening of the summit on Monday, made reference to the support that Mexico rendered to Haiti, including the recent visit by Calderon as a symbol of the Latin American country’s deep commitment to the revival and reconstruction of the country. Given that the CARICOM/Mexico summit took place days after the devastating earthquake in 2010, LaRocque said both sides assumed the commitment of creating new measures to alleviate, in the medium and long-term, the challenges that Haiti is facing.The inaugural summit was held during “testing times” according to chairman of CARICOM and president of Suriname Desi Bouterse, who made reference to the recovery efforts by several member states from the global financial and economic crisis and the fact that discussions then were anchored around the need for a strategic partnership common to all states to address those challenges.He noted regrettably, however, that the “stranglehold” of the crisis remains somewhat unabated and, as small vulnerable economies, countries are still seeking strategies to counteract the debilitating effects of the crisis. “It is also fitting that our agenda will focus on some areas of mutual concern, including citizen security and transnational organized crime, issues which have had a harmful effect on our countries, destabilizing our societies, and hampering economic development,” Bouterse said.Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in his address said that at this unsure point in time of world affairs, the most significant input that Mexico can make to the cause of Caribbean development is that of advocacy because of its role as current chair of the G20. “I must articulate here some of CARICOM’s critical concerns, which include: the slow process of reform of the multilateral institutions and the uneven results to date; the continued lack of representativeness and transparency of the G20 which, as the Commonwealth secretary general has recently said, may represent 90% of global GDP but certainly not 90% of the world’s countries; the worrying signs that we have moved from the rich man’s club of the G7 to the big man’s club of the G20, whose members are more united in telling non-G20 countries what they should do than in prescribing for those within their own fold,” Stuart said.He also spoke of ‘constant tilting of playing fields and moving of goal-posts in the G20’s response towards Caribbean-based international financial centres, notwithstanding the fact that the bulk of proven money-laundering, inadequate regulation and tax avoidance has occurred in the financial centres of Europe and the United States of America.The Barbadian prime minister highlighted the need to promote the supportive policies of the small vulnerable economies in the areas of financing for development, aid for trade, and addressing the issue of indebtedness; the need to reassert the grave threat posed by climate change.Mexico holds the distinction as the first country to form a Joint Commission with CARICOM, to identify and promote economic, political and cultural co-operation initiatives.The signing of a technical co-operation agreement in 1990 to promote transportation, language training, agriculture and agro-industrial development, maritime education, disaster preparedness and management, and climatology further cemented relations between the two.As a result, partnerships were forged between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and CENAPRED the Mexican disaster preparedness and management agency, and between the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) and, the Mexican Institute for Water Technology. Financial services, security, health, energy and climate change were incorporated as the cooperation evolved. Mexico is chair to the upcoming G-20 summit and the government has identified green growth, food security and infrastructure as the priorities.Caribbean News Nowcenter_img 10 Views   no discussions Share Tweetlast_img read more

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