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Evslin to lead governor’s new Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery

Evslin to lead governor’s new Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas has announced the creation of the Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery (ESR) to coordinate the State s use of federal funds authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   The Governor has tapped former Vermont Transportation Secretary and high tech entrepreneur Tom Evslin to head the Office as Chief Recovery Officer. The Office will be located in the Agency of Administration and report to Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville.The Vermont Federal Recovery Office, which was established in January before the recovery bill became law, has been fully incorporated into ESR.  Jim Bush will continue to serve in a leadership role as Director of Physical Infrastructure, responsible for oversight and delivery of the nearly $200 million in new state and local infrastructure projects. The scope of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extends beyond the original intent of Medicaid and transportation funds, said Governor Douglas.  In turn, we have expanded the Federal Recovery Office into the Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery to ensure the federal money flows into our economy quickly and with strict accountability measures in place.The Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery will assist and coordinate efforts of State, community and private organizations to obtain funds for projects that not only alleviate the pain of the current recession but build the infrastructure necessary for Vermonters to succeed in the second decade of the 21st century. The Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery will work at entrepreneurial speed to make certain Vermont obtains all possible funds and gets maximum effect from tight coordination between programs, said Evslin. As much as possible, we need to use new technology to preserve Vermont values while building the foundation for a strong economy that can compete in a changing world.Accountability and transparency are key elements of the newly constituted Office. Working with Auditor of Accounts Tom Salmon, the Office will appoint a Director of Accountability from the Auditor s staff to assure that federally funded projects are designed from the beginning to meet stringent requirements for audit and accountability.  The Director will serve as a direct link between the Auditor s Office and Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery.  This important partnership is essential to ensure that Vermont exceeds the new federal standards for transparency, accountability and effectiveness, said Auditor Salmon. We want to ensure compliance and accountability right out of the gates.Evslin has agreed to lead the Office working at minimum wage and has volunteered to return his entire salary to state coffers. I m thrilled and honored for the opportunity to help advance Vermont and position us for a strong economic recovery, Evslin continued. The Office will be staffed by existing state employees on temporary assignment from agencies and departments. In addition to a Director of Physical Infrastructure and a Director of Accountability, the Office will include staff resources for Network Infrastructure, State Programs, Planning, and Community Partnerships.Tom Evslin BioTom Evslin was Secretary of the Agency of Transportation under former Vermont Governor Richard Snelling, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges, and is currently vice-chair of The Snelling Center, a non-profit dedicated to good governance in Vermont. Evslin s civic career began as town moderator in Worcester, Vermont in the 1970s.Evslin ran a software business in Vermont for many years before going to work for Microsoft, where he was responsible for communication products.  Evslin went on to work at AT&T where he founded their first Internet business, WorldNet. In 1997 Tom and his wife, Mary Evslin, founded ITXC which was a pioneer in the use of the Internet for phone calls.  The company grew to be one of the world s largest wholesale carriers of international calls. The company went public in 1999 and is now part of Indian telecommunications giant Tata Communications. Mary Evslin was the founding chair of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. The Evslins live in Stowe, Vermont.Source: Dennise R. Casey, Governor Douglas s Deputy Chief of Staff, March 2, 2009last_img read more

Illini faithful lack creative flair

Illini faithful lack creative flair

first_imgThere’s just something special about going home: seeing the family, going grocery shopping, doing laundry, sleeping in your own room.But there’s a different home Badger fans are looking forward to returning to next weekend: sections J through P. After a pretty shaky effort last week in Champaign against the Illinois “I-L-L-I-N-I!” coming back to Camp Randall Stadium can’t come soon enough for the one-time fifth-best team in the nation. And while members of Bret Bielema’s squad surely need to come back to their sea of red, it’s those of us who went to watch them play the Illini who can’t wait to jump around once again. Seven friends and I were among the delegation of Badger faithful to drive the most boring stretch of highway down Interstate 39 through the Land of Lincoln consisting of fields of nothing. We blasted “On Wisconsin” upon entering Champaign in hopes of intimidating the enemies as much as possible.The next morning, we got up and made our way to a Memorial Stadium under renovation. With sleepy, quiet Illinois fans surrounding us, we naturally high-fived every Badger fan we saw, sharing pride in our team.But there was just something about these Illini fans that was a real downer. With high expectations over the rowdiness of Camp Randall, I expected to hear some of the best Illinois had to offer.And it wasn’t much. The big sea of bright orange started off on Wisconsin’s first third down of the game by clapping in syncopation with their hands over their heads. This continued on every Badger third down of the game.Mildly amusing.Then, during the 4th quarter, the student section jumped to the left and right — not around — to the tune of Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Dudley Do-Right. They might have done it a second time, but I was too busy watching Tyler Donovan throw his second interception that I wasn’t paying attention.Finally, throughout the game, the student section would yell “I-L-L” and the rest of the crowd would respond “I-N-I.”“Hey, you can spell!” my friends and I yelled.And that was it. Unless I missed something — which is entirely possible — there were three cheers the entire game. Thank God I go to Wisconsin. The trip to Illinois made me and my friends appreciate what being a Wisconsin Badger is all about. I know this might warrant a big Full House “awww” after saying it, but it’s the truth. While profanity has caused UW a bit of trouble in the past and some unruly fans can be an embarrassment, the passion of Wisconsin’s student section is something to be proud of. Between jumping around, singing “Build Me Up Buttercup,” rowing, doing the wave and counting Bucky’s push-ups for every point we score, the Badger enthusiasm is clear.“Hey, you can count!” an I-L-L-I-N-I fan yelled after we finished counting in Champaign. “Between our reading and your counting, we’ve got everything covered.”And that was as much wit as Champaign had to offer. The joy of being in Wisconsin’s student section is enough proof of Wisconsin’s pride, but Badger fans have also historically traveled with their team in the masses. Between dedicated students and passionate alumni, thousands of people traveled to Pasadena for the Rose Bowls in 1994, 1999 and 2000, to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl the past two years and even this year, to Las Vegas for the UNLV game. And with today’s generation, the sea of red always means a full sea of red. The attendance at last Saturday’s game at Illinois was about 58,000, which was the “second sellout in a row,” the announcer proclaimed. I can’t remember the last time Camp Randall wasn’t sold out for a football game. The passion for Badger athletics isn’t limited to football, either. The Athletic Department announced that Wisconsin’s hockey attendance last year was the most in the NCAA and even beat out several NHL teams. At the end of the day, fans of Wisconsin athletics have been, are and always will be passionate about their teams.So next Saturday, I’ll throw on my Bucky T-shirt, go into the stadium, listen to Gary Cannalte’s game day forecast, watch “Ask the Badgers” and witness the Badgers get another win on the season.The best part, though: Next week I get to walk down Regent Street to get to the game instead of driving through fields of nothing.Tom is a junior majoring in journalism. If you would like to complain to him about the Illini, he can be reached at tschalmo@badgerherald.comlast_img read more