Annual Meeting Coming Up!

The Vermont Press Association’s annual meeting and awards luncheon is right around the corner. This year it’s set for Thursday March 17, 2016 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center on State Street in Montpelier. Here’s the schedule for the day.

9:45 a.m.  – Registration

10 a.m. – Annual Meeting  — President John Flowers, Addison Independent

We have much to do at this meeting.  Election of VPA officers, setting dues, treasurer’s report and executive director’s report.

We also will have a discussion on a possible by-law change to add two more at-large members to the 9-member executive board. (One would be a from a daily and the other from a non-daily.)

Also there will be discussion on overhauling the VPA Constitution by adding non-newspaper members to the association.  In recent years TV, radio, magazines and now on-line have expressed interest in being full regular members.  VTDigger has expressed interest in joining so it is eligible for our annual awards.

Also Dick Drysdale, the former publisher of the Herald of Randolph, will be on hand to discuss his new book.   Since selling his newspaper last year, Dick has published “Vermont Moments,” a celebration of “place, people, and everyday miracles.”  It’s a compilation of various stories and writings that have been his favorites – and the favorites of his readers. The book has already received praise from three former governors and some of Vermont’s top writers as capturing the essence of what it’s like to live in Vermont.  He will offer autographed copies to VPA members at a reduced rate of $15 a book.

11 a.m. –  Maura Carroll, executive director, Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Maura has stepped into the shoes of Steve Jeffrey, who stepped down July 1 after over 30 years at the helm and nearly 40 with the League.  Maura has been invited to talk about the League and the  future of the VLCT, which is considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Vermont.  The League also finds itself in the news for not wanting the proposed state ethics commission to deal with misconduct in towns and cities.  Maura arrived from New Hampshire, where she had previously worked for the Local Government Center for about 25 years.

The VLCT is a voluntary association of Vermont’s 246 towns and cities, along with other municipal entities.  It says it represents the interests of government officials in front of state and federal governments.

Noon  –  Annual VPA Awards Lunch  — Speaker: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin

Gov. Shumlin will take a look at what he has accomplished and what he still has in mind as he wraps up his third term.

Shumlin has made clear he has issues he still wants to push through and has no intention of being a lame  duck in his remaining months. Shumlin’s six years as governor will place him tied for fifth for longest serving chief executive in Vermont history.  (Most Vermont governors have had brief tenures: 51 out of 81 governors—since Vermont became a state in 1791—served two years or fewer.)

After a delicious lunch, President Flowers will help present the annual awards for news, sports, features, editorials and column writing, arts coverage, photography, best website, best new writer,  and general excellence for newspapers.

2:30  p.m. – Adjournment