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Vermont gets new Tax, DMV commissioners

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced that he has appointed 27 year veteran lawmaker Richard Westman of Cambridge to head Vermont’s Tax Department and former Caledonia County Senator and current Director of the Agency of Transportation Rail Division Robert Ide to head the Motor Vehicles Department.Rich Westman, a native Vermonter from Cambridge has represented the towns of Cambridge, Belvidere and Waterville in the General Assembly for 27 years.  Westman will step down to head the state’s Department of Taxes.  Westman will also leave his job at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation where he has served for ten years as the Director of the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan. He takes over from Tom Pelham, who will become deputy Administration secretary.“Rich’s dedicated service in the Legislature, his vast knowledge of our budget and tax structure are invaluable to Vermont at this time,” said Governor Douglas.  “As we struggle through this difficult economic time, Rich will be a great resource and valuable leader at the Tax Department.”“It has been an honor to server the people of Cambridge, Waterville and Belvidere in the Legislature,” said Westman.  “I value the many longstanding relationships I’ve made in the State House both with the staff as well as my colleagues in the Legislature and hope to continue my work with them in this new role.  I do look forward to working for Governor Douglas and will do the best I can to serve all Vermonters.”Rob Ide is also a native Vermonter from Caledonia County was for ten years a State Senator where he served on the Appropriations and Transportation Committees.  Ide was tapped by Governor Douglas shortly after taking office in 2003 to serve as Vermont’s Director of Energy Efficiency and now serves as the Director of the Agency of Transportation’s Rail Division.  He takes over from Bonnie Rutledge, who has retired.“Rob has been a valuable member of my team since I first took office,” said Governor Douglas. “Rob’s transportation and management expertise will be a valuable asset at the Department of Motor Vehicles.”“It has been a real privilege to serve Vermonters both as a Senator and in the Douglas Administration,” said Ide.  “I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge and building on the very good work that is already being done in the Department.”Richard Westman Bio:Richard Westman was born on March 13, 1959.  He was born into a family that has been on the same land since the 1790’s. He spent his childhood and young adulthood working in the barn on his family’s farm.Rich was educated at Cambridge Elementary School and Lamoille Union High School.  He graduated from Johnson State College with a major in Political Science.At 21, Rich he ran for the Legislature but lost.  At 23, encouraged by Henry Manchester, he ran his second race for the Vermont House and was elected.  He has served in the Vermont House for 27 years.  He has served under both Republican and Democratic Governors and Legislative leaders, and has served through several economic ups and downs.  Rich served on many Committees: Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources, Government Operations, General and Military, Health and Welfare, Municipal Corporations and Elections, Judiciary, Rules, Joint Rules, and Joint Fiscal. He has been Vice-Chair and Chair of Appropriations, and has just completed five years as Chair of Transportation. In the Republican House Caucus he has served as Assistant Leader and Leader.In 1999, Rich went to work at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC),  becoming the Director of the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan.  He helped launch the plan which, over the past 10 years, has grown to almost $100 million, giving hundreds of Vermont parents and grandparents a way to save for their children’s and grandchildren’s college education.In addition to his service in the Legislature, Rich has also served on a number of  Boards, including as a University of Vermont Trustee, Copley Hospital Board, Lamoille Home Health and Hospice, the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, the Second Congregational UCC church in Jeffersonville, and the Vermont Center for the Book.One of Rich’s proudest achievements was helping to ensure that the Smugglers Notch State Park and reconstructed Conservation Corps campground, was dedicated to the memory of Red Hooper.Robert Ide Bio:Robert Ide is a seventh generation Caledonia County resident.  He was born in St. Johnsbury and raised in Danville.          Ide is a graduate of Danville High School, Vermont Technical College, and the University of Vermont.  He was employed in his family’s feed and grain business in St. Johnsbury, where he was President of the corporation during the divestiture of the Ide family feed stores.Rob has served his town, country and state in a number of capacities.  He served as Selectman for the town of St. Johnsbury.In 1992 was elected to the State Senate, a position he held until March of 2003.  While serving in the Vermont Senate, Rob was a member of both the Transportation, and Appropriations Committees.  At the time he left the Senate, he was the Vice Chairman of both committees.In 1994, Rob was elected by his legislative colleagues to a four-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State College System.  He has a life long commitment to learning and was instrumental in coining the phrase, “first generation Vermont college student.”Ide stepped down from the Senate in order to accept the appointment as Vermont’s Director of Energy Efficiency in the administration of Governor James Douglas.  In June 2008, Rob transferred from the Department of Public Service to head the Rail Division of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.Rob and his wife Martha Ide now reside in Peacham.  They are the parents of two adult children, Jacob of Richmond, VT, and Elizabeth of Washington DC.  They have one grandchild.Source: Governor’s office. July 24, 2009.last_img

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