Senator Ginny Lyons

 
 

With three siblings, I learned the importance of working and sharing with others.  I also developed a love of the outdoors and the environment that continues today.  After public school, I completed a Bachelor’s degree from Drew University, a Masters from Rutgers University, and later a doctorate at UVM. I taught college Biology in New Jersey. It was difficult living in such a crowded state. I observed over-consumption of land and natural resources during NJ’s economic boom. It was truly disappointing to see the working landscape, streams and lakes become overwhelmed with unplanned development. When we married my husband and I moved “home” to Vermont where we have lived for 45 years, mostly in Williston.  I taught at Trinity College for 27 years until its closure in 2000. Trinity College’s values of caring, action, and women’s-centered education continue to influence me as well as many fellow Vermonters.  I taught about local and global connections between people and their environments. Many issues we debated in Trinity College classrooms are important issues for Vermont --  DNA testing,  water quality, equal pay for equal work, pesticides and the environment, and others.  While teaching at Trinity I completed a Doctorate at UVM. Among others, I pursued interests in science policy relating land use, economic development, energy and the working landscape. Among other research interests I analyzed fossil fuel costs of food systems including  processing, transportation, storage and other aspects of large agribusiness as compared with more local growth and distribution of nutritious foods. Many recommendations from this work are consistent with Vermont’s sustainable land use and food production policies. I began Women in Science, Premedical, Lab Science and other programs at Trinity College. I worked with Social Science faculty to integrate biology into drug and alcohol and human development courses. As a result of my efforts, I was elected President of the UVM Sigma Xi Research Honor Society Chapter. Research faculty from UVM, VT Medical College, St Michaels College, Middlebury College and others worked together offering professional and educational programs under my leadership. I was also elected to the Sigma Xi National Board and served on a number of National advisory Committees for that Research organization.  My husband is a hard working physician in a changing and challenging health care environment. His commitment to patients is an inspiration. The administrative burden of paperwork is a concern for health care workers as it is for those of us writing health care policy. Our two daughters attended Williston Schools and CVU High School where they each received an outstanding education. Their goal is to live and raise families in Vermont. Because their interests are in the arts, this is a challenge. As a state we need to value our creative economy --  providing incentives for film, supporting the fragile economy of performing arts and honoring the cultural contributions crafts and creativity bring to our communities. I was elected to the school Board in Williston, coached softball and generally participated in town activities before being elected to the Select Board in 1991. The controversy over development at Taft Corners was a significant part of my Select Board experience. Williston was making its transition from a small farming community to a regional commercial center. I became Select Board Chair at a time when we lost our town manager and town planner. In addition the town was split by the development controversy. I lead the Select Board, hired new personnel and began the process of mending in our town. Restoring Williston’s sense of community was no easy task. I came to deeply respect people on both sides of the growth debate. We began land use planning that incorporated smart growth principles, preserved Williston Village and supported the town’s agricultural heritage. We developed unique ideas including a local current use program, ridge line ordinance, residential phasing and others.  As a result the town grew at a rate that allowed schools, public safety and infrastructure to keep up. We passed a local 1% sales tax that continues to support Williston’s capital budget and offset municipal taxes. The town benefits from its designated growth center. Today Williston’s tax rate is the next-to-lowest in Chittenden County. Williston has a robust land conservation program supported by its residents. Local decision-making has allowed Williston to grow, yet maintain its sense of community (evident in our yearly July 4 celebration) as well as its rural areas. By developing ethics guidelines, conflict of interest policies and procedures for staff and elected officials to carry out their duties, I believe I have made Williston an attractive place to carry out municipal business. The lessons I learned from local government are important in Montpelier. I was first elected to the VT Senate for the 2001-02 session. I served as Vice Chair of the Agriculture and Health and Welfare Committees and as a member of Natural Resources and Energy.  In 2003 I was appointed Chair of Natural Resources and Energy Committee  Many of the bills I sponsored are now state law and some of these are listed on this web site. Vermont continues to value its working landscape. I know it is important that any economic development plan, any work to improve our natural resources, water quality, transportation, biodiversity, sense of community should be directly tied to maintaining, diversifying and improving our working farms, forests and recreational lands. I look forward to continued work in the Vermont Senate.

 

Senator Ginny Lyons

Virginia “Ginny” Lyons was born in Port Byron (Auburn), NY and grew up in a small farming community in New York.

REPRESENTING

Bolton, Burlington, Charlotte, Essex, Essex Junction, Hinesburg, Jericho, Milton, Richmond, St.George, Shelburne, Underhill, Williston

CHITTENDEN DISTRICT

Lyons for Senate Campaign

82 Economou Drive

South Burlington, VT. 05403

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ABOUT LYONS

Lyons for Senate Campaign

82 Economou Drive

South Burlington, VT. 05403

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