WILMINGTON -- A local state official has been selected as one of 48 legislative leaders to participate in a national training seminar this week in Kentucky.
Rep. Ann Manwaring, D-Wilmington, said she was honored to be chosen and is excited to work with other state politicians.
The annual week-long seminar was designed in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded the Council of State Governments in 1933. Since its inception, the CSG has sought to develop leaders from all three branches of state government and building connections between them.
This year's program will focus on trend analysis, policy development, media and constituent relations and how to create leadership and institutional changes, something Manwaring said she's particularly interested in.
"I'm always looking for new tools to get people in power to think differently," she said.
Manwaring said she wants to learn how other state legislators deal with a dependency on property taxes.
As a state, Vermont leans heavily on its property tax to help pay for education, a topic of passion for Manwaring.
"We want to know if the same amount of money is buying the same educational opportunities for each child in the state," she said of Act 60. "In the Deerfield Valley we don't feel it is."
In the past several months, many politicians in Vermont and across the country have talked about not introducing any new taxes. Manwaring said
"When you squeeze all that money out of the public sector to perform its job, the pressures lay heavier on the property taxes," she said. "It filters down to increased demands on property tax, and it's just not OK in my book. I'm interested to see how that plays out in other states and get some insight on how that works elsewhere."
Manwaring, who has served in the Legislature since 2007, was nominated by Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith with endorsements from Appropriations Chair Martha Heath, Rep. Helen Head and former Rep. David Larsen.
A spokesman for the Henry Toll Fellowship said Manwaring was chosen because of her dedication to Windham County as one of the "most promising leaders of state government."
Prior to her service as a state representative, Manwaring ran a small business for 23 years that emphasized family-friendly policies, and served on the Wilmington Selectboard for 12 years.
Josh Stilts can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.