State auditor Tom Salmon, who previously has said he would run for governor against Peter Shumlin if other top Republicans did not, announced Friday that Tropical Storm Irene is a "game changer" that makes him want to remain auditor.
In a letter that began "Dear Vermonters," Salmon wrote: "During the past six months, I have talked with hundreds of Vermonters and consulted with my family about how I can best serve the state of Vermont in the coming years. I have examined a number of options, but the impact of Irene on Vermont helped me to understand that the best way for me to serve Vermont is to continue as state auditor."
His news release said "that serving as auditor is his best contribution to the state's well-being."
The news release and the letter don't actually say directly that he's going to run again for auditor; they just repeatedly say he wants to "continue." But what else can that mean? The news release says a formal announcement is pending. A call to Salmon was not immediately returned.
Here's the news release followed by the letter:
From: Tom Salmon [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 4:07 PM
Subject: Salmon Announcement: Irene is a game changer
MONTPELIER - State Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, today announced that serving as auditor is his best contribution to the state's well-being.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 prompted Salmon to run for public office believing that government could do a lot better at coordinating, collaborating and solving public problems with improved
intergovernmental strategy and communication.
He said he has reflected on the daunting task facing Vermonters in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the enormous task of reconstruction and rebuilding. In addition to other demands for overall stability, he said he firmly believes that he must serve Vermont in a capacity aligned with
the overall mission of strengthening Vermont in every way and as quickly
While this may take a long time, Salmon said he is willing to commit his services to the people of Vermont and believes that he and his staff can make a difference.
The auditor recently testified Washington, D.C., to the president's Office of Management and Budget and has been working closely with the Office of the Inspector General regarding recovery oversight and FEMA requirements. He said he is passionate about improving government performance and the relationship between federal, state, and local entities.
A more formal announcement will come at a later date.
Letter from State Auditor Tom Salmon to Vermonters
September 23, 2011
During the past six months, I have talked with hundreds of Vermonters and consulted with my family about how I can best serve the state of Vermont in the coming years. I have examined a number of options, but the impact of Irene on Vermont helped me to understand that the best way for me to serve Vermont is to continue as state auditor.
I was inspired to enter public life after seeing first-hand the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a Navy (Seabee) reservist. That experience pointed out to me the importance of an effective government.
Today, as I look at Vermont in the wake of Hurricane Irene, I see Vermonters, already struggling with the burdens of a slow moving economy, knocked off their feet by the devastation of Irene. I see town
governments and the state government working hard to make both emergency and long-term repairs to Vermont’s infrastructure. I see Vermonters working together to rebuild and to improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors.
As state auditor, I know I can play an important role in rebuilding Vermont after the tragedy of Irene and the effects of the long recession. I am proud to have served two terms as state auditor and I’m
grateful for the talented and dedicated staff I have working with me.
I am passionate about improving government performance and improving the relationship among federal, state, and local governments. These relationships will all be critical to improving the quality of life for all Vermonters in the coming months and years.
My office and I are working closely with state and local officials, as well as the Office of the Inspector General on recovery oversight and FEMA requirements. We will continue our ongoing work with towns and state government to improve government performance, transparency and
accountability to the people of Vermont.
I am very optimistic about Vermont’s future. During this recent crisis, Vermonters have demonstrated that they are resourceful, hardworking, and the best neighbors you can have.
I look forward to continuing to serve Vermont in the future as state auditor.
Thomas M. Salmon CPA
Vermont State Auditor