On the Issues

 

Helping Small Businesses

Secretary of State Jim Condos understands that small business and entrepreneurship are the driving forces in making Vermont an incredible place to live, work, and raise a family. As Secretary of State, Jim has work to encourage small business growth in Vermont. When you call the Secretary of State’s Office, you are assured of customer-friendly service and atmosphere.

S.85 (2018) placed Secretary Condos as the lead in the process of developing an interactive online “one stop shop”  which will  streamlining the registration and licensing process  – where business owners can quickly navigate the process with clear directions, online forms, and relevant links to each step in the process.

Jim will work with Vermont business owners to create jobs for our economic strength and sustainability

 

Creating Open and Transparent Government

Secretary of State Jim Condos knows that an open government is a good government.

We know the problems created when government is not honest or forthcoming with information. Vermonters should expect open and transparent decision-making from their government. In the first year of taking office as Secretary of State, Jim embarking on a “Vermont Transparency Tour” to travel the state to help educate and train local and state government officials on the laws of the state regarding Access to Public Records and Open Meetings. He has held over 45 training sessions around the state to date.

“A change of the culture and attitude towards access to public records and open meetings is necessary for both state and local government.”

 

Jim believes that openness and transparency will strengthen our democracy while promoting efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness in government.

A commitment to open government must be a commitment to transparency at all levels of government, which includes open access to public records throughout our state agencies and departments. There should not be unreasonable barriers to the public’s access to public records. If government operates in secrecy, then we erode our democracy.

During the 2011-12 legislative session,  Secretary of State Jim Condos worked with Governor Shumlin and the Legislature to pass much needed improvements to Vermont’s Access to Public Records laws – the most significant changes since the bill’s original enactment in 1976. He continued that support and legislative encouragement into 2018.

 

Jim firmly believes that all Vermonters have the right and responsibility to know what’s happening in their government. 

Secretary of State Jim Condos believes protecting taxpayers’ money and eliminating government waste and inefficiencies is good for everyone. One way to achieve these goals is to provide regular, ongoing training for elected and appointed officials. Secretary Condos believes that any person or entity receiving public money should be subject to strict accountability to ensure that the money is spent in accordance with the appropriate laws, policies and procedures. As Secretary of State, Jim has advocated for timely and thorough audits of public expenditures.

Jim understands the importance of clarity and accountability with public money.

Secretary of State Jim Condos and his election team have completed an overhaul of the technology for the election office. Secretary Condos has placed both Campaign Finance and Lobbyist Disclosure on-line.  Databases have been updated and improved to provide easier, online records search for campaign donations and expenditures, candidate filings, and lobbyist donations and expenditures.

Jim believes that the public has a right to access campaign finance and lobbyist disclosures in a timely and easily accessible manner. 

 

Protecting Vermont Consumers

The Secretary of State’s office has oversight of over 60,000+ individuals in 50 different professions in the Office of Professional Regulation. Secretary Condos has reorganized and improved  the division to ensure that the rules governing the professions are clear and appropriate and that professions qualified to practice are able to get their license without delay.

Jim recognizes the importance of ensuring that Vermont consumers of professional services have every protection possible.

 

 Improving the Election Process

Secretary of State Jim Condos has continued to maintain the integrity of Vermont’s election process, ensuring the statewide voter checklist is functioning efficiently and properly, and  has worked with the town clerks to help them carry out the important work that they do on behalf of all Vermonters. Secretary Condos launched a pilot program to provide unofficial election night results for the March 2012 election cycle and by 2014 with the overall success was mandated by the legislature. This provides more accurate and up to date election night results to Vermont’s public, the media, and candidates.

Jim knows that an honest and fair voting process is the foundation of our democracy.

 

Municipalities and Cities

The Secretary of State’s office is the go to place for cities and towns throughout Vermont. One of the main functions of the office is to assist city and town clerks/officials to provide guidance and resources to enable them to run their communities efficiently and effectively; and to serve their citizens well.

Jim understands the importance of supporting local government and is committed to working closely with local officials.

 

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