Tag Archives: David Hall

Scott Milne be Scott Milne

2014 The gubernatorial campaign of Scott Milne had one distinguishing feature: Scott Milne did what Scott Milne wanted to do and said what he wanted to say. In an odd sort of way, it reminds me of one Donald J. Trump.

Appear grossly unprepared in public forums? Check.

Give long, meandering, stream-of-consciousness answers to questions? Check.

No attempt at all to hew to Republican orthodoxy? Check.

No attempt to open or maintain communication with the VTGOP? Check.

No effort to raise money or build a campaign infrastructure? Check.

His inner circle basically consisting of family members? Check.

Propensity to grind personal axes on the campaign trail? Check.

Donald Trump without the energy and Brut-drenched charisma, you might say. Better hair, tho.

He’s pursuing the same contrarian course in his present challenge to eternal incumbent Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Continue reading

Interview with the Mormon

Hey, remember David Hall? The Mormon millionaire who’s been buying property in the Tunbridge/Royalton area, with an eye toward building a planned community based on ideas from Mormon church founder Joseph Smith?

Yeah, that guy.

All it takes is one massive fraud scandal to wipe everything else off the news agenda, doesn’t it?

Well, I have some unfinished business with said Mormon, David Hall by name. On Thursday, April 7, I was guest host on “Open Mike,” WDEV Radio’s local talk show. In the first hour, I interviewed Mr. Hall about his plans. We had a lively and thoughtful discussion that shed substantial light on his plan. (The interview is archived here.)

You may recall that I wrote about his plan shortly after it became public knowledge — a nice little ready-fire-aim masterpiece entitled “The Mormons are Coming! The Mormons are Coming!”

In light of our interview, I feel compelled to give a fuller account of his plan and my views. So here we go.

Continue reading

Metapost: theVPO on the air

On Thursday morning, I’ll be guest hosting “Open Mike” on WDEV Radio. Live broadcast from 9-11 a.m., also live streamed on WDEV’s website.

Should be a great show. In the first hour, I’ll be speaking with David Hall, the Mormon millionaire who wants to create a planned community in Tunbridge, Strafford, Royalton and Sharon that could house up to 20,000 people. As far as I know, this will be his first extensive radio interview since his plans hit the news.

My post on the topic, subtly entitled “The Mormons are Coming! The Mormons are Coming!” elicited a response from Mr. Hall himself, which led to an email exchange and, ultimately, his accepting my invitation to the interview. He has denied some of my more outrageous concerns; according to him, this community is based on ideas from Joseph Smith, but it is not intended as a Mormon outpost. Rather, it would be open to anyone willing to commit to a sustainable, planned community.

Second hour should be lively as well. My guest will be James Lockridge, founder and head of The Big Heavy World Foundation, a Burlington-based nonprofit that promotes Vermont music in a host of ways. He’s had his differences with the Burlington and Vermont arts establishment, which he sees as excessively insular and not supportive of new, bold ideas. I also plan to talk with him about the importance of the arts for (1) our economy and (2) attracting young people to Burlington and Vermont.

WDEV’s at 96.1 FM and 550 AM. The FM signal is strong on the I-89 corridor from Montpelier to Burlington; the AM is pretty strong in all directions. Hope you can join me!

The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are coming!

To all those up in arms over Scott Milne’s planned development near Exit 1, or Jesse Sammis’ soon-to-be-downsized proposal at Exit 4, how about this one?

A wealthy Mormon developer is buying land in four towns near the Joseph Smith Memorial in hopes of building a planned community there inspired in part by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This doesn't look at all cultish to you, does it?

This doesn’t look at all… cultish, does it?

That’s from the Valley News, which would be Vermont’s best daily newspaper if only it was headquartered in Vermont. After it published a story a few days ago, it was picked up by ol’ buddy BP at Green Mountain Daily. Since then, it’s begun to ripple outwards — as it should. This is a Big Biden Deal.

David Hall has already bought some 900 acores in Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge. His goal is to build a massive development housing “as many as 20,000 people within a few square miles.”

Geesh, talk about changing the Vermont landscape. If fully populated, his hypothetical Mormontown would be the third-largest community in Vermont. Not that we have to panic just yet; he’s looking 30-50 years down the road.

But still. His NewVista Foundation has already invested more than three and a half million dollars in land purchases, and “has about $100 million at its disposal.” That’s enough to carry out the plan, for sure.

If this were to come to pass, it would completely change the character of what is now a largely rural area nestled in the crook of I-89. It would probably lead to continuous development from this area to the Upper Valley. Scott Milne’s plan is dwarfed by comparison.

Continue reading