Montpelier is the Capital of Vermont, and home to quite a variety and expanse of political activity. The statehouse is located centrally in the city and throughout the legislative session is the reason for the population increase in Montpelier. Just after the new year the legislative session begins and suddenly all around town politicians can be spotted walking in groups of suited people, moving swiftly to grab lunch downtown.
Vermont has 30 senators and 150 members of the house that all convene in the statehouse. Montpelier itself is run by a mayor, city council, and city manager. Politics in Montpelier are very different than other larger state capitals. Because of its small population, those running the city are also community members you interact with quite often. For instance, the mayor can be seen participating in any bike race put on by the local bike shop, and throughout the whole event spectators would have no idea he is technically considered a “politician”. The city council is made up of prominent business people, as well as high school teachers. Political Capital in Montpelier is unique. When everyone knows everyone it is hard for people to act poorly and maintain office as word spreads very fast.
In Montpelier political capital closely interacts with the commerce of the city as the start of the legislative session means there are suddenly hundreds of new people in town looking to go out to lunch or pick something up at one of the local stores. The Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott often stopped by the bike shop to drop off a bike and chat with the employees about their recent rides and what everyone has been up to. Unlike other places, politics in Montpelier is very personal. The city council have to be involved in day to day happenings because in a small community that is how you gain trust.
Legislative Schedule. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://legislature.vermont.gov/home/noteworthy/legislative-schedule/