Myers Mermel, True North Reports, June 19th, 2022

Like many people, I am very concerned about rising crime in Vermont. I have been speaking to some of the most senior law enforcement officers across our state, who have answered my questions as they would answer the questions of any citizen. I haven’t gotten special treatment, but I have promised them that I will not reveal their identities as they do not want to be involved with politics. What I have discovered and confirmed has shocked me. Some may well be aware of the problem, but for others, let me outline it for you. I will start with my conclusion and then provide you with the assumptions. I think a reasonable person would be hard pressed not to agree with me.

The conclusion is that a lack of crime data reporting by the Department of Justice, whatever the motive, is undermining the efforts of Vermont law enforcement to increase public safety.

Currently, parts of the crime reporting system used by Vermont are controlled by the federal government through its Department of Justice. How did our state-wide crime reporting come to be controlled by the federal government? I do not know at this point, but its effects are very clear and negative.

What is happening is that the Vermont Crime Information Center compiles and reports law enforcement incidents from across the state to the Department of Justice through the FBI. That’s good. The Department of Justice is then supposed to compile, analyze, and report the data back to Vermont. The problem is that the Department of Justice has not published its analyses, summaries or reports since 2020.

What that means is that the citizens of Vermont have absolutely no way of knowing what has been happening with crime across the state for the past year and a half. We can’t identify troubled areas and fix them. We don’t know what types of crime are up or down. We don’t know the situation on the ground. And here’s the bad result: Since the citizens do not know what’s happening, they cannot support law enforcement when it asks for more resources. We know our police are suffering scores of resignations and are having trouble recruiting. When they ask for help like last summer in Burlington, instead of getting help from the public, they are attacked for fear mongering.

But how is the public to know to help if it doesn’t have the information? When the police are short-staffed, they cannot function as well and as widely. Making the police suffer shortages in staffing through resignations achieves the same result as defunding. The lack of accurate data reporting is preventing the public from knowing about crime and the public from coming to the aid of the police. The result is that police staffing is suffering, and morale is low. A lack of timely public crime information is undermining our law enforcement. As crime worsens without public knowledge, police ranks are shrinking. Lack of timely information is a contributing factor in the hollowing of our police forces over the past year and one half.

Let me point to the particulars. The state, through the Vermont Crime Information Cente,r used to issue a yearly Crime Report. (See: https://vcic.vermont.gov/content/calendar-years-2010-2019 ). These crime reports stopped being released publicly after 2016. These reports are the basis of what we need (using all 56 crime types in the report). Vermont then moved to an incident reporting system called the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The policing incidents that go into NIBRS are reported to the Department of Justice. The summaries of incidents are only found in the Department of Justice Crime Data Explorer (see: https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/pages/home ). As you can see for Vermont, in the Crime Data Explorer, the last statistics are from 2020. The reason given for the delay is that the particulars of each incident could change once more information is eventually known, so nothing is reported. That’s like me saying I can’t tell you what time the sun rose today because the time will change a few weeks from now. They should report what happened and then revise it, if need be, but they don’t do that anymore.

I would like to think that the Department of Justice is making an honest mistake. Politics should never compromise public safety. But why does it take a year and one half to tabulate crime? The facts are that the system became unavailable six years ago and then was turned off after the national election in 2020.

We know that crime has risen, and many public figures have pushed for police defunding. This makes me inclined to think the delays in crime reporting might not be accidental. We know that crime was at a statewide 10-year high at the beginning of 2021 when Christina Nolan was replaced as U.S. Attorney by then acting U.S. Attorney Jon Ophardt (see: https://www.news10.com/news/vt-news/vermont-public-safety-officials-violent-crime-at-highest-level-in-10-years/ ). The citizens do not know what has happened in Vermont since then.

As a candidate for U.S. Senate one of my primary tasks, if elected, would be coordinate the federal response with the state government to ensure the safety of our citizens. I would radically reform the current system as it now exists. I believe Vermont must control and publish its own statistics, ideally on a quarterly basis, regardless of what the Department of Justice does. If we are to come to grips with the problem, we need to consider a reporting system like Chief Bill Bratton constructed for cleaning up crime in New York City in 1990s. We don’t need to buy new systems necessarily, but we need to adapt what we have. Current and accurate crime information will allow the public to support the police with resources, will restore police staffing, and will improve morale.

The current crime situation in Vermont appears to be worsening rapidly. We don’t have the data to fix it because we no longer have statewide crime summaries through the Department of Justice, whatever the reason for the delay. We need to ensure that Vermont receives the proper and timely reporting of crime statistics so that we can properly address rising crime.

Myers Mermel, True North Reports, June 9th, 2022

We need our flagship university, the University of Vermont (“UVM”), to educate Vermonters and prepare them for higher paying jobs. But as it now stands, UVM exists now primarily to educate out-of-staters. UVM is blocking our children from achieving their full potential by admitting out-of-staters in their place.

UVM, my own alma mater, has made out-of-state money more important than the public education of Vermont. Our public ivy has become a poison ivy. Why are we subsidizing them when they do not help us? It did not used to be this way. At the beginning of the 20th century, over 95% of its classes were made up of Vermont students. By the 1980s, this proportion had fallen to 50%. Today new enrollments of Vermont students in FY2021 are only 18% (see page 10, 11/40 of report.)

In fact, UVM is in violation of its own charter (view the Charter in the Vermont Statutes, Title 16). In the Charter, the full name of UVM is the “University of Vermont and State Agricultural College,” (Title 16, § 1-1., line 3). Notice the mention of “State Agricultural College” in the name; it is a vestige of the land grant status which seems to be forgotten. The Charter states that UVM “shall be recognized and utilized as an instrumentality of the State for providing public higher education” (Title 16, § 1-1., lines 5-6). This is the key language.

By law, UVM is “utilized” in order to provide “public” higher education. This means it is to educate Vermonters — the only people to whom the system is public. UVM is currently not providing “public” education; it is providing “private” education. New enrollments from out-of-staters are at 82% and in-state enrollments are at 18%. UVM is no longer a “public” institution. If the percentages were 51% in-state and 49% out-of-state, then it could be classified as “public.” The vast majority of its students are not from Vermont, and UVM is in violation of its Charter. The public has recourse in the event UVM fails to carry out the requirements of the Charter, through the Vermont Supreme Court, which can vacate the Charter and dissolve the institution (Title 16, § 1-11.). Clearly, the state has the power and the reason to vacate the Charter today. But I will, if elected to the U.S. Senate, effect a compromise which will preserve UVM and return it to its purpose.

UVM no longer serves the state in which it exists rent free on arguably the best piece of land in Vermont. Since it is private it should make a payment for land rent. The days of free rent on our communal land must end if it decides to continue to stay private. Since UVM has made money its priority we should all share in those profits — which have come at the expense of our students who did not get to attend from across the state. UVM has said it is poor for decades. Nothing could be further from the truth. UVM has almost 1,000 acres of land in Burlington and South Burlington, which it carries on its books as worth $29 million. In reality, each acre is worth closer to $13 million (on each acre, 50% lot coverage, FAR of 3, $10 NNN, Cap of 5%). That means the total enterprise value of UVM is closer to $15 billion not including assets like the hospital(s), art collection, and intellectual property/patents.

I am proposing UVM pay an annual payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) of less than 1%. This is not a tax; it is like a synthetic land rent payment. This PILOT would start at $125 million until UVM admits 51% of in-state students, at which point the PILOT would decrease. Of the $125 million PILOT, Chittenden County would receive $60 million, since UVM has paid almost nothing to Chittenden over the centuries for its services. And from the $125 million PILOT, every other of the 13 remaining counties in Vermont would receive $5 million per year. If UVM can’t educate us, it can at least pay us a payment-in-lieu-of-tax. UVM would not be allowed to raise tuition on its students with this PILOT as its tuition is already among the highest in the country. It can afford the PILOT through better management of its resources like land, hospitals, online courses and intellectual property.

We have suffered this injustice for over 40 years. Our children are excluded from their own university. It is time we compel UVM to change. We must insist that our public institutions serve the public interest.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2022

Contact: [email protected]

 

Manchester, Vermont – Former Governor Mike Huckabee and Huck PAC today announce their endorsement of Myers Mermel for U.S. Senate in Vermont. In offering his endorsement, Governor Huckabee cited Mermel’s commitment to fighting high taxes, inflation, high gasoline prices, and high food prices.

“I am pleased to endorse Myers Mermel for the U.S. Senate in Vermont. I have known Myers for fourteen years. He worked on my 2008 campaign, and we even took a trade trip to Japan together to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He is the only conservative I have endorsed in New England so far this cycle because he is the only conservative capable of beating the Democrat party there. He is the clear conservative choice in Vermont.”

“As one who had to run in a state dominated by Democrats (91% of elected officials in AR were Democrats when I ran), I know that you need to run with innovative ideas and be a different kind of conservative that focuses on solving real problems. Myers can be trusted to do this. He is a new kind of conservative.” 

“I ask that all conservatives unite behind Myers because he is our only chance to defeat Peter Welch and his ultra-liberal democrat policies. We cannot afford to split the conservative vote in the primary, nor can we afford to vote for liberal Republicans who will not advance our values. We need to vote to stand squarely behind Myers in the primary so he can take the fight to Peter Welch and win. Myers has the intellect, wisdom and experience needed to be a great Senator.”

“Myers is a strong defender of the Second Amendment for all Vermonters. I know this from the times we have hunted ducks together. Myers is also a strong supporter of law enforcement and will ensure resources are available for them to hire more officers and continue to keep Vermonters safe in the face of rising crime and the removal of resources from the police.”

“Governor Mike Huckabee embodies the conservative principles and values that I have defended over my lifetime,” said Myers Mermel. “In my campaign and if I am elected to be Vermont’s next Senator, I will continue to challenge failed liberal policies which have brought us severe inflation, excessive federal debt, crushing federal regulations, and a likely recession. I will limit the size and scope of government spending, while offering solutions to make Vermont a job creator not a job exporter. I’m grateful for Governor Huckabee’s support and for his efforts in fighting back against an ever-expanding federal government and its inflationary spending.”

Myers Mermel received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont, a Master of Arts in American History from Columbia University, and a Master of Divinity from Yale University. He has had a thirty-five-year career in commercial real estate finance and banking. For more information on Myers Mermel and his campaign for Senate, visit www.myersmermel.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2022

Contact: [email protected]

 

Winooski, Vermont – Appearing today at the VPR-Vermont PBS Republican Primary Debate, Myers Mermel solidified his ideas-driven campaign by laying out a plan to combat inflation and build the Vermont economy. 

Despite the lack of questions on inflation and the economy, Myers used his time to lay out a clear plan to combat these top issues among Americans, and Republican primary voters. “We need to talk about the economy, inflation, fuel prices, heating prices, and about gas prices,” said Myers, “that’s where our emphasis should be on this election.” Continuing, Myers said, “People are hurting, our neighbors are hurting, and no one is helping them.”

If elected, Myers will cut spending, curtail wasteful spending in Congress, and work to strengthen the economy. 

In addition to inflation, Myers has a detailed plan to end skyrocketing fuel and gas prices, secure billions of dollars in a federal microchip investment, and get Vermont’s fair share of federal earmarks. This is a clear contrast to the candidates that voters can see. 

It’s clear the Republican Party is divided, half want to embrace Democratic policies, like Christina,” said Myers about his opponent Christina Nolan, “and the other half want us to return to the party of 100 years ago – neither way will work.

The current Senator for Vermont has left millions on the table – at least $488 million in federal earmarks that were available but not claimed by Vermont. Myers is the only candidate with a detailed plan to secure this and additional funding from the federal government, or to even acknowledge the money that could have gone to social services, schools, and homeless families in Vermont.

With 68 days until the Primary Election, Myers Mermel will continue his ideas-driven campaign showcasing himself as a new kind of conservative. As U.S. Senator, Myers will implement his plans to tackle top issues, like inflation and building the economy, as well as legislation that benefits the state of Vermont by bringing new manufacturing, having UVM educate Vermont citizens and not out-of-staters.

Myers Mermel is a husband, father, and a Methodist. Mermel received a B.A. from the University of Vermont. Mermel holds a masters in American History from Columbia University and a masters in theology from Yale University. Mermel has a 35 year career in Real Estate Finance in New York City, overseeing the relocation of over 300,000 high-paying jobs. Prior to his career in finance, he was a White House intern under George H.W. Bush while attending UVM. Myers Mermel served as a National Finance Chair for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 Presidential run and was on the ground with him through Iowa and South Carolina. He was also New York State Grass Roots Chair for John McCain.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 26, 2022

Contact: [email protected]

 

Manchester, Vermont – Today, Myers Mermel announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Vermont. In his announcement video, Mermel said his goal is to build the Vermont economy and liberate Vermont. Mermel’s vision for Vermont includes: utilizing investment and earmarks from the federal government to jumpstart the economy and make changes in the state economy to prepare it to accept higher paying companies. 

 

From his 4th great-grandfather who fought alongside the Green Mountain Boys to his own graduation from UVM in 1984, Mermel, who currently resides in Manchester, has deep roots in Vermont. 

 

Included here are excerpts from Mermel’s announcement video, or to watch the full video please click here.

 

Mermel on federal issues:

     “I want to stop inflation by curtailing excessive spending.”

     “End skyrocketing gas and fuel prices, by seeking a middle ground between energy independence and climate action.

     “Secure Federal investment for a $2-8 Billion microchip factory.” 

     “Reclaim our fair share of lost earmarks, totalling $488 million this year alone.” 

     “I am firmly in favor of a strong 1st and 2nd amendment, lower prescription drug prices, and increased affordable housing.”

 

Mermel on state issues:

     “On the state side, we [Vermont] need to be in a position to win over higher paying companies when they relocate.” 

     “We need statewide broadband which can be free for 2-3 years and available in weeks if we make a deal with Starlink and stop spending half a billion dollars to dig ditches for an already obsolete fiber network.” 

     “We need our flagship university, UVM, to educate Vermont citizens, not out-of-staters, or it can support us with a payment in lieu of tax, starting at $125 million yearly, with $60 million paid to Chittenden County and $5 million paid to each of the other 13 counties to offset lost opportunities.”

     “We need to make sure we can afford to enjoy what the state has to offer. Because skiing has become too expensive, I am proposing we enact a hospitality transfer tax which will fund approximately 2,800 lift tickets a day free of charge for Vermont residents to ski or snowboard, nearly 338,000 tickets a season, all paid for by out-of-staters.” 

     “I am requiring that scholarship reparations be paid for the eugenics abuses of the past, not out of the public treasury, but by the academic abusers.”

     “Lastly, I want to see Vermont reclaim its place as a national peacemaker in these divided times, as our salvation will come not from national politicians but from ourselves–only love conquers hate.”

 

Myers Mermel is a husband, father, and a Methodist. Mermel holds a masters in American History from Columbia University and a masters in theology from Yale University. Mermel has a 35 year career in Real Estate Finance in New York City, overseeing the relocation of over 300,000 high-paying jobs. Prior to his career in finance, he was a White House intern under George H.W. Bush while attending UVM. Myers Mermel served as a National Finance Chair for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 Presidential run and was on the ground with him through Iowa and South Carolina. He was also New York State Grass Roots Chair for John McCain.

Lack of proper crime data reporting undermining law enforcement in Vermont

Myers Mermel, True North Reports, June 19th, 2022 Like many people, I am very concerned about rising crime in Vermont. I have been speaking to some of the most senior law enforcement officers across our state, who have answered my questions as they would answer the questions of any citizen. I haven’t gotten special treatment, but […]

Read More…

UVM should make land rent payment until it educates Vermonters once again

Myers Mermel, True North Reports, June 9th, 2022 We need our flagship university, the University of Vermont (“UVM”), to educate Vermonters and prepare them for higher paying jobs. But as it now stands, UVM exists now primarily to educate out-of-staters. UVM is blocking our children from achieving their full potential by admitting out-of-staters in their place. […]

Read More…

Governor Mike Huckabee And Huck PAC Endorse Myers Mermel For U.S. Senate In Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 6, 2022 Contact: [email protected]   Manchester, Vermont – Former Governor Mike Huckabee and Huck PAC today announce their endorsement of Myers Mermel for U.S. Senate in Vermont. In offering his endorsement, Governor Huckabee cited Mermel’s commitment to fighting high taxes, inflation, high gasoline prices, and high food prices. “I am pleased […]

Read More…

Myers Mermel Lays Out Clear Plan To Combat Inflation And Build Vermont’s Economy In U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 2, 2022 Contact: [email protected]   Winooski, Vermont – Appearing today at the VPR-Vermont PBS Republican Primary Debate, Myers Mermel solidified his ideas-driven campaign by laying out a plan to combat inflation and build the Vermont economy.  Despite the lack of questions on inflation and the economy, Myers used his time to […]

Read More…

Myers Mermel Announces His Candidacy for U.S. Senate in Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 26, 2022 Contact: [email protected]   Manchester, Vermont – Today, Myers Mermel announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Vermont. In his announcement video, Mermel said his goal is to build the Vermont economy and liberate Vermont. Mermel’s vision for Vermont includes: utilizing investment and earmarks from the federal government to jumpstart […]

Read More…