ABOUT ARTHUR GIBB
Arthur Gibb dedicated much of his life to ensuring that Vermont is a better place for future generations of Vermonters. Beginning his public service as a “fence viewer” in the town of Weybridge, Arthur went on to serve his community and state in countless ways until his death in 2005 at the age of 97. Arthur was first elected to the Vermont Legislature in 1962, where he chaired the House Natural Resources Committee. He was deeply involved in passing legislation to ban billboards, enact the state’s bottle deposit law, regulate junk yards and modernize statutes governing local and regional planning. As a legislator, Arthur helped establish Vermont’s emerging reputation for environmental awareness.
Governor Deane Davis appointed Arthur to chair the Governor’s Commission on Environmental Control, commonly referred to as the “Gibb Commission.” The commission worked over the summer of 1969, holding many public hearings. The result of their work was Act 250, Vermont’s pioneering land use law.
In 1971, Arthur moved to the Vermont Senate, and served successively as Chair of the Natural Resources and Finance Committees. He was held in esteem for creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and building consensus. When he took a position on an issue, there was never a doubt that he was motivated by the best interests of Vermont. At the end of his lengthy service in the Legislature, his colleagues spontaneously found the funds to commission his portrait. The painting – one of only four on the Statehouse walls that do not honor former governors or generals – is testimony to his imprint on Vermont history.
First appointed by Governor Madeleine Kunin, Arthur served for twelve years on the Vermont Environmental Board, including a year as Chair at the age of 86 after which he continued as a member for several years. By serving on the Board, which was charged with the administration of Act 250 as well as hearing appeals of Act 250 cases, Arthur demonstrated his ongoing commitment to maintaining Vermont’s reputation for healthy communities and a clean environment.
SELECTING AN INDIVIDUAL
Each year a selection committee of Arthur Gibb’s family and colleagues as well as community leaders gathers to review the nominees. The committee is looking for an individual whose leadership, vision and courage has brought about positive and lasting change in the way their community or our state integrates growth and conservation. The following characteristics, also hallmarks of Arthur Gibb, are considered:
- Leadership and the ability to motivate others around shared goals related to community planning, and the preservation of Vermont’s landscape, unique sense of place, and economic well-being.
- Commitment to Public Service, including a willingness to work for change without compensation or personal consideration.
- Vision to recognize the challenges facing Vermont’s environment, landscape and communities now and in the future, and understand how those challenges can best be addressed through public policy and personal initiative.
- Creativity in crafting innovative solutions, policies and programs that maintain Vermont’s community life and unique sense of place.
- The ability to Balance competing interests in order to forge consensus and build bridges between those holding opposing views.
- Integrity and steadfastness in public service that earns the respect of colleagues, neighbors and diverse interest groups.
- Humility, expressed through respect for others, including those holding opposing viewpoints, and a willingness to work cooperatively and share recognition for accomplishments.
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