In Newport: Scott performs everyday job at country club

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott helps a grounds crew at the Newport Country Club clear grass and spread new sand in a bunker between the ninth and eighteenth fairways.  “He knows how to use a shovel,” joked head golf professional Kim O’Neil.  “You can tell he’s done this before.” Photos by Micaela Bedell.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott helps a grounds crew at the Newport Country Club clear grass and spread new sand in a bunker between the ninth and eighteenth fairways. “He knows how to use a shovel,” joked head golf professional Kim O’Neil. “You can tell he’s done this before.” Photos by Micaela Bedell.

by Micaela Bedell

NEWPORT — Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott continued his tour of “everyday” Vermont jobs on Wednesday, June 19, by working alongside the grounds crew at the Newport Country Club (NCC).

Mr. Scott helped the crew from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., focusing primarily on spreading new sand and cleaning unwanted grass from the sand bunker between the ninth and eighteenth fairways.

When NCC board treasurer Sharon Booth first invited the lieutenant governor at the annual North Country Chamber of Commerce meeting in late May, she was half-joking.

“When he said, sure!  I didn’t think he was serious,” Ms. Booth said.  “But then he called and we were setting things up.”

Head golf professional Kim O’Neil said it was refreshing to have a politician pull through on something like this.

“Very rarely do you see this from a politician,” he said.  “He’s here for a full four hours today.  I offered to let him work in the pro shop, and he said he’d rather work outside.  You can trust we’ll put him to work.”

Good news for Lieutenant Governor Scott, because work is exactly the point of his “Vermont Everyday Jobs Tour.”  He described it as “taking a pulse of Vermont” by seeing different aspects of multiple industries, all the while learning what people are feeling and what pressures they do — or don’t — have.

“I’m a bit of a hands-on learner,” he said with a laugh.  “Always have been.”

The lieutenant governor has also installed utility lines with Green Mountain Power, made rounds at the emergency room in Porter Hospital in Middlebury, and taught spelling and reading comprehension to Union Memorial Elementary School second-graders in Colchester.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott (far right) listens to Newport Country Club Superintendent Ryan McCaffrey (center) explain how to clear a sand bunker as his co-workers for the day get started.  Pictured, from left, are Dylan Bohlman, Denis Comeau, Mr. McCaffrey, Laurent Leblanc Jr. and Lieutenant Governor Scott.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott (far right) listens to Newport Country Club Superintendent Ryan McCaffrey (center) explain how to clear a sand bunker as his co-workers for the day get started. Pictured, from left, are Dylan Bohlman, Denis Comeau, Mr. McCaffrey, Laurent Leblanc Jr. and Lieutenant Governor Scott.

Lieutenant Governor Scott said he thinks it should be easier for everyday Vermonters to feel represented by their politicians, and by working beside them he hopes to also hear them. The consensus from the crew and staff was that he did.

“He’s a guy that listens, and listens to both sides,” said four-year crew member and four-hour co-worker Denis Comeau.  “I like that.”

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