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March 18, 2024

In Memoriam: Timothy Y. Hayward

My best friend Tim Hayward died early Sunday morning. Over the last 50 years, he has been the greatest force for good and effective government in Vermont that you never heard of. He has done more for Vermont and all of us here than most people you hear about daily. Governor Phil Scott’s statement this morning gives the highlights:

“I join so many Vermonters in mourning the passing of our friend Tim Hayward. Tim was a true giant of quiet, selfless service, and he worked every single day to do his part and then some. 

“He was a proud marine, legislator, and senior advisor to many – including Governor Snelling, Congressman Smith, Congressman Mallory, Senator Jeffords – and for 8 years he served as Chief of Staff for Governor Douglas.

“Tim’s most important acts of service, however, were not the many senior positions he held, or officials he advised. His very best work – work he clearly loved – was his mentorship to so many other public servants, who were taught by Tim and who benefited from his example. His impact on our state does not end with him, but will live on for generations to come.

“I was so fortunate that, after being elected Governor myself, Tim agreed to lead the transition team. He helped lay a strong foundation in this Administration.  And he prepared my team for the road ahead.  Always with the rigor and discipline of an old marine, the wisdom of a great coach and the principled heart of the servant citizen.

“I offer my sincerest condolences to his wife Susan, his three children Nathanial, Heidi and Zak, and all of his beloved family and friends.

“In honor of his legacy and service, I have ordered the Vermont State Flag to fly at half-staff on the day of his services.”

Tim was the behind-the-scenes detail person in both the Snelling and Douglas administrations. He was the master of constructive principled compromise. He was the frank and honest voice that political leaders usually don’t hear.

Most people in politics gravitate to wherever a camera is pointing; Tim assiduously hid from attention. It was never about him.

Both Snelling and Douglas had more national influence than you would think a Vermont governor would have, largely through their leadership positions in the National and Republican Governors Associations. Their influence, which was both good for Vermont and good for the country, owed much to the respect that Tim earned from the staff of these organizations and the staff of other governors (and Canadian premiers).

I had the good fortune to work with Tim during parts of both the Snelling and the Douglas Administration. But it wasn’t just luck that got me there. Tim decided that there were jobs that I would be helpful at, convinced the governors to offer them to me, and told me I had no choice but to take a furlough from the private sector. Once I was in the positions, he did his best to help me do what needed doing.

We hiked the Worcester and Manfield ranges with three generations of dogs. I miss Tim Hayward terribly; so will Vermont.

Tim would want me to thank the staff at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vt who did a wonderful and caring job through the ordeal of the marine’s last battle for both him and his family. Thank you.

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