Elbert “Al” Moulton, the man credited with keeping billboards out of Vermont and creating the state’s captive insurance industry, has died.
Moulton died Sunday at his Townshend home. He was 85. The cause of death was not released.
Moulton served as state economic development chief under four governors: two Republicans, Deanne C. Davis and Richard Snelling and two Democrats, Phil Hoff and Madeleine Kunin.
“He wanted to cut through the politics and get to what was good for Vermont,” said his daughter, Patricia Moulton-Powden, now the deputy secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
His goals included seeking good paying jobs for Vermonters and protecting Vermont’s environment by helping to create the state’s land development law known as Act 250 and the state’s ban on billboards to help protect the state’s scenery.
“Al Moulton created the bar for economic development in Vermont, leaving a lasting impact on the way we invite new people and businesses to our state while still preserving what we treasure about Vermont,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Al essentially created our captive insurance industry, helped establish regional development corporations, brought jobs to the state and kept billboards out. Al Moulton’s contribution to Vermont will be felt for generations.”
Moulton majored in journalism at the University of Maine. He worked as a reporter for the Bangor Daily Newspaper and as editor for the weekly Republican Journal in Belfast, Maine.
Former Gov. Phil Hoff hired Moulton, who was vice president of the Greater Lawrence, Mass. Chamber of Commerce, to be Vermont’s economic development chief on Sept. 1, 1964.
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