Tim Ashe is back in state government — not as an elected official, but as an employee.
State Auditor Doug Hoffer announced Tuesday that he has hired Ashe, a former president pro tempore of the Vermont Senate, as deputy auditor.
In an email to VTDigger, Ashe said he was “really excited to be joining Doug’s team.”
“Anyone who’s watched me in action over the years knows that while I care very much about the big picture, I’ve always paired that with diving into the details of government spending and policies,” Ashe said. “The Auditor’s Office is a really great fit for my experience, and I’m grateful to Doug for trusting me with the Deputy role.”
The 44-year-old affordable housing developer served as a Progressive member of the Burlington City Council from 2004 to 2008. He was elected to the state Senate as a Democrat/Progressive that year and later chaired the powerful Senate Finance Committee. Ashe took over as president pro tem in 2017 — a position he held until leaving the Senate in January.
Ashe ran for lieutenant governor last year but lost to political newcomer Molly Gray in the Democratic primary.
“The central concern of the auditor’s office is making sure that Vermonters’ tax dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively,” Hoffer said in a written statement. “Tim brings both a policymaking and practitioner’s eye to that work.”
Ashe replaces outgoing Deputy Auditor Andrew Stein, who has taken a job with the Department of Taxes. Ashe will make $90,000 a year — roughly $10,000 less than Stein did — according to Hoffer. Stein brought more experience to the post, Hoffer explained.
Ashe and Hoffer have long been political allies and both got their start in Vermont politics working for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. — Ashe as an aide to Sanders in the U.S. House and Hoffer as a policy analyst in Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office when Sanders was mayor.
In his email to VTDigger, Ashe noted that this wouldn’t be the first time he and Hoffer have worked together.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been about fifteen years since Doug and I worked together to require all Burlington city departments to produce annual performance measurement reports!” Ashe said.
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