Robin learned to walk and talk in Vermont and New Hampshire. He acquired his many practical skills growing up on a farm in western New York state. He attended Hamilton College, then worked as a builder overseas and a sailor on the seas, and was a partner at Hicks Orchard in Granville New York before moving back to Vermont to raise his family. Since 1991 the Chesnut-Tangermans have lived in Middletown Springs where Robin operated Talisman Woodwork, a remodeling business, for 27 years. He now works as a licensed home inspector for Pillar to Post, based in Dorset.
In addition to design and building, Robin has extensive experience in renewable energy (20 years as an organizer of SolarFest, including 10 years booking performers and speakers), and has written a column in the Rutland Herald/Times Argus for a decade.
Robin is now in his third term as Representative, and serves as ranking member on the Energy and Technology Committee.
In addition, Robin serves as Chair of the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules which meets year round, and is Leader of the House Progressive Caucus, the only third party caucus in the country.
Robin served on the Middletown Springs Select Board for 10 years, on the Fire Department for 11, was President of the town library board, and currently serves on the Town Building and Town Energy Committees. Adding to his BA, Robin holds a degree in Mediation from Woodbury College and is a Vermont licensed teacher in high school social studies. Robin and his wife Melissa homeschooled their two daughters Jeni and Malindi from 1991-2003. He taught at-risk youth at The Smokey House Center in Danby from 2014-2016, and has served as adjunct faculty at Green Mountain College in the Renewable Energy and Ecological Design Program (REED).
Melissa, Jeni, and Malindi are completely supportive of his candidacy, understanding that Robin’s intelligence and grasp of facts and issues, great memory (except for names), open mind and voice-of-reason diplomatic skills make him an excellent representative for our district.
In the 2017-2018 session I was lead or co-sponsor on 60 different bills., which can be found here: legislature.vermont.gov/people/single/2018.1/23999. Topics ranged from from minimum wage to automobile inspections, to creation of a state bank and regenerative agriculture.
In addition I authored amendments on topics from the Education Fund to pollinator protection and Tax Increment Finance Districts.
As leader of the House Progressive Caucus I met weekly with the Speaker and the Democratic and Republican caucuses to discuss upcoming legislation and which issues would be contentious.
In addition to my regular Energy and Technology Committee and leadership duties I was also appointed to the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR), which meets year around to review all new rules drafted by state agencies.
In all of these roles I work hard to advance sensible solutions to make Vermonter’s lives better.
One of the paradoxes of the legislature is that often the more you speak the less you are heard. Colleagues have commented that there are many legislators who speak, but fewer who are actually listened to. Keeping my floor speeches short and direct have put me in the second category.