Recently I was interviewed by the Burlington Free Press for coverage of the candidates running for Ward 4 City Council. Here are the questions they asked, and my responses to each question.
How long have you lived in your ward? In Burlington? In Vermont?
I have been living in Ward 4 for about 6 years, and in Burlington for most of my 43 years.
Previous political or civic experience?
I have the community experience which helps with the transition to the City Council. I was appointed by the City Council to serve on the Housing Board of Review for the 2003-2006 term, and a second term in 2009-2013, and reappointed in 2013. I’ve also served the community as a member of the NPA. I was a member of the Wards 2/3 NPA in 2003-2004 and the Ward 4/7 NPA from 2010-2012.
I was elected by the voters of ward 3 to serve the following positions:
- Ward clerk 2002-2004
- School board 2004-2006
- I have also worked several elections as a Ward 4 polling place worker.
Is there a particular issue that inspired you to run for office this year?
The city council has lost it’s energy and sense of direction. I want to work to get the City Council back on track so we can get the Cities financial situation fixed like the pension plan that is mentioned every election cycle, but not addressed. It is time for the city council to deal with these problems that hurt the city. I will be that candidate who will get the City Council moving again and working for you.
What issues in Burlington don’t get enough attention from city government, in your opinion?
As the only candidate who opposed to the tax increases, I believe we need to sell Burlington Telecom to the cooperative group, it will help get us back on track. When I am elected, I will personally review each city department to look for wasteful
Where should the city cut back on spending, if at all?
It is getting too expensive to live in Burlington and the Council is not addressing these issues. That is why I am calling for a financial summit to get the city together with school department, business community and landlords to get the city on track to a healthier credit rating. We can also use this summit to get rid of any ordinances that hinder business growth and
landlords ability to build more affordable housing, as the ordinaces also hurt the rights of tax paying citizens.
How many City Council meetings have you attended in the last six months? What impressed you about those meetings? What concerned you?
I have not been able to attend City Council meeting because of my commitments to the Housing Board of Review but I have keeping my eye on the council, and my concern is that our council seems to be all over the place with no direction. Instead of working on our financial situation they have been taking our rights away. I want to get the council organized by having 9 month sessions and having all of the city council committees come up with their yearly goals, this will help give the focus needed. I am the only city council candidate who has a plan to get things moving.
How would you like to see North Avenue improved? The waterfront?
North Avenue is a mess and the city needs to be addressing the problems with roads and sidewalks. I will be the city councilor who will make the New North End the number one priority. Burlington needs a City Councilor who is creative and compassionate. A councilor who does his research. I will be that councilor.