Town Meeting and City Council
I attended the recent Ward 5 NPA candidates’ forum and was impressed by Charles Simpson. I thought he had the clearest critique of the current state of the city and the most detailed proposals for moving forward.
I’m voting this year for change in Burlington. The proposed downtown development project is, in my opinion, out of scale for our city and I fear it will only lead to future scale-distorting projects. I’d say it was the edge of the wedge, but that distinction should go to the Westlake development. The Sinex project also further concentrates development on a few blocks of Church Street, to the detriment of other commercially zoned areas. Mr. Simpson expressed several ideas to spread development around the city, which I think is more appropriate.
Second, I think Burlington’s behavior in regard to the South Burlington neighborhood around the airport has been nothing short of shameful. To see a working-class neighborhood (literally) bulldozed by powerful interests will be remembered as we now remember the foolish destruction of our city’s Little Italy neighborhood. As in that case, the airport neighborhood will likely be turned over to developers.
Third, I miss Police Chief Mike Schirling. He was my idea of what a peace officer should be. I hung my head in shame (again) when I read the recent stories of a Burlington police officer perjuring himself, apparently to boost his arrest numbers.
Finally, I read in Seven Days that Joan Shannon has hired another city councilor, Adam Roof, to perform work for her campaign and cannot seem to understand how this is a conflict of interest. (“He sends an invoice; we pay it. Done,” she said. “There is no more expected from either side.”) If, after her many years on the city council, that is Ms. Shannon’s understanding of ethics, it’s past time for her to go.