Burlington LP News – June 2005

Burlington LP NEWS


June 2005

Sponsored by
The Burlington Libertarian Party



1. From the Chair
2. Preservation and Conformity Triumph Over Affordable Housing
3. Forced Medication in Burlington
4. Legislators and the Drinking Age Bill
5. Burlington Libertarians in Action
6. Libertarian Humor
7. Quote of the Month
8. Letters to the Editor/ Submit an Article


From the chair…

This is our third newsletter. We will to provide you notice of current issues facing Burlingtonians, views of other Burlington Libertarians, notices of events of interest, and more.

In this issue will be covering the affordable housing problem in Burlington, Fluoridation of city water and the drinking age bill. I hope you enjoy the newsletter. Please feel free to send me your comments, suggestions and your own letters and articles to be included in future issues.

In Liberty,

Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Burlington Libertarian Party
contact me


Affordable HousingPreservation and Conformity Triumph Over Affordable Housing.
By Jeremy Ryan

If you ask anyone in Burlington what they believe are the biggest problems in Burlington, affordable housing will most likely be at the top of the list. Recently, through public input three major barriers have emerged as causing this problem. These barriers to affordable housing are:


  • Allowable density does not reflect actual capacity to build.
  • Zoning and ordinances are intrusive and unpredictable.
  • Increasing property tax burdens.


A good start to correcting the problem would be enacting a local “anti-snob” ordinance similar to the Massachusetts law (Chapter 40B). In 1969, the Legislature adopted “anti-snob” legislation to make it easier to develop affordable housing throughout the state, especially in communities with little low- and moderate-income housing. This law allows the State to override local zoning restrictions in such communities if needed to allow for the development of low- and moderate-income housing. Burlington to enact similar zoning. Actually, Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) is already considering it by investigating it further. CEDO understands that the city’s current housing policies need to change.

It’s quite obvious that excessive zoning and ordinances inflate the pricing of housing in the city. I’ve lived in communities where zoning and ordinances were very minimal and I was able to get housing for $235/month (utilities included). In the same building, rooms went for $190 month. These were completely private units, no government subsidies.

The city’s current policy of increasing housing standards and code enforcement just makes the costs of housing go up and up. While these policies are targeted at landlords, they only hurt our most vulnerable citizen’s with increasing rental costs associated with keeping up with city regulations.

At a recent planning commission meeting, it was stated that Vermont’s use of zoning is to “preserve our communities” and to ensure “conformity”. This suggests that “truely” affordable housing is not a goal and they intend to use zoning to work against affordable housing. This allows the community to send poorer residents out of their neighborhoods and into one location, such as Northgate in Ward 4, where they can be subsidized by section 8. When a politician says they are for affordable housing but are for increasing “preservation” and “conformity” zoning in their neighborhoods, they are saying that “yes, I believe we should have affordable housing in the city… just not in my backyard… put “them” somewhere else.”


Fluoridation of waterForced Medication in Burlington
By Jeremy Ryan

An increasing number of individuals are not happy with public water fluoridation. The opposition believes it is very unsafe and should be stopped. The American Dental Association believes it should be forced upon the entire population despite possible harm to people drinking large amounts of tap water or people who get large amounts of fluoride in many other products they consume in their daily lives such as cereals, juices, soda, tea, beer, processed chicken, seafood, etc. I believe it’s extremely difficult for the city to ensure a proper fluoride dosage, as each individual has a different diet. People ask “why does the ADA support it if it’s dangerous?” It’s Simple. They would be admitting they were wrong all these years, losing credibility, and facing possible lawsuits, similar to the FDA and Vioxx.

The “experts” from the pro fluoride side are disrespectful towards citizens when they make comments such as “the lay person doesn’t know better to make good decisions about proper health and sometimes personal liberties need to be given up for their own good… we do it all the time, as with the city’s recent smoking bans.” This is insulting and they don’t give the people enough credit. It’s wrong to take away “personal liberties” for “our own good”. The city often acts as our parents and they are not. They are employed by us to serve us, not to parent us. In conclusion, the city needs to stop the forced medication of fluoride and let the individual decide.

The Burlington Citizens Coalition is taking a stand on the issue and is educating the public on why the public should at least have the right to choose. Michael Connett of FluorideAlert.org has joined the effort of the Burlington Citizens Coalition and has offered to give presentations to NPA groups and public forums.

For more information on the fluoride debate:

Pro Fluoride: http://www.ada.org
Opposition: http://www.fluoridealert.org
Burlington Citizens Coalition: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BurlingtonCitizensCoalition/


Drinking Age Bill Legislators and the Drinking Age Bill
By Jeremy Ryan

At the last NYRA-Vermont executive board meeting we discussed some of the letters our organization has received from legislators regarding the drinking age bill we are lobbying for.

Interestingly, a good portion, including Governor Jim Douglas, do actually support lowering the drinking age to 18 in theory, but are not willing to part with the $9.8 million bribe in federal highway funds. The only condition is that we must violate the rights of our youth by not allowing them to consume alcohol and punish adults that wish to introduce alcohol to their children in the safety of their homes or restaurant setting.

We have argued that this loss is only 1/4 of 1% of Vermont’s entire budget, which is a small cost to end age discrimination of citizens that have reached the age of majority, which means they can enter contracts, vote, drive, own businesses, but just can have a little beer. We also support removing penalties on parents, so they can teach their teens responsible and moderate drinking behavior in restaurants, pubs, and in their homes, like in Europe. The government has stated that 18 is the age majority… this means they are adults with every right an adult is supposed to have. To say they cannot have a beer just seems hypocritical. Besides, the money most likely would not be an issue as we could easily make up the funds by the increased revenue from alcohol taxes.

Another argument we’ve heard lately are studies show alcohol hurts brain development in youth. These studies being quoted are based on children binge drinking. Not occasional drinking with a meal or social drinking. The FDA has stated that people 12 and up can consume adult dosages of most drugs/medications. This would suggest that anyone 12 and older is capable of handling alcohol at correct dosages, whether you are 18 or 25 or 75 years old. Just check the instructions of a bottle of aspirin or Pepsid and see for yourself.

Disclosure: Jeremy Ryan serves at Treasurer and Webmaster for NYRA-Vermont.


Burlington Libertarians in Action… (upcoming events)


  • June 13th 2005, 7PM
    Burlington City Council Meeting
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium.


  • June 14th 2005, 7PM
    Q & A with EPA with Dr. William Hirzy, EPA
    Will be held at Burlington College.



  • June 15th 2005, 6:30PM
    Burlington Board of Health Public debate on Fluoridation of water
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium



  • June 22nd 2005, 7PM
    Panel dicussion regarding the Death Penalty in Vermont
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium



  • June 23rd 2005, 6:30PM
    Burlington Board of Health Public forum on Fluoridation of water
    City Hall’s Contois Auditorium



  • June 27th 2005, 7PM
    Burlington City Council Meeting
    Will be held at City Hall’s Contois Auditorium





Libertarian Humor…

Real ID Bill


Quote of the Month…

“Few of us seem to want to keep government out of our personal affairs and responsibilities. Many of us seem to favor various types of government guaranteed and compulsory “security.” We say that we want personal freedom, but we demand government housing, government price controls, government-guaranteed jobs and wages. We boast that we are responsible persons, but we vote for candidates who promise us special privileges, government pensions, government subsidies, and government electricity.”
– Dean Russell


Letters to the editor/ submit an article

For information or to submit news, letters, or articles, contact us .


Burlington LP News is a publication of the Burlington Libertarian Party, 53 Avenue C, Burlington, VT 05401. All Rights Reserved. Copyright (C) 2005.

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