June 13, 2005 – City Council Meeting

7PM, Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall- Burlington City Council Meeting


** Councilor missing: Perry (2nd week in a row)

Council General City Affairs:


  • Fiermonte: Attended the rally of workers at Specialty Filaments last weekend, it was a result of ‘poor trade policy’; Bernie Sanders is working to fix the policy
  • Keogh: Man from 4 years ago proposed a smoking ban for Burlington, and back then even Mark Lawson approved of the measure

Mayor General City Affairs:


  • Jazzfest a successful memorial to Big Joe; thanks City Arts for their work
  • Saturday, June 18th 10AM a dedication at ECHO for veterans of Navy from the American Revolution
  • Mayor’s conference in Chicago; had a budget cutting portion in the conference; Clavelle proposed a greenhouse gas action plan, which was unanimously supported
  • Substance abuse: the Chittenden County Substance Abuse coalition brings the community together to deal with the issue; there will be 2 upcoming meetings: 28th 8:30-11AM, and 30th from 5:30-8:30PM; expects a resolution will come from the meetings
  • City Atty McNeil represented Burlington at the Baltimore/Burlington exchange: program between parks and recreation departments that have children from each community visit the other; Burlington hasn’t been involved in the program for several years, so McNeil was surprised to receive an invitation to the event.

Committee reports:


  • Charter change (Knodell): Meeting on 22nd from 10AM-Noon about Instant runoff, voter education campaign, and ballots for March’s mayoral race
  • Ordinance (Montroll): Meeting on 14th at 7PM about zoning rewrite, city employee union ordinance, and comments about the ordinance by City Atty McNeil

Community Safety Task Force Resolution (Blais, Keogh, & Wright)


  • Blais: (Forgot motion to approve of resolution) Community Justice center and other agencies out there become more organized because of this resolution to start a community safety task force
  • McDonough: Women’s coalition removed from the task force listing? Yes

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors (Fire Dept, Public works dept- inspection srvcs division)


  • Montroll: Council asked the ordinance committee to make a resolution for the item; convinced state’s new law doesn’t cover it completely; motions to refer it back to ordinance committee, expected back in a few weeks
  • Bushor: Doesn’t have Gene Bergman’s letter about the proposed ordinance; single family residences should also be included with the ordinance as well
  • McDonough: CO detectors not in Code enforcement, and should be included

Public Forum:


  • Reappointment of Norman Williams to the Planning Commission

    • Robert Daniels (S. Prospect st): conflict of interest between candidates for planning commission; council should make their choice off of issues and how they are handled
    • Barbara McGrane (St. Paul st): downtown resident; conflict of interest
    • Solva Gordon (Walnut st): he reads all the ordinances before making a decision
    • Also speaking on this issue: David Resniak, Cathy Donn, Faith Baker, Mark Stevenson

  • Greenbelt ordinance

    • Donna Vister (Peru st): of 120 only 5 in her neighborhood are up to the proposed ordinance’s standards; people should be educated citizens; recently received a letter from CEDO encouraging the greenbelt gardening
    • Genivive Jacobs (representing Barbara from Scrumptious): Barbara would not be able to place her planter flower boxes on the sidewalk in front of her cafe because of the proposed ordinance
    • Also speaking on this issue: Jules (Wd 5 Steering Committee member), Jim Flint (Friends of Burlington Gardens)

Fiscal Year 2006 Budget presentation by Clavelle & Kelleher


  • Clavelle: Thanks Board of Finance, department heads, and Assessor Vickery for their hard work in budget; (Kelleher looks impatient to speak); seniors on fixed incomes don’t have anything to worry about (income under $40k); encourages revisiting local option sales tax possibly by appealing to the legislature
  • Blais: Thanks the board of Finance for mentioning fixed income residents; any idea on Northgate’s value? Unsure
  • Montroll: Commercial dispute update? Broadly speaking, the appeals process brought the values down including some commercial apartments
  • Knodell: (as Legacy Project steering committee chair): Staffing decrease in the legacy project steering committee, currently they are mostly funded by donations, would like the city’s support and ongoing support Clavelle agrees to support in range of $20-40k
  • Keogh: How will the budget affect average taxpayers?
  • George: Will the city educate the public about possible tax rate increase? possibly place info up on the website?

Commission reports


  • Airport Commission report placed on a subsequent agenda
  • Conservation board: busy with development review currently

    • Bushor: Should hear how the board uses money from the city on open space areas, and not just from the chair; what about the storm/waste water process? Person putting in posts on their land does affect the runoff, and they hope to correct that

  • Parks and Recreation Commission:

    • Barbara Nolte: Greenbelt ordinance stance isn’t what the public thinks (from the public forum comments); Gosse facility has no plans yet, just repairing it at the moment
    • Blais: How much would parks and recreation lose if they honored the Green Mountain park passes? Also sorry about the cuts to the parks and recreation budget Neither Barbara or Wayne Gross do not know

  • Public Works Commission: (will update the website soon and meeting schedule as well)


    • Bushor: thanks the board for changing the report format, it’s much more informative than last years
    • Blais: follow-up on the Winooski river leak? Will be permanently repairing the break this summer & will be borrowing from the state to fix the break
    • Resolutions from Board of Health for borrowing authority:


      • Water resources, wastewater & traffic divisions of Dept. of public works and the Burlington International Airport and the Burlington Electric dept.

Communication from City Atty McNeil re: Pending litigation
Council moves to executive session, requests any members from development review board and parks and recreation staff stay for session

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