Feb 23, 2005 – UVM SSDP

5:30PM, Lafayette Hall: Room 210 – UVM Students for a Sensible Drug Policy Meeting

Planning of UVM April 20th Rally, re-starting Monthly Movie Night, annual budget, and other events.

Hardy currently has an online petition running for the reform of Marijuana Laws within Vermont:

[Petition Removed]

Also another petition for lowering the legal drinking age within Vermont:

[Petition Removed]

Feel free to let your voice be heard!

Jan 31, 2005 – Board of Finance meeting

6PM, First Floor Conference Room #12, City Hall – Board of Finance meeting

**Councilor Knodell in audience, arrives 20 minutes late

Mayor Clavelle called meeting to order
Agenda items: 1) 2006 Budget and 2) 1% Sales tax

2006 Budget & 1% Sales Tax:



  • No programs have been added or taken away

  • Contracts with Fire, Police are a 3 year length

  • There is a current gap of $105,000 (including the sales tax which would generate an estimate of $1.6 Million with 75% property tax of $1.2 Million

  • Property tax relief program: those that make $47,000 and lower will not be affected by the reappraisal; those below the $47,000 will receive relief from state education program

  • The $47,000 level is determined by the state, not the city (those above $88,000 would not receive any assistance)

  • The number of people not taking advantage of the property tax relief are not completely accurate

  • $.99 of the $1.05 tax rate is revenue neutral

  • Clavelle refers to Williston as an example of how the sales tax can help the community in property tax relief; also Clavelle suggests increasing property tax to make up for the gap if sales tax isn’t approved by the voters or is delayed

  • Kelleher doesn’t think 100% of the relief would be realistic, with regards to the level of services provided by the city

Comments or Questions from Audience and board:


  • Leslie of the Burlington Business Association: Any tax is a concern for the members, they’d like the revenue generated go into the general fund

  • Curley: How many employees are retiring? Are there any fees coming in from Fletcher Allen? What are the rates of the Electric Department?

  • Bushor: Feels it should apply as multiple year instead of just for FY 2006, an does not need to be in the charter

  • Montroll: Feels it should be applied as one year and then re-neogtiated after this year

  • Sales tax: how to get the information about the tax to the public; Kelleher is attending all the NPAs in February, and will be on Ch. 17 on the week of 2/14

  • There are eight questions on the sample ballots

Meeting adjourned at 7:30PM

Feb 22, 2005 – City Council Meeting

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

**Councilor late: (5 mins) – Sharon Bushor, Ward 1 and (15 mins) – Jane Knodell, Ward 2
Councilor absent: Carleton, Ward 1

City Councilors General City Affairs


  • Councilor Curley: Supports Councilor Bushor’s re-election, she has done a lot of work to help the council
  • Councilor Knodell: Appreciates donation of money from Citizen’s Bank to the community
  • Councilor Knodell: Texas Hold Em Tournament at Nectar’s on 2/20 low key, professional
  • Councilor Ashe: YMCA forum at Barnes, 7PM
  • Councilor Blais: Ethan Allen tower celebration on August 13th

Mayors General City Affairs


  • Absentee ballots available for those unable to make it to the polls on March 1st; Adelphia’s monopoly on Burlington will no longer be, city looking into offering service for Burlington

Public Forum


  • Rep. Mark Lawson: The intersection at Rte. 127 and North Avenue needs to be modified, as it is dangerous to pedestrians
  • Winston LaPase Jr.: In the pledge to the flag, the charges against Chris Smith are unjust, and there was no purchase of alcohol for a minor
  • Robert Bussiere: Tear down Moran and place a replica of the Main station paid with a thirty year bond
  • Tim Rollings: Thanks the council for their time and work on Moran
  • Diane Garron: YMCA is flip-floping on benefits to city, Knodell & O’Sullivan if they had it their way, it would not have been voted on (O’Sullivan nods in agreement)
  • Kevin Ryan: Doesn’t want the YMCA there, a recreation center should be there instead
  • Judy Stephanie: Believes the smoking ban should stay in effect as it is
  • Fred (Elks member): Elk organization isn’t private, but a fraternal organization
  • Jim Robar (St. Johns Club): club wasn’t notified of any meeting, even though they were told they would be
  • Lauren (St Johns Club): Smokers choose to be there, no facts about the employees, and the ban is tyranny
  • Frank: What’s next? Guess the councilors know better than citizens do

Smoking ban:


  • Councilor Keogh: Simply will not change mind about the ban, because he doesn’t like smoking… it isn’t a right, but a public health issue
  • Councilor Shannon requests a recess, approved by Montroll
    (During the ‘5 minute’ recess the councilors huddled into 2 groups:
    Group 1- O’Sullivan, Keogh, Shannon, Montroll, then 2 mins later: Bushor and Ellis
    Group 2- Clavelle, Fiermonte, Curley, Knodell, Ashe, and Donovan)
  • Councilors against reconsidering ban altogether: Blais and O’Sullivan (ward 7)
  • Keogh: postpone until the next meeting: March 7th, 2nded by Councilor Shannon

    • Councilor Blais opposed postponement

Presentation on Housing Targets postponed until next meeting

Meeting adjourned at 9:08PM

~*~ Vice Chair’s side note:
Hardy Machia
has an online petition for those against any smoking ban within Vermont:

http://freevermont.org/cgi-bin/petition.cgi?Oppose_the_Smoking_Ban_in_VT

-Also, the Free Press had an article up on Monday about the possible statewide Smoking Ban in Vermont bars, the committees in Montpelier are requesting the public speak up about tonight (Feb 24th), 6PM in Montpelier. Please, after submitting your name to the petition, please send an email to:
mailto:[email protected] Rep. Ann Pugh (S. Burlington)
and
mailto:[email protected] Rep. Francis Brooks (Montpelier, through the Sgt. at arms)

The Montpelier debate is over whether a smoking ban would help or hurt businesses within Vermont

Feb 16, 2005 – Wards 4 & 7 NPA Meeting

7PM, Lyman C. Hunt Middle School – Wards 4 & 7 February NPA Meeting

On the agenda is:

– Presentations by City Officials & the Let the People Decide group about March Ballot items
– Meet with your candidates for City Councilor, School Commissioner, and Inspector of Elections



Peter Potts calls Meeting to order

Annoucements:

-Beth Ruzansky, Community dinner on Sat. Feb 19th 3-5PM at Boys and Girls Club

Jim Flint moderator of the YMCA/Moran plant forum
(Let the People Decide representatives not present)
Scott Johnstone YMCA project manager from Ward 4 in attendance
Question: Linda Deliduka: Land around the Moran, how could that be used?
Government, Recreational facilities, according to the Public Land Trust doctrine
Question: Charlie: Does the daycare location has to be at Moran? Yes, to save YMCA costs
Question: Betsy: Relation to the BHS project, will there be overlap? Doesn’t know
Question: Has any engineering evaluations of the Moran site been done? Yes, three so far
Question: Ralph Montefusco: What about the permit process? Will there be more public input?
It will go through the City’s permit process, depending on the site design; enough participation as it is already
Question: Teresa: Since Let the People Decide isn’t present, how does the other view of project get heard? Who would be responsible for the contamination of the site?
Cleanup has already been done, more information is still being gathered, if there is too much contamination, project will not go through
Question: Is the YMCA paying rent at College street location? and why a 99 year lease?
Y owns the current location
Question: Will the YMCA move out of Burlington if the vote doesn’t pass? They will try to stay within Burlington

Paul Hale presents the School Budget ballot item in place of Superintendent Amsden
Most of the Budget increases are for salaries and benefits
-$700,000 towards for Special Education section alone for 6 new Special Education personel

Mayor Clavelle presents the City Ballot items
-State mandated the reappraisal (has a don’t blame the city attitude and look)
-Burlington would receive estimated $1.6 Million from the Sales Tax if approved
Question: Betsy- is there any overlap that is between the YMCA and the new upcoming BHS complex? Not that he knows of
Question: Bill- Has there been an assessment done for the sales tax’s effect on small Burlington businesses? No, but Public Forums have been held
Question: Clif- Reappraisal: is it flat or neutral? The taxes will increase for renters, and go down for the residential properties

Ward 4 & 7 Candidate Forums:
(Members from each ward split into two sections for the candidate forums for City Council, and School Board)

Paul Hale – Incumbent of Ward 7, running for School Commissioner
(Michael McGarghan not present at Forum)
-Mr. Hale believes Burlington school’s administration is efficient as it currently is now
-Question: Would it have to be done anyway? Answer: Yes
Question: Would the School District consider corporate sponsorship? Answer: They’d rather not

Candidates for City Council: Carmen George (D) and Alan Sousie (R)
Introductions:
-Carmen:
Marketing director for Good News Garage, she would listen to what the client wants, for the city she would do the same for her ward, would enhance communication between the City and the residents through the website, excited about the Armory acquisition and Leddy Park enhancements, and supports the 1% sales tax
Alan: Councilor Montroll impressed with his Council Meeting attendance record, Does not support Instant Runoff Voting, and would like to see all of the money generated from the sales tax go towards property tax relief

Burlington High School’s Athletic Complex:
-Alan:
Believes it is the wrong time with the reappraisal coming into effect
Carmen: Supports the complex, seems embarassing for the City and school

Extension of the smoking ban to private clubs:
-Carmen:
Private clubs should have their rights, disagrees with ban
Alan: has a paradox because of his Nursing background, but disagrees with the ban

Sales tax increase: the effect on businesses?:
-Alan
: Other communities such as Williston have box stores, he’s a conservative thinker
Carmen: There would be no difference if it went into effect

Stand on the property tax and taxes in Burlington?
-Alan
: Not afraid to study the issues, supportive of the prebate
Carmen: Approves of the prebates as well

Speak out by the attendees:
-Teresa: Even though the Let the People Decide group isn’t here, be sure to take part in Public Forums and research Moran before voting
Bill: (owner of Wine Works) 1% Sales tax isn’t good for small business
Michael: Public isn’t informed fully about YMCA/Moran, feels the Let the People decide group is biased, no actual facts out there
Mark: 127 Intersection is being brought up at the next council meeting on Feb 22nd, 7PM City Hall
Alan: Would like to see the YMCA money go towards the BHS field renovation

Meeting Adjourned at 9PM

Feb 10, 2005 – YMCA/Moran Public Forum

7PM, J.J. Flynn Elementary School Gymnasium – Town Meeting: Keep the waterfront public

Meeting Called to order at 7:10PM – Delay because of snowfall
**Students from Rockpoint school in attendance observing (about 20 of them)

Opening Statements:

-Kurt Wright, Chittenden Rep. District 3-1 and Let the People Decide
Is the YMCA the best deal for the city?

-Scott Johnstone, YMCA Project Manager and Ward 4 Resident
Infrastructure needs of the city? the existing structure at Moran is not being used

-Maurice Mahoney, (previous 2 term councilor, a Justice of the Peace, and a teacher in Burlington)
YMCA has been in the red for 5 of the past 7 years; Scott verified everything on the fact sheet is correct

-Ken, Representing City of Burlington
It will mostly be paid by private fundraising; not providing it for tourists, but public; the bike path will be improved with infrastructure; council has yet to approve the agreement; YMCA still has to prove that it can be there for for the city

Public Forum:

-Steve Cherelli (Ward 7): Burlingotn taxpayers would be paying for the out of town members; how are the services value determined and will the YMCA proceed even it is voted down?
[Scott: it appears from their public forums that most Burlington residents do not want the YMCA]

-Sandy Barre: No exact answer from the mayor about what is in the YMCA for the citizens of Burlington

-Dale King: What are the most important environmental steps?
[Scott/Ken: The Moran is a brownfield redevelopment area, and the studies will be done after vote]

-Steve: What about better uses for the Moran site? What are the exact number of members from Burlington? and what if the YMCA would instead move to the KMart location on Shelburne Rd?
[Maurice: 3-4% of Burlington residents are members]
[Scott: Facilities are also used by non members of Burlington as well; the KMart site is not up for sale, and the owner of the site doesn’t want to sell]
[Kurt: They should have contingencies if the vote is not in the YMCA’s favor]

-Jeff Comstock (Ward 7): There should be a city parks and recreation facility there instead of the YMCA; Parks and recreation shoul be more active in the forums, and have a stronger voice

-Louise Andrews (Ward 4): Whole will own the Sailing center building? and will there be any taxes from the YMCA being at Moran?; those who do not have a backyard like her, greatly cherish the parks and waterfront Burlington currently has, and is not happy that there had to be a fight to get the referendum on the ballot
[Ken: The YMCA and LCSC would own the building, and they are both non-profit, so no tax revenue would come from the building]

-Ken Wolvington: Moran is an eyesore, so we should vote yes to not let it stay there another 20 years, most of the members at the YMCA now are blue collar, it would not be taking over the lake

-John (Ward 4 an YMCA employee): citizens should take the risk with the YMCA

-Brian O’Neil: (Colchester res. & former employee of Moran) Land at Moran is contaminated and there was no cleanup from the transformer dumps that took place there; when the lake levels rise, Moran will be flooded; there are Burlington Electric generators right next door to Moran, and they are very loud;
[Nick (CEDO): phase 2 ESA studies will be done soon, and those are paid an EPA grant]

-Beth (Aerobics instructor): disabled husband currently uses another gym because current YMCA isn’t ADA compliant

-Clif Cooper (ward 4): 100 years ago, pictures show there were old barges at Moran waterfront, with no open spaces there; a 30 year lease would be more logical, and appropriate; more clubs in Burlington, leading to more privitization of areas; The city is already in debt, and will pay an additional $3 Million for the infrastructure; did the City ask for other proposals besides the YMCA?

-Monica Forte (Rockpoint school student): How is a non-profit paying for the lease?

-Jen Ornsby (Rockpoint sch. student): Would a no vote stop the YMCA from going to Moran?

Meeting adjourned at 9PM

Feb 7, 2005 – City Council Meeting

7PM, Contois AuditoriumBurlington City Council Meeting – Discussion of Manhattan Pizza, City Smoking Ban applying to private clubs, Legislative intent for FY 2006 of the Proposed 1% sales tax

(Next Meeting February 22nd)

*Councilor missing: Cheryl McDonough, Ward 2
Councilor late: Jean O’Sullivan, Ward 7

Local Control Commission:


  • Councilor Keogh reports a 3 hour hearing with 7 witnesses regarding Manhattan Pizza(Who reportedly over-served a patron alcohol, then a pool cue was used in a fight)**Manhattan Pizza meeting in recess 7:37PM until Executive session at meeting end)

  • 35% is the mark for the restaurants and bars, any more than 35% and the establishment is considered a bar

  • Any Public hearings on the matter? They are due by May 1st

  • Amendment to the rules by Fiermonte and Bushor; defining a restaurant by the city atty.

  • Councilor Perry: The city cannot enforce all fo the laws imposed

  • Concern: Kathy Sweeney- Bars’ obstructed view to uphold the liquor liscense (ie NECI)

  • Chris (NECI)- concern over break period between times, as customers may want a drink while watching the students, with the new wording, it would not be open

  • Leslie Meyers (Sweetwaters)- supports the law

  • Bob- there needs to be a public forum about the rules

  • Curley moved to refer matter to committee, 2nded by Bushor, Perry agrees, Keogh opposed

**Adjourned at 8:07PM

Public Forum


  • Diane Garron: Burlington currently pays $674,000 per year on the Moran Plant, and it will not be paid off untiil 2017; $474,000 is still over due, not the $425,000 as previously quoted by Clavelle; Would the City council commit themselves to the deal? [No response by the council]

  • Nancy Wood (Burlington Business Association): Opinions of the members of the association are mixed about the sales tax, it will not help the city, Burlington taxes for business owners are high enough as it is already, while property taxes are lower

  • Alan Sousie: Urges council to ask the legislature for more permissable uses for Moran; does not support the tax incremental financing

  • Charity Tensel (Burl. GOP chair): Tax increment financing is not good, how will the YMCA develop revenue for the city if they are a non-profit?

  • Sandy Winn: supports the houseing targets, and the targets are not quotas (ie 10 years)

  • Kurt Wright: City needs to find out what the residents want at Moran

Councilors


  • Councilor Carleton: A hotel at the corner of cherry and battery street is in the works; smoking ordinance is currently in the city attorney’s office

  • Councilor Keogh (Liscense comm.): A texas hold em poker tournament may or may not be in violation of the gambling, but they will go ahead and hold it Councilor O’Sullivan (Transportation comm.): CIRC public forum at the meeting on Feb 21st, the committee would like a full 5 year plan for the transportation, may include rental cars for the UVM students to share

Mayor


  • A rememberance ceremony for Big Joe will be on May 26th,

  • Feb 16th a fundraiser at ECHO

  • Village to village networking with Sri Lanka

  • 50% cut to Vermont Legal Aid

Sales Tax:


  • Councilor O’Sullivan wants the revenue generated from the tax to first go towards budget

  • **Councilor Knodell leaves, then returns in middle of Smoking Ban discussion

Smoking Ban:


  • Councilor Ellis: voted against ordinance, but supports the freedom of smoking for the clubs to keep the smoking, but have a poll of their members to allow smoking:

  • 11 opposed, 2 approve (Curley & Ashe)

  • For the complete ban of clubs, public and private:

  • 12 approve, 1 opposed (Curley)

**Council moved to Executive Session at 11PM

Feb 6, 2005 – NYRA-Vermont Meeting

1PM, Fletcher Free Library- NYRA-Vermont February Meeting – Discussion about proposed drinking age bill and smoking age bill currently in the Legislature

(Minutes as recorded by Hardy Machia)

National Youth Rights Association of Vermont Monthly Meeting

Date: February 6, 2005

Location: Fletcher Free Library, Pickering Room, Burlington, VT

Attendees: Ken Boring, Hardy Machia, Jeremy Ryan, Heavenly Ryan,
Kevin Ryan, Jay Leff, and Andrew Thomas.

1. Start meeting:
Ken Boring started the meeting at 1:05 p.m.

2. Approval of January 2005 Minutes:
Approved as presented.

3. Treasurer’s Report:
No incoming money. Nothing to report.

4. Higher Ground All Ages Show:
Jay Leff reported on Aaron Voldman’s discussion with Higher Ground.
Higher Ground said they’d be willing to do an all ages show if
there was support.

5. Drinking Age Bill:
Hardy Machia updated the group on the status of the drinking
age bill (H-139)
Discussion about argument that lowering the drinking age will
cause 0.5-2 more deaths per year…Decided to come up with a list of
100 things to ban to save just one life:
bath tubs, cars, prescription drugs, guns, cigarettes,
alcohol, soap in showers…

6. Approving members:
Andrew Thomas’s membership was approved.

7. Scheduling Alex K-P to speak at UVM on youth rights was discussed.

8. Jay and Aaron are donig road shows:
They will be at South Burlington HS on Tuesday talking about
Youth for Democracy and the voting age, and will list other groups
such as NYRA-VT the students can get involved in.
Hardy will create pamphlets for NYRA-VT.

9. Burlington HS’s school paper’s free speech:
Jay commented that BHS had an editorial about legalizing all
drugs – a sample of the school allowing free speech to exists.

10. Champlain College’s Get Real:
Andrew told us about the “Get Real” meetings at Champlain College.

11. College Outreach Director:
Jay nominated Andrew Thomas as the College Outreach Director,
Ken 2nd. Passed 7-0.

12. NYRA’s policy papers:
Ken reported that national NYRA didn’t require us to adopt the
policy papers because our bylaws stated that we fall under the
purview of NYRA and we adopted our bylaws.

13. NYRA-VT positions on current legislation:
a. S-46, school free speech bill – upon reviewing the bill we
decided to not take a position since the bill seemed to be just
restating the schools current policies regarding a lack of free
speech.
b. H-074, Ritalin bill. Hardy motioned for NYRA-VT to adopt
the following position:
“NYRA-VT supports bill H-074 that would prohibit the public
school practice of suspending students who refuse to take Ritalin and
other psychotropic medications, and would also prohibit public school
employees from recommending that students take psychotropic
medications because it violates students’ civil rights.”
c. H-105,increasing the smoking age bill. Hardy motioned for
NYRA-VT to adopt the following position:
“NYRA-VT opposes bill H-105 that increases the smoking age to
21 because it discriminates against adults in the state of Vermont
based on their age.” Passed 5-1.
d. H-139, lowering drinking age to 18. Hardy motioned for
NYRA-VT to adopt the following position:
“Whereas, the drinking age discriminates against adults in
the state of Vermont.
Whereas, the current law creates attainder in violation of
the U.S. Constitution.
Whereas, the open and legal consumption of alcohol promotes
familiarity and responsibility of such use.
Resolved that NYRA-VT strongly advises the legislature to
enact H-139.”

14. Website:
Jeremy Ryan will take over the roll of webmaster for vt.youthrights.org.
Heavenly Ryan will create some logos to present to the
executive board at their next meeting.

15. Next Meetings:
Executive Committee Meeting: February 20th at 1:00p.m. at Nectars.
NYRA-VT March Meeting: March 6th at 1:00 p.m. in Pickering Room
at Fletcher Free Library in Burlington

16. Expanding membership:
All members are encouraged to bring one new member to the next meeting.

17. Adjournment:
Ken Boring motioned to adjourn. Kevin Ryan seconded. Adjourned
at 3:50 p.m.

Feb 3, 2005 – YMCA/Moran Public Forum

6:30PM, Burlington College Community Room – Town Meeting: Keep the waterfront public Public dialog about the March ballot items proposing sale of the Moran Plant for $1

Meeting Called to order by Tim Ashe – Waterfront Committee

Opening statements:

-Maurice Mahoney, Let the People Decide
-Public Trust Doctrine: worked with Fmr. Governor Dean, Rick Sharp, and Sandy Barre on the plan for the Bikepath
-If the proposal goes through, it will not be a park any longer
-The issue became a lot more active in Sept. 2004
-If plan goes through Depot St. it might cause more development there

-Mayor Clavelle
-Thanks the Let the People Decide group for holding the Public Forum, and having a different view
-City has been trying to get different projects there at Moran
-The YMCA will provide indoor recreation facilities for the community by being there

-Sandy Barre, Let the People Decide
-The people of Vermont own the land, not the
-Trustees of the land mentioned are the Vermont Legislature
-Opposes the plan because it does not fit the Public Trust Doctrine and the lease is not a partnership
-The YMCA will never pay taxes on the Moran property because it is a non-profit organization

-Tim Rollings, YMCA President/CEO
-The current YMCA facility at College St will give an estimated over $100,000 per year in taxes (if it falls into private hands)

Public Forum:

-Steve Boyman (lives on Lake St.): There has been no collaboration with the citizens, parking at the Moran is managed by the City

-Teresa Lefevebre (Ward 7 Ferringtons MHP): When she was a child, she basically lived at North Beach, would like the Waterfront maintained for the future generations; the YMCA’s a private entity, and will cost the taxpayers, How is it worded on the ballot? What are the forms of payment made back to the city? (Swim lessons to 4th graders, etc)

-Tonya Boudwin (Bank St.): Concerned the taxes will increase as a result of the YMCA moving there
(Clavelle: taxes will not be used to pay for infrastructure, state will help with the money); Sandy Barre asked Councilor Bushor the same question, and the response: “it will come from taxes”

-Diane Garron (Attended all the YMCA Public Forums): City still owes money on the Moran Plant, currently paying $58,000 per year; not everyone in Burlington will join the YMCA; Poses question to Clavelle: If the property was yours, would you participate in this lease? [Clavelle: I would do it for the City] [Clavelle: If it was his, he would not go through with the deal] To which Diane responded, So why are you doing it to the City then? [Clavelle: No response]

-Paul Buvair: Would like to see the YMCA completely open to the public; the YMCA’s gross is currently over $6 Million, contribution to the city would be 5% of the gross income

-Louise Andrews: The parks of Burlington are precious to the residents and feels like something is being given away for nothing

-Robert Bosseire (Running for City Council, Ward 2): Is the YMCA a community program? [Rollings: everyone is welcome, ie the daycare prgm]; Why is the lease set at 99 years? YMCA has to reais $10 Million based on ECHO

-Ian (Burlington Resident, running against Clavelle for Mayor): Supports the wording from LtPD, would like to have the city have a word in what goes into Moran

-Brian O’Neil: (Colchester resident & former employee of Moran) Land at Moran is contaminated