Feb 2, 2005 – Ward 4 & 7 Steering Committee Meeting

7PM, Lakewood Parkway- Ward 4 & 7 Steering Committee Meeting

**Missing Steering Committee members:
Ward 4: Arthur Hogan
Ward 7: Linda Deliduka & Helen Hossley

Peter Potts called meeting to order, and after sorting through the presentation requests from Let the People Decide, Superintendent Amsden, and Mayor Clavelle / Brendan Kelleher, the committee has come up with the following agenda:

Wards 4 & 7 Neighborhood Planning Assembly
Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 7 p.m.
Lyman C. Hunt Middle School Learning Center

7:00 Welcome, Ground Rules and Announcements

7:10 YMCA/Moran Plant Proposal
Panel Discussion with representatives of the YMCA, CEDO and Let the
People Decide

7:30 Burlington School Budget Proposal
Lyman Amsden, Superintendent

7:40 Burlington Ballot Items
Peter Clavelle, Mayor
Brendan Kelleher, CAO

8:00 Wards 4 and 7 City Council and School Board Candidate Forum

8:45 Recap and Speak Out

9:00 Adjournment

Wards 4 & 7 Steering Committee:

The Steering Committee meets to set the agenda for the next meeting. You are welcome to participate, please contact Peter Potts for more information on the meeting.

Steering Committee members:
Ward 4: Mary Ann Blaisdell, Jim Flint, Margaret Gundersen, Arthur Hogan, Ralph Montefusco, & Peter Potts.

Ward 7: Ellie Blais, Linda Deliduka & Helen Hossley.

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


  • 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


  • 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 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


-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)
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:
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:
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?:
: 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?
: 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 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:

-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)
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

Burlington City Council Meeting

Burlington City Council Meeting – January 3rd, 2005
7PM Contois Auditorium

(Next Meeting January 18th)

*Councilor missing: Ellie Blais, Ward 7
Councilor late: Cheryl McDonough, Ward 2

General City Affairs:

  • Councilor Russ Ellis (Ward 4): New North End Youth center
  • 73% of Hunt MS Students’ parents both work
  • 63% of 6th-8th graders are alone from 6-8PM
  • Mayor Peter Clavelle: Turner property (off of East Ave) development; Fundraiser on the 16th for Tsunami victims; June 17th 3PM-7PM Taxes done for free, must be under $35,500 yearly income to qualify for the free tax filing

Presentation by Burlington High School Principal about Athetic Complex

  • Current place is not acceptable: 42 year old structure with drainage problems, sewage problems, cannot use fertilizer because of the proximity to the lake, has had to turn down youth programs because of the degenerative condition of the field, persons with disabilities unable to use the location as it is, if there is an emergency on the field, there’s a delay in response because of the current layout
  • The new facility would be used by the school, as well as the public, which would help the parks and recreation department
  • The school board will go into more specifics at their next meeting on Jan. 11th
  • Principal would like to see the complex on the ballot in March; there would be enough
    time for the school board to specify things & for council to hear for ballot vote
  • Councilor O’Sullivan (Ward 7) Believes high school students should not be driving around

Public Forum:

  • New North End Youth Center:
    • Jen: Easy access from Hunt MS, quality of programs are great; keep youth center where it currently is
    • Beth: Youth center encourages the parks and recreation; would like youth center to partner with parks & rec to check about the Gosse Ct armory location
  • Ending war in Iraq:
    • Paul, Peter, Shiela (Burlington’s Anti-war coalition): resistance is growing in Iraq, troops should be withdrawn, supports the resolution, put to vote in March
    • Nancy: a possible public forum should be established for the resolution
    • (Councilor Montroll of Ward 6 grimaces at the remark)

Moran redevelopment:

  • Ethan: will not serve the needs of the whole city; there should be changes at Leddy park, Memorial Auditorium, or the Gosse Ct Armory
  • Kurt Wright/Maurice Mahoney: Moran infrastructure and the lease term should appear on the ballot

Property Reappraisal presentation:

  • Overall property taxes will increase
  • Tax relief will happen through the proposed sales tax and rebate programs
  • The reappraisals will be completed by the end of January
  • Results of the reappraisal would be released in mid-April
  • Public hearings about reappraisals from April 22 – May 17th
  • Appeal Hearings board (Assessors) from May 26 – June 11th
  • Tax bills (with new reappraisals) mailed July 12th
  • Appeal Hearings board (Tax appeals) from August to November
  • Tax burden will shift from commercial to residential and commercial apartments
  • Tax rates still dependent on final grand list, result of the sales tax, PILOT (Burlington), City budget spending levels, and the per pupil cost levels of the school board
  • Municpal tax rate increased
  • Tax relief programs: target the fixed/lower income and senior citizens, possible renter rebate program

Sales Tax:

  • $2,550,000 would be raised from the sales tax (before sharing occurs)
  • Carleton: Why not lower the rates?
  • City needs more money; some of the rates are fixed by the charter (ie Library);
  • General tax rate of around 38% is designated by the charter as well; the reappraisal is not the only thing increasing the taxes: example- grand list
  • Ellis: Are the market values of the residential properties more than the commercial properties? Yes
  • Shannon: Could there be different tax rates for the commercial and residential? No, they are taxed at the same rate, which is fixed in the city charter
  • O’Sullivan: What is the PILOT program? The burlington-based program, not Vermont; incorporates the electric, water, and wastewater; treated as commercial properties, therefore their proportiaon of rate will go down; will lose 700,000 in the municipal budget – council could adjust the rate so money is not lost (as was done in 1994)
  • Ashe: Could the ratio be raised from 100 to 120? The ratio would have to be raised to 137 to make up for the loss in the budget

-Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) to Elect mayor:

  • Problem with the time difference between council approving the IRV and the mayoral elections; IRV will go to the proper committee to determine how to proceed, two public hearings are required to put it in place and then council meeting on Jan 15th, 2005

Public hearings: January 14th at noon and January 18th at the City council meeting

Sales Tax:

  • Clavelle: It would reduce the growth of the property tax; it’s not just a Burlington issue (ie Williston); voters in the past have said they want alternatives to the
    property taxes; there would be an increase in taxes for the middle income home owners and middle income renters of Burlington (ie 20% increase in property tax)

Burlington Electric Borrowing Increase

  • Curley: Burington Electric Department’s borrowing hasn’t kept up with inflation
  • Ellis: Why borrow more money? Increase of cost of improvements to the city facilities (ie Electric dept), maintenance of the city buildings (ie Leddy, memorial), and deferred problems of the existing facilities
  • Bushor: The sales tax will not increase the debt over the long run
  • Passed: 13 votes yes, 1 vote opposed (Curley)

*Councilor Curley leaves

Iraq resolution:

  • Fiermonte: Would like to see it on the ballot in march, and re-wording done on 18th
  • Bushor: Wants to know how citizens feel about the war; it’s more for the community, not for the president
  • Carleton: Would like it to be re-worded in committee
  • Perry: Cannot do anything to further hurt those in our community already in pain (ie families of those overseas, or those killed overseas)
  • O’Sullivan: Would support the subcommittee for the re-wording
  • Ellis: would like all of the ballot questions in a one sentence, not a paragraph

Meeting Adjourned 10:30PM

Burlington City Council Meeting

December 20th, 2004
7PM Contois Auditorium
(Next Meeting January 3rd)

Presentation by UVM President Dan Fogle: Student affairs

  • By 2008 2,137 new beds will have been added.
  • Mr. Fogle thinks that moving some students out of Burlington will help the current problems.
  • Any students having problems with authorities are dealt with strongly.
  • BPD and UVM police go out on joint patrols on UVM campus.
  • BPD currently filters out offenders by age range and then sends the information to UVM.
  • Currently UVM states 150 incidents per year average.

Public Forum (Open to all questions/comments)

  • UVM should have a study on parking and traffic for the existing off-campus students
  • UVM should require a course regarding repectfullness of city laws; dorms currently have a lack of the rules; there was an incident earlier this year where there were hundreds of students violiating noise ordinance, and only one officer to ticket them, as a result none were caught
  • Kurt Wright: Proponents of the YMCA shouldn’t dismiss opponents as being selfish (Which is what happened at last week’s Public forum on 12/15/04)

General City Affairs:

  • Mayor Clavelle: Sales tax proposal at the next meeting on Jan. 3rd. Human resources director resigning soon.
  • Moran redevelopment vote by city council: Uninamously in favor of a public reforendum – will be placed on the ballot in march.
  • Hospitality resource committee and the Local Control Committee have a bit of overlap in their duties; discussion between councilors Keogh and Bushor about the noise violations of the bars in downtown area; Councilman Keogh says his committee is on the way to merging violations with indoor entertainment permits.
  • Coding Enforcement: the coding data before 2004 was incomplete or unorganized, there is and was no past performance of reporting; councilors suggest perhaps a complaint system for Burlington should be set up as there needs to be better supervision of the coding enforcement office; CD committee will oversee & develop a citizen oversight committee for the supervision of the office.

Meeting Adjourned 11PM