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New Burlington, Vermont city councilors sworn in and council president elected

Ward 5 Democrat Ben Traverse makes remarks after being elected Burlington City Council President
Screenshot Town Meeting TV
Ward 5 Democrat Ben Traverse makes remarks after being elected Burlington City Council President

Eight city councilors were sworn in and a new council president was chosen during Monday’s organizational meeting of the Burlington, Vermont City Council.

The Burlington City Council consists of 12 councilors with eight representing wards and four representing districts composed of two wards each. On Town Meeting Day March 5th all ward seats were up for election.

Monday evening, following her inaugural address, new Progressive Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak swore in the five new and three reelected councilors.

“I will faithfully execute the duties,” begins Mulvaney-Stanak.

The councilors continue, “That I will faithfully execute the duties of the ward.”

Mayor Mulvaney-Stanak adds, “To the best of my judgement and ability according to law.”

Councilor Litwin is heard on line pledging, “To the best of my judgement and ability according to law.”

“Congratulations,” offers the Mayor.

The council president was then elected. Ward 4 Democrat Sarah Carpenter nominated fellow Democrat Ward 5 councilor Ben Traverse.

“I know that he will carry on the high standards that we have set and expect of our city council president,” says Carpenter. “Since Ben was elected, I knew that he was a clear leader among us. It was apparent to me very quickly that he grasps the issues before us and could fully analyze them. He’s always been able to well articulate recommendations and rationales for us to vote on and thoughtfully present them. He’s respectful of all of our views, fair in his position and works very hard to try to ford consensus.”

No other nominees were put forth and councilors voted 10 to 2 to approve Traverse as council president. Progressives Joe Kane from Ward 3 and Melo Grant from the Central District voted no.

Traverse offered thanks and acknowledgements and congratulated the city’s new mayor on becoming the city’s first woman and LGBTQIA individual in the role.

“Mayor Mulvaney-Stanak, allow me to congratulate you on tonight’s historic milestone,” Traverse says. “Thousands of Burlingtonians, your daughter, my daughters, now see themselves in City Hall in a way they never have before and I congratulate you.”

Traverse pledged that the council will work to make progress on the issues facing the city.

“We will strive to partner, collaborate and find common ground wherever we can,” promises Traverse. “To my fellow councilors, all of your voices will be vital to our work. I encourage you to speak up. To our city staff from department heads to those working on the front lines that keep Burlington working I commit that this council will similarly treat you with fairness and respect in a way that honors and values your commitment and work for our city. I’m incredibly excited about the new ideas and energy brought by this year’s council. I’m also mindful of the important and diverse voices this council is losing and I am committed to working consistently to think about which perspectives are missing from our discussions and to act to ensure that all voices are heard at this table.”

The 12-member Burlington City Council is composed of six Democrats, five Progressives and one Independent.

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