Burlington City Council | WAMC

Burlington City Council

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont officials celebrated the end of the city’s pandemic state of emergency this week and officials are looking forward to recovery. Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat, presented his proposed $87.3 million 2022 budget to the city council on Monday. Outside City Hall Wednesday, Weinberger told WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he is confident the city will have a budget at the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1st.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger presented his 2022 budget plan to the city council on Monday.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council’s agenda this week had a few routine items including approval of entertainment permit applications and mayoral appointments to renew. Councilors also voted on whether people will continue to be required to wear masks in city shops and weighed in on a transportation study.

WAMC Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas wears a facemask in March 2020.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Vermont’s largest city is lifting its mask mandate in stores and public buildings for fully vaccinated people.

Burlington sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont Board of Finance is composed of the mayor and city councilors. This week the group heard the results of a survey about the proposed city budget and continued discussion about the 2022 proposed budget for the police department.

Burlington City Hall in early evening (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont Board of Finance, composed of the mayor and city councilors, heard Monday from the acting police chief on the department’s 2022 budget proposal and plans for response in the wake of a shrinking budget.  City councilors also got an update from the public school superintendent on plans to find a site for a new high school building.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council had a packed agenda Monday evening.  The council approved a new leader for the city’s Community and Economic Development Office, requiring the resignation of a councilor. It also reviewed a rate increase request from the city electric department.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Among the issues the Burlington, Vermont City Council considered during its meeting Monday night were weatherization requirements for rental properties and a resolution to increase councilors’ pay.

Burlington sign
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The Burlington, Vermont City Council met this week and approved several routine ordinance changes. Councilors also heard an update on police transformation initiatives and discussed what to do about graffiti in the city center.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Town Meeting Day, Burlington, Vermont voters elected one new city councilor and re-elected three councilors and the mayor. They were sworn in Monday and the mayor delivered his state of the city address, which focused on racial justice efforts.

Burlington City Hall in early evening (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s Congressman has been meeting virtually with organizations and municipalities across the state to update local leaders on aid provided in the recently passed COVID relief package. This week he met with Burlington city councilors.

Burlington City Hall in early evening (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With Vermont Town Meeting Day in the rearview mirror, the Burlington City Council met this week with a light agenda including an initial review of a rental housing standard and a report on property reassessments.

Burlington's CityPlace remains undeveloped in this September 2019 photo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council has approved a revised settlement agreement with developers that will allow a long idle multi-million dollar downtown project to move forward.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council postponed consideration of a settlement agreement with developers of a downtown project and also chastised the University of Vermont during Tuesday evening’s meeting.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council passed a Public Safety Continuity Plan at Monday night’s meeting. But amendments to the proposal fundamentally changed the intent of the mayor’s proposal.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council met this week and delayed action on one item regarding police department restructuring and voted down another related item.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council meeting Tuesday evening included a review of items that will be placed on the Town Meeting Day ballot in March.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council has failed to override a veto by the mayor that would have placed a question on the Town Meeting Day ballot asking voters if an independent police oversight board should be created.

photo of Burlington Police logo on a podium
Photo - Pat Bradley/WAMC

An issue that shadowed Burlington, Vermont officials throughout 2020 began at the end of 2019.  As Progressives took control of the City Council, policing issues were targeted. Now the department faces cuts moving into 2021.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There are four charter changes proposed for the Town Meeting Day ballot that Burlington city councilors had to approve at this week’s meeting in order for the measures to advance to a public hearing process before being voted on March 2.

photo of Burlington Police logo on a podium
Photo - Pat Bradley/WAMC

The acting chief of the Burlington, Vermont Police Department is speaking out about the current and potential future impacts of a resolution passed by the City Council earlier this year that mandates a 30% reduction in sworn officers.

The 2021 Burlington Town Meeting Day election is taking shape as Progressives and Democrats have now chosen their candidates for mayor and city council seats.

Last week the Burlington Progressive party held a virtual caucus to choose candidates in the March 2nd Town Meeting Day city races. On Saturday, they held another virtual meeting to launch the mayoral campaign and embrace what they perceive as a high level of support for their policies. 

Burlington street sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington City Councilors met this week and while their agenda was not long, the panel spent considerable time discussing a potential charter change to be put before voters.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council reviewed a number of items during their regular session and committee meetings this week.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council discussed the legal implications of creating Overdose Prevention Sites in the city during a work session of their regular meeting this week.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council meeting earlier this week featured a report on the stalled downtown development project and an update from Burlington school officials on plans to address PCB contamination in the high school building.

Burlington sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In September the Burlington City Council invited protesters who had camped out, calling for police reforms, to an executive session. Two days later, the weekly newspaper Seven Days filed a formal complaint claiming the council had violated the state’s Open Meeting law.  The council subsequently agreed and part of the recommended cure for the violation included educating councilors about the law.  During its most recent meeting the council heard from experts about open meeting requirements.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Police departments across the country have come under increasing scrutiny this year. In Burlington, Vermont, a month-long encampment at a park adjacent to the city police department and nightly marches to City Hall emphasized activists’ demands for changes. While the camp has disbanded, city officials are working on policing issues.  At the most recent Burlington City Council meeting, the panel heard reports on racial equity and policing issues.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On September 8th the Burlington City Council invited three organizers of a weeks-long protest into their executive session. Two days later, a weekly Burlington newspaper called Seven Days filed a complaint claiming the council had violated the state Open Meeting Law.  During its September 14th meeting the council determined the complaint was valid and asked the city attorney to provide recommendations for a “cure” to the complaint at this week’s meeting.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

While a debate over a complaint filed against the Burlington City Council’s use of executive session dominated Monday evening’s meeting, a number of other items were on the agenda.  As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the meeting included an update on the stalled downtown redevelopment project.

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