Burlington City Council | WAMC

Burlington City Council

Burlington City Hall
WAMC

Burlington, Vermont officials held a number of meetings on Monday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak. The regular meeting of the City Council was attended virtually to comply with social distancing recommendations.

Tuesday was Town Meeting Day and Vermont voters had a number of local ballot items to decide.  In the state’s largest city, there will be changes on the Burlington City Council after two incumbents lost their reelection bids.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC

At the most recent Burlington City Council meeting (on Tuesday Feb 18th) the agenda included a report on community policing practices.

Keep Burlington Telecom Local supporter holding sign during 2017 debate over sale
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2017 and 2018 leaders in Burlington, Vermont debated what company it would sell the then-municipally owned Burlington Telecom to. It was a contentious decision with many residents wanting the city to maintain ownership.  It was eventually sold to Schurz Communications. The City Council this week voted against reinvesting its proceeds of the sale in the utility.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council had a number of items on its agenda Tuesday evening that kept it working into the early morning hours.  But a resolution that will not be considered for another two weeks brought protesters to the council chambers and led to more than an hour of public comment.

The Vermont Lake Monsters plan to open the 2020 season in June at Centennial Field in Burlington
Paul Stanfield, Vermont Lake Monsters Media Relations Director / Vermont Lake Monsters

Major League Baseball is proposing eliminating 42 minor league teams when their contracts expire at the end of 2020. That has caused an uproar and concern among host communities including Burlington, Vermont — home of the minor league Lake Monsters.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Independent auditors presented their review of Burlington, Vermont’s finances to the City Council this week.  A key weakness is delays in reporting from the city’s clerk-treasurer’s office.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council has made its final decisions on whether three charter changes will be placed on the Town Meeting Day ballot.  One will not be forwarded to voters.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council met on Tuesday this week, its regular session delayed one day due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  City councilors had a full agenda that included a review of items that will appear on the Town Meeting Day ballot in March.

Colchester Chief of Police Jennifer Morrison
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council confirmed an interim Police Chief Monday evening.  The move comes after the previous chief resigned after admitting using a fake Twitter account to criticize a police department critic. An acting chief was then removed for using a fake Facebook account.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council met for the last time in 2019 on Monday and debated whether three proposed charter changes should appear on March’s Town Meeting Day ballot.

Burlington City Council President Kurt Wright
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington City Council President Kurt Wright has been in politics for 25 years and is currently the only Republican on the 12 member panel. But he will not run for reelection. Wright tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he made his decision despite reservations about the direction of the council.

Burlington City Council President Kurt Wright
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont city council president has announced that he will be retiring after 25 years in local politics.

The city council in Vermont's largest city is showing support for the high school girls varsity soccer team action calling for equal pay that has received global attention.

Diagram of revised CityPlace redevelopment
Brookfield Properties

The developers of a stalled development in the center of Burlington appeared before the City Council Monday night to present a scaled-back plan. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, they gave assurances that the project will move forward.

A "For Rent" sign
wikipedia commons

Burlington City Councilors voted on a resolution this week to address reforms intended to alleviate the city’s housing shortage.

wikipedia commons

At its meeting this week, the Burlington City Council passed a resolution that would allow non-citizens to vote in city elections.

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

Burlington City Councilors spent more than an hour Monday night debating a resolution that expresses support for the city’s police department.

Axe
Pixabay/Public Domain

This week, Burlington city councilors reviewed an application for a new liquor license. They discussed whether alcohol would appropriately mix with the entertainment the business owner plans at the venue: axe throwing.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

At their meeting this week, Burlington city councilors approved entering a contract with a private company that would sell the carbon offsets resulting from the planting of trees.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

Earlier today, we reported that the Burlington City Council approved a resolution opposing the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system at the Vermont Air National Guard Base. It comes a month before the first F-35 fighter jets are scheduled to arrive at the Burlington facility, which opponents fear will be nuclear capable. During the debate, one councilor’s attempt to remove an amendment led to an extended discussion on parliamentary procedure and considerable confusion.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council has approved a resolution opposing the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system at the Vermont Air National Guard Base. It comes a month before the first F-35 fighter jets are scheduled to arrive at the Burlington facility, which opponents fear will be nuclear capable.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council has approved the creation of a new position to guide the city’s racial diversity work.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council has authorized the purchase of four new sidewalk plows.  The funds had originally been slated to come from proceeds from the sale of Burlington Telecom, but instead will be taken from the city’s Unassigned Fund Balance.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council has approved the city’s roughly $79 million 2020 budget, but not before a new member of the panel attempted to delay the vote.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

City Councilors in Vermont’s largest city considered two resolutions this week stemming from controversies over the Burlington Police Department.  One was crafted in response to use of force issues and the other forms a committee to review policing practices.  One resolution passed and the other failed.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont Police Department has been criticized recently after some high-profile incidents.  This spring, two lawsuits were filed against the city claiming excessive force by police officers. In another incident, the March death of a man involved in an altercation with an officer was ruled a homicide by the state’s medical examiner.  During a May city council meeting a number of Burlington residents questioned police actions and the department’s transparency. This week, the police chief was up for reappointment — leading to some debate about whether the council should approve his 2020 tenure.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

During Monday evening’s Burlington City Council meeting, the head of the Chittenden Solid Waste District presented its fiscal 2020 budget proposal.  Some of the city’s representatives were concerned about fee increases planned by the district.

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

Burlington, Vermont Police Chief Brandon del Pozo was questioned by city councilors Monday night about the department’s use of force policies.  The sometimes contentious session occurred after body cam video from two incidents last September was released and a man died following a third altercation with police in March.

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

Burlington, Vermont City Councilors plan to introduce resolutions at their meeting next week calling for a review of the city police department’s use-of-force policy.  The move comes after two lawsuits claiming excessive force were filed and a man died following a third controversial incident.

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