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2007 Burlington Candidates Posted!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Jo Lamarshe sent the candidate list over to me today... Hot Damn! For "hyper-local" political junkies like me, a list like this is like crack. Contests in all wards!
Ward Two: It's On!

I just want to quickly go back to talking about Jane Knodell's opponent in Ward Two, David Rogers. I spoke to him late last night but was too tired to blog it. I would have done it at work, but the network filters there block, so as usual I thought better of hanging out with The Carpetbagger all day, and focused on work instead. So now that I have six scrappy minutes to blog, let me tell you what I know about David Rogers...and sorry, no time now for prose. Bullets and Blurbs instead...

* David Rogers is 45 years old. Married with to kids attending Edmunds Elementary, he is a machinist who works for Suss MicroTec in Waterbury Center. He has lived in Vermont for twenty years, the last thirteen in Burlington.

*He says he's been attending a lot of city meetings lately, spurred on partly by recent events surrounding the "City Kids" program. He says a group of neighbors helped him gather the signatures needed to get him on the ballot.

*Rogers says City Hall is not paying enough attention to Burlington's infrastructure. As an example he says sewage runoff floods the corner of Russell and Booth Streets during heavy rain.

*He says Progressive councilors including his opponent are not always communicative and seem closed off. Although he describes his politics as "just left of center," he said he is running as an Independent because he does not want to be beholden to a party.

...And that's all I got in my notes from that short phone interview last night. My initial impression of this candidate is that he seems like a serious man who could potentially give Knodell a challenge more serious than she has seen in many years. It could get interesting.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 7:14 PM   5 comments
W3: Ploof Out...W2: Rogers In...
Monday, January 29, 2007
Things are happening fast... I just found out Loyal left the W3 council race amid controversy generated by his short stint as the Republican nominee. And by "controversy" I mean Kurt Wright was totally pissed off.

...and over in Ward Two...I just got an email from a guy named David Rogers telling me 'It's On.'

Rogers writes:

"We need more transparency from our City Council and City Hall. I feel that in recent history City Hall has lost touch with working families. I want to see our politics move more towards center and spend less time focusing on national and international issues. While these are important issues we are losing sight of some of the basic needs of the city. We need to continue to promote policies to improve the quality of life for Burlington residents."

I'll try to talk to Rogers, as well as dark-horse Ward One candidate Megan Munson-Warnken and bring you updates as soon as I can...
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:01 PM   0 comments
Progressives to Field W1 Candidate
I received a tip today that local activist and cafe owner Megan Munson-Warnken (Photo Right) will be the Progressive candidate in the special Ward One election being held on Town Meeting Day. The winner of the race will fill the seat being vacated early by Democrat Ian Carlton. I am still trying to reach Munson-Warnken for comment. She will face Ed Adrian who won a tight nomination battle on last Thursday to become the Dems standard-bearer in Ward One.

Today was the deadline for folks to turn in their nominating petitions at City Hall. I was hoping for Elections Director / City Clerk Jo Lamarshe to email me the official list of candidates by tonight, but it looks like I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Rumor has it that Martha Lang who promised an Independent run after losing to Adrian in the Democratic caucus, has withdrawn her ballot-petition. Another runner-up from that caucus, Dick Bove, has been spotted collecting signatures for the race and may appear on the ballot as an Independent.

The entry of Munson-Warken into the special W1 race will bring the number of contested council races this year to four of the eight being held. The other contested races are in Wards 3, 5 and 7. All of the odd numbered wards will have contests this year.... developing story...

...Wait a minute... This just in... Loyal Ploof has dropped out of the Ward Three race. Briggs has the story...
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 7:45 PM   0 comments
Ed Adrian Wins W1 Dem Caucus!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Ed Adrian W1Ns...Post Revised Updated Enhanced of Saturday Morning...

Ed Adrian Beat three other Democrats in the special W1 caucus Thursday night at the Burlington School District central office on Colchester Avenue. The meeting was convened to choose a new Democrat to run for the seat being vacated early by current Democratic Ward One councilor Ian Carlton. Carlton is the current president of the city council... more after the photos...

Hmmm... As usual I'm up later than is reasonable. I'm tired and a touch cranky, but this is my fake job and I've got to fake do it. So as usual it's nothing but straight-line narrative with no creativity whatsoever. All short-cuts all the time. What do you people want from me? And don't try to pretend you're not reading this, because you are!

I'm just going to retrace my steps. I get there. Ed Adrian and Karen Wingate are hanging around outside. I take some pictures. I go inside. I say hi to Brendan and Maurice. Folks were checking voters in against the city's voter list and giving them ballots. I walk past the check-in to the caucus room. I sat near Doug and Colleen Montgomery of N Prospect Street, owners of the Speeder's on Church Street. They tell me they heard about the meeting from Ed, but are undecided and waiting to hear from the candidates. I get up and say hello to Marc Awodey former W1 Dem nominee and the JP who married me and Poopsie at Mark and LG's camp. He says we should pass the 9/11 item on the ballot- not because he believes in conspiracy theories, but rather so the nation can get past such notions. "We need to pass this through the body politic like a kidney stone." he said.

Heading back to my seat near the Montgomerys and behind Ed, I see Ian Carlton and his family standing. I offer my chair but they refuse. It's a standing-room only event. I counted roughly 52 adults and 10 children. Contrast this with the original Dem Caucus on the seventh, when the Ward One contingent was just Ed alone- glass in hand, jesting "Ward One is meeting at the bar!"

So I ask Ian a few questions. He said it was only after announcing his decision to step-down that he spoke with Ed Adrian about what Ed's plans might be. He talked to Ed, he said, because Ed was the last Democrat to run in that ward. Carlton said his main concern about leaving the council in the middle of his term was that the seat might remain unfilled, leaving W1 constituents with less representation. After speaking with Adrian he was relieved to know there would at least one Democrat willing to step up and take his place...

And then the meeting began...(And I'll just tick through each item on the agenda...)

1) Call To Order- Judy Rosenstreich (City Committee W1 Chair) called folks to order.

2) Election of Caucus Chair- Rosenstreich is nominated and elected to chair the meeting.

3) Election of Caucus Secretary- Jarred Wood nominated Maurice Mahoney and Mahoney was elected to be the secretary and take notes.

4) Remarks from Chair re: procedure- Rosenstreich announced that attorney John Leddy seated to her right was there as the parliamentarian. She then said that the bylaws of the Dem's city committee state the winner must have a majority, either on a first ballot or by instant-runoff. She said that since it wasn't clear to her if these bylaws applied to ward Caucuses, she was throwing them out the window and allowing for a plurality winner were it to go down thus.

Unfortunately her whole explanation on this was probably moot for everyone there except herself and the three vote counters as she would later refuse to divulge the final vote total to Briggs, me, or anyone. Lame. I have it partly anyway: Adrian 29-Wingate 20-Bove?-Lang?. Don't ask me how I know that. Even including the other candidates' votes, I think Ed won a majority. I overheard Rosenstreich justify to Briggs her decsion to withold the total. She said it was because now was "the time for the party to come together."

I'm too tired to keep going with this tonight... time to sleep...finish later...zzz...

(Thursday ends, then Friday happens, now this post will be published after midnight Saturday morning. I'm just going to hunker back down to my notes. I read Peter Freyne has cancer. I wish him well. Friday night and it's freezing outside. Saturday morning.)

4) (Continued) ...Rosenstreich closed the meeting to new voters at 5:45pm. Two minutes after that two young couples came in from the cold and there was confusion at the door. Ed Adrian made a point of order to allow more folks into the process. The parliamentarian agreed such a motion would be acceptable. It was so moved, seconded and unanimously passed on a resounding voice vote. The stragglers were allowed to vote.

5) Nominations for One-Year Term to Burlington City Council- Maurice Mahoney nominated Ed Adrian. He made a three minute speech beginning with thanks for Ian Carlton's service and ending with great praise for Ed, someone he said is familiar with both "the benefits and the problems" of living near UVM.

Todd Schlossberg nominated Karen Wingate. He called her "compassionate, caring, smart and thoughtful." He said she "understands there's a reason we have two ears but only one mouth," that she asks questions not in a "prosecutorial manor" but in a way that really listens. I don't know what type of lawyer Schlossberg is, but I'm guessing he's not a prosecutor.

Dick Bove nominated himself. He said he was elected in 1963 to the Board of Alderman at the age of 23, which made him the youngest alderman "until the voting age changed to 18." Later in conversation he would admit to having confounded my run for mayor at age 18 with my councilship four years later at age 22. Before he knew it was me he was talking to, he tried to remember the kid's name. "Hayroom Badoobeeyoom or something" he attempted. "Wait a minute," I said "you're talking about me." I asked if he was related to Bove's restaurant. "I am Bove's Restaurant" he said with an understated but unmistakable pride. I told him how much Bove's means to me. I'll tell you too.

I've been going to Bove's since I was a baby. Some of my earliest earliest memories are of the beautiful murals of Venice on the east and west walls. The idea of water roads was unbelievably fascinating to me when I was two and three years old. I remember a nice man at the register who gave me a handful of straws to play with. Who knows? Maybe it was Dick. When I was that young my family's next door neighbor was an incredibly old woman named Mrs. Kenny. Mrs. Kenny's brush with fame came in her younger years when she knew "Buffalo Bill." My mom used to take me and Mrs. Kenny on these dates- first to Brigantes farm stand in Colchester, then back to Burlington for these lunches at Bove's. This is all coming back to me as I write this. Unfortunately, I haven't really been going to Bove's much since December of 2001 when I started running on the theory that I'm wheat and gluten intolerant.

Finally Martha Lang nominated herself. Let's just call her the "Howard Beale"candidate. Except instead of "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" she said "Somebody has to stand up and say enough!" She promised to run as an Independent, regardless of the caucus outcome. "I've got signatures and signs printed!" she said. In general she's totally totally freaked out about the hospital and UVM. I didn't quite catch exactly why.

6) Remarks by Council Nominees- They went in alphabetical order. Ed first. He said "I have a great devotion to public service. I don't know why. Maybe it's in my blood." and went on to describe what he said would be the pillars of his council focus. I. SEI and redistricting. He said (and I'm paraphrasing here) the current SEI discussions seemed too much like a monologue and not enough like a dialogue. II. Library. "Give it the full resources that it needs." III. Community Relations. Ed said he saw himself as a "mediator, moderator, intermediary." IV. Quality of Life. Ed said that except for dorms on campus, "high and medium density housing is simply not appropriate in our ward."

Dick Bove waived his speech and yielded his time.

Martha Lang made a short speech which she wrapped up by saying "it's very important that you get to know me if you want to have a future in this city."

Karen Wingate spoke last. "I understand we are moving from a big town to a small city." she said. Noting that she was the acting CAO (acting Treasurer) though the last mayoral election, she said " I believe I have the respect of most, if not all of the councilors." She began to run through an ambitious agenda- increase the policy making role of the council, making the school and municipal budgets "more tightly aligned" creating an office of senior citizens' affairs (In 1987 we had just started The Mayor's Youth Office. Twenty years on Burlington's demographics have shifted. Many of us are elderly. Office of senior citizens' affairs is a great idea.)...improve relations with the state...

I thought to myself- this woman would bang her head against a wall as councilor. She's way too ambitious and would soon discover she had far less power than she did as acting Treasurer.

7) Appointment of Ballot Clerks- Rosenstreich picked Colleen Montgomery, Mike Long and Sandy Wynne to count the ballots. They agreed.

8) Election by Australian Ballot- Everybody voted. Now that I think about it, an IRV wouldn't have been that hard to do. Just rank up to four choices by writing the name and 1, 2, 3, or 4 next to it. Counting would be easy too. You know... I did hear Rosenstreich mutter something about having 'tried IRV in a city election,' or something. It sounded like she was worried about its complexity and may still actually want to scapegoat IRV for the Democratic candidate's loss in the mayoral election last year. Of course that's pure speculation on my part.

9) Pass the Hat- It seems like the Dems don't miss any opportunity to raise money.

10) Announcement of Caucus Election-A couple minutes later Rosenstreich announced Ed won. I already told you she wouldn't give us the score.

11) Democratic Nominee's address to the caucus- Ed thanked the caucus for their nomination and turned his eyes towed town meeting day. "I am gonna win!" he announced.

12) Motion that the Ward I Democratic Committee be empowered to fill any vacancies in candidates for other Ward offices before March City Elections- Now, there is obviously another vacancy in Sharon Bushor's race, so I don't know why there wasn't a general announcement then and there seeking volunteers for that. With less than a week until the petition deadline and with everyone standing right there, it seemed to me like a good time to recruit. Call me crazy. Perhaps there should have been a motion that the Dem committee be empowered to not fill any vacancies.

We still have yet to see if the Progs run anyone against Ed Adrian. I'm still betting no, but I'm open to surprises. Stay tuned.

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:44 PM   3 comments
Slacker Wrap-Up
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
This is how lazy I am- I've built up this debt of posts I owe the blog- things I've promised I'd come back to but haven't yet, mostly from the caucuses but other stuff too. I'm about to write-off this debt by producing the laziest reviews and follow-up you've ever seen and then lumping all into one post. I promise not to do any of the important subjects I touch on any justice.

Ed Cashman- I've been promising to do a post on Cashman for some time. Why don't I just skip to the three theories of punishment justification I learned from Derk Pereboom at UVM? Let's see...1) Retributive theory- 'Just because.' 2) Moral Education theory-'Punishment teaches right and wrong.' 3) Deterrence theory- 'Punishment deters the criminal himself (specialized) and the public at large (general).

The Onion River Co-Op Parking Lot- It sucks. I think they should make it two way through the YMCA lot and let people exit to Union Street. If the neighbors don't like it they can move. Oh wait, they're all UVM kids who are about to move in six months anyway. My bad. I would love it if someone took over their old space down the road and competed with them. I wish more stores had the foods I eat. I'm hungry.

Burlington Progressives Caucus IV- I ran into Peter Clavelle and he said Bob wanted to run a Prog in the special W1 race. Peter wondered out loud if the Dems would retaliate by running someone against Sharon. (I still seriously doubt that either the Progs or the Dems are going to find anybody and get the signatures by early next week.) Peter said he's doing international consulting for ARD .

Burlington Progressives Caucus III- I had a long chat with a man named Don Horenstein who was seated near the mayor....Don said he's been a member of Burlington Employees Retirement System Board since 2002, and that the formally contentious board has found "comity" under the guidance of Jonathon Leopold, formally Burlington treasurer under Bernie now Bob's "Chief Administrative Officer."

Why can't we keep it simple, people? There was nothing wrong with the term "Treasurer," and the fact of the matter is Jo LaMarshe is the City Clerk, whether you call her the "Director of Elections and Records," or not. Jon's the Treasurer and Jo's the Clerk! Got that?!

Anyway Horenstein said the Board was looking at saving Burlington's retirement system a lot of money by consolidating fees paid to multiple fund managers. He raved about Bob Kiss and in particular Leopold. He said Republican Charlie Smith told him Bob Kiss was lucky to get Leopold.

My conversation with Don left the immediate orbit of city finance and went into a little macroeconomics. Don said employers looking to relocate were more interested in the quality of a location's labor force and cultural amenities than in its tax rates. He also said the high per-capita debt of Americans, our Federal Trade and Budget Deficits were all leading to "a day of reckoning."

I also chatted with Jane Knodell. I asked about the 1% sales tax we enacted last year. She said half its revenues were going into the general fund and half were going into the city's rainy day fund- now over a million dollars! Yes! Also- the city is now fully funding its retirement obligations and is looking for ways to reduce them.

I finally got a chance to speak with Bob and he basically confirmed what Jane told me about the 1%. I told him that reserve was similar to my idea of a "municipal endowment" which he said was great in theory. (My idea is to have about a billion dollars or more in the municipal endowment and pay a huge chunk of the city's general budget with its revenue. Call me a dreamer, but if Harvard University can do it, so can the City of Burlington. )

Burlington Republicans Caucus II- Of all four caucuses I attended, I felt the most comfortable at this one. I feel like everyone wanted to shake hands. Kevin said I could vote in the W7 caucus since I was there, even though I'm an Independent. That was nice. Craig Gutchell, who is sitting councilor Paul Decelles's father-in-law won the nomination to run R in 7 (I didn't vote) thus setting up what promises to be the most competitive race this year with him versus Dem Linda Deleduka for the seat being vacated by Carmen George.

And of course, as we have all heard, the Republicans allowed the nomination of Loyal Ploof for W3 council and Shawn Starfighter for W3 Inspector of Elections. I'll let Charity cover this one.

She's Right on Channel 17- Speaking of Charity, I went on her TV show on January 19. I haven't seen it yet, but I heard it was good.

Done. Now I owe you Nothing! Nothing!

Ed Adrian Update II- Wait a minute- Just in from Ed Adrain... (not to be confused with Ed Cashman)... We could be looking at a four-way nomination race in the Dem Caucus tonight. It's 5:30 at the Burlington School District Office on Colchester Ave. If you live in Ward One, be there or be...Prog? No official word yet from the Progs Re: W1 Special Election Shocker... Update on who wins the Dem caucus can probably be found at VDB. But even if it isn't, I still owe you nothing.


posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 4:53 PM   2 comments
Ed Adrian Update I
Monday, January 22, 2007
I talked to Ed Adrian today by phone. He said the tentative plans are for the W1 Dems to meet Thursday at the School District Office on Colchester Avenue from Five to Six. He stressed he did not know if another W1 Dem would seek the nomination and noted the possibility of the Progs fielding someone as well.

This fake reporter still doubts it, however. I foresee two parallel, uncontested races as of 2/1.

Ed said he and Sharon signed each other's petitions in the spirit of good will. When I asked if that precluded signing their own, he reminded me that they are two separate elections. Ah Ha! Also per Ed: He is telling his petition's signers of his intent to run Dem. Won't run if not Democratic Nominee.

Q&A-(Not exact quotes)

HB- Why Dems? Why not Progs or Greens?

EA- I like Big Tent party. More points of view than in smaller party. Less 'my way or highway' in Big Tent.

HB- Did Ian Carlton talk to you about your plans before announcing departure?

EA- You'll have to ask him.

HB- Councilor Adrian would focus on...?

EA- School Redistricting, Town-Gown, Library.


posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 7:23 PM   2 comments
Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus III
Sunday, January 21, 2007
"Yo Adrian!"
Burlington Pol Ed Adrian 'In it to Win'

Last night I emailed Ed Adrian and asked if the rumors were true. Today he replied "I am running as a D assuming I win the caucus."

You may recall from Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus II that the Dems had no seekers for the W1 council nomination as recently as two weeks ago. Carlton's vacation has set up an "exhibition rematch" if you will, between Sharon Bushor and Ed Adrian.

The two went head to head in 2005 when the venerable Bushor, who has held her seat since 1945, only managed to squeak by the newcomer Adrian by 41 votes.

This time around the dynamic will be different. Barring another unforeseen 'shocker' Ward One voters will cast ballots for two separate uncontested elections of both Adrian and Bushor.

Given the closeness of the 2005 race, and the fact voters this year are free to vote for one, both or neither of them, it is hard to foresee which of these two rivals will win the "symbolic majority" by besting the other's vote total.

The departure of Ian Carlton will also leave a vacuum in the council presidency. Who will fill it? Hey how about Kurt Wright?

Just when you thought it was going to be a boring off-year Burlington election, you get an open contest in Seven, a former-Green-former-Prog-turned-Republican challenging a Prog in Three, Some Green on Dem action in Five...And now the "Ward One Shocker!"



posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:03 PM   0 comments
Ward One Shocker!
Looks like Ian Carlton is out and Ed Adrian might be in...

Philip Baruth has what we know so far.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 2:41 AM   0 comments
Burlington Republicans Caucus I
Friday, January 19, 2007
Scoops from tonight's GOP Caucus: 1) Democrat Linda Deladuka will face Republican Craig Gutchell in the race to fill the Ward Seven seated being vacated by Carmen George. 2) Progressive Tim Ashe will face Republican Loyal Ploof in his bid for re-election from Ward Three.

(Yes, that's me on the top right talking to Charity. No, I'm not a Republican.)

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 12:57 AM   5 comments
Webb wins in Virginia
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
This image is incredibly beautiful. He's in this for his son, for the troops and for America. This picture represents justice on many levels. The race that tipped the senate. The Vietnam vet with the kid in Iraq who overcame an incumbent racist and a rubber stamp war supporter. The fighter who came from behind and took it in a squeaker.

This is truth, justice and the American way.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:39 PM   9 comments
Burlington Progressives Caucus II
Sunday, January 14, 2007

I. Welcome
Amy Stewart- chair Burlington City Progressive Committee
Colin Robinson- vice chair of the Burlington City Progressive Committee

Between 31-35 people attended.

II. Bob Kiss

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss is introduced and speaks first.

BK- ‘People were[2006] voting for the history the Progressives represent.’ ‘ There is power in the mayor’s seat and how that power is used makes a difference.’

Kiss said he had recently attended a design institute at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with six other mayors, some of whom told him they wished they had some of Burlington’s problems, such as traffic congestion in their downtowns. He said Burlington’s “success story” was good but also posed some threats. “We don’t want to become a Disney World.” Kiss said.

Kiss said Progressives generally should keep focus on Housing, Healthcare, and from Burlington’s perspective getting more PILOT (payments in lieu of property taxes from VT to the city for state owned buildings.) He mentioned something about “the Champlain Parkway” but in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you I’m not even sure what that is. Is that the same as the “southern connector?” Is that the thing that’s cut in two by Pine Street down by K-mart? You’d think I would know something like that. Anyone who knows about the Champlain Parkway is invited to comment.

Kiss said that after many years of Clavelle in charge, aspects of city government are finally starting to reflect his own touch where changes have been made. Kiss quipped that he used to oppose extending the term of the mayor, but now as mayor appreciates having a third year. He said he came to the job “with a fair amount of knowledge,” yet still has been learning a lot about Burlington’s operation.

III. Dave Zuckerman and Chris Pearson

State Representatives Dave Zuckerman and Chris Pearson (both from Chittenden 3-4) spoke next. Chris Pearson was appointed by Governor Douglas last year to fill Bob Kiss’s seat when he became mayor. In November he won election is his own right from 3-4 and has also been elected by the Progressive house caucus to be their leader. Chris reported to his party caucus that the Progressive delegation was receiving relatively good amounts of ink of late from the Burlington Free Press who, he said, had quoted him in all of, and Dave Zuckerman in two of the “four or five” stories about the new legislature thus far. Pearson said he was pleased with how Progressives were being treated by their counterparts from the other parties, and with his appointment to the government operations committee. He noted the start of a new Progressive Party Blog, and said he was going on the program "Under the Dome" with Mark Johnson Tuesday at eight o’clock. Zuckerman noted, among other things, that he had just been sent to the legislature for the sixth time.

IV. School Board Member and Candidate Introductions

School Commissioners Marissa Caldwell (W3) and Chris Haessly (W2) spoke next. Caldwell said the School Board had just passed a budget that included funding for a librarian at Barnes and a librarian at Wheeler, and for after-school programs used by seventy percent of the district’s kids. Pearson said he is on the SEI (Socioeconomic Integration) task force. (He later told me he had a long SEI discussion with my across the street neighbor Tom the night before.) Pearson said it had been twelve years since there had been a “comprehensive look” at the district, and the he hoped more people would take a ‘long term’ view when it came to the mission of the board.

Then Chris asked that the meeting participate in a moment of silence for the ninety-fifth anniversary of the Bread and Roses strike and for the groundbreaking participation of women and immigrants in that event.

V. City Council Member and Candidate Introductions

Speaking from Ward Two was Jane Knodell who (You may recall Jane came in second in the “Crackpot Mock Poll” I took back in Whenever.) noting that she has served six non-consecutive terms on the city council, and is currently on the Board of Finance, said it is fun working under a new mayor with a fresh set of eyes. “There’s always going to be a lot of push-back whenever changes are made,” Knodell said “but we should be continually re-thinking service delivery.”

Knodell said she had been involved with Burlington’s Legacy Project with a focus on encouraging development in the urban core for to prevent sprawl and protect the environment. She said Barnes and Wheeler schools continue to be an important part of community development in the old north end and that she planned on helping “amp up” the city’s fair housing efforts. Lastly she floated the idea of a downtown ice skating rink in Burlington à la Rockefeller Center.

Next up was Ward Three city councilor Tim Ashe who started out with great praise for the mayor who he said has been amazing in his ability to find savings in the city budget. He said it was great to work with Jane Knodell whom he described as “smarter than everyone else.” Tim said he looked forward to continuing work on issues like development and housing.

VI. Ward Caucuses for Candidate Nominations

Both Knodell and Ashe were unanimously re-nominated on voice votes.

Now I’m not a reporter so I don’t have to feel too bad about this, but there was a woman there by the name of Jen from Ward Two, who may have been nominated to run for school board, but I’m not sure. If anyone wants to fill me in, feel free.

VII. Dinner

VIII. Informal Questions and Answers.

People pretty much skipped to the Q&A while dinner preparations were underway. I think it's worthy of mentioning that the dinner immediately following the Progs caucus cost $3.00 per person whereas the dinner immediately following the Democratic Party caucus cost $25.00 per person.

I jumped over to the table at which sat Bob Kiss and Don Horenstein….


Coming up…

My conversation with Horenstein and follow ups with Bob Kiss and Jane Knodell in:

Burlington Progressives Caucus III

Watch for it!
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:54 PM   5 comments
Anonymous Said II
Saturday, January 13, 2007
This sort of thing is just gold. If I hanged my diplomas on a wall, I'd print this comment and hang it next to them...(PolVT)

Anonymous said...
I have never seen such rudeness come from a blogger like Mr. Haik Bedrosian of Burlington Pol.

In fact, I have never seen such mean spirited and "coo-coo" nature come from anyone before.

I hope that your leave from the internet is not by his doing. If so, you all should know better than to accept defeat at the hands of a strange and confused man such as him.

However, I have a feeling that you all just where tired of the thing.

Oh Well, I wish you well.

January 12, 2007

That's gold, Jerry. Gold.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:51 PM   0 comments
Two New VT Political Blogs
Thursday, January 11, 2007
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:41 PM   0 comments
Burlington Progressives Caucus I
Again...very little text for y'all. Just the teaser composite photo, and maybe a paragraph for tonight. I had a good time at the meeting. One of the speakers noted that this is the 95th anniversary of the Bread and Roses strike.

I spoke with three key players including the mayor regarding the fiscal health of the city. Is it in good shape, or are there stormy waters ahead? The answer might surprise you.

Read the upcoming post: Burlington Progressives Caucus II to find out more!

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:10 PM   0 comments
And if You had to vote Today...
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
"Shall Vermont's Congressional Delegation be advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001?"

...You may also choose to vote in this alternate poll.

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:04 PM   1 comments
Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus II
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday Night / Tuesday Morning:

I went to the Green meeting downstairs at the Library in the Community Room. I figure I have a right to be there and take pictures because the Library is public. I see Kevin Ryan and he tells me a whole bunch of things and stories about the mayor and the chief of police and all kinds of stuff leading in to a long story that ends in the refrain to "Alice's Restaurant"

Well the bottom line is Kiss may want to cut the police budget and Trembley is outraged but Bob can't and / or won't fire Trembley. Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. I don't care. I don't care. Bob Kiss is the man. He's got that squint. You know, that squint that tells you he's hovering a couple of atmospheric levels higher than everyone around him. He floats. Floats...Wax on...Wax off Danielson... The squint tells you he is merely annoyed by gravity, not actually bound by it like the rest of us.

So then the meeting gets underway. There were about 15-17 people there, in a circle of chairs. Steve Eckberg was the Host. He's the Chair of the Burlington Greens. (if I spell names wrong, tell me and I'll fix it.) There was Jay Vos, René Kaczka-Vallière, me, Kevin (who is a Republican), A woman named Judy who worked with Indy Media, a guy named Jerry Trudell, Lise Anne whom I know from Recycle North, Then... I believe his name was Ken with the long white hair and beard. Then a guy named Tony who is the treasurer of the local party...Then a young guy with a long beard came in his name was Ted and Eckberg introduced him as a scientist. Then in came Radkin of Alburg, the state party chair. Several times in the discussion Radkin brought up something about the government spraying some kind of aerosol into the atmosphere for some reason, that he said was poisoning the Earth.

At one point Jerry Trudell Said he had run for congress in November but was "shut out of the debate" literally one time in Middlebury. (Note: He beat the offical Green candidate by 19 votes.) To which Radkin responded "Oh! I voted for you! I didn't know who the hell you were, but I voted for you!"

They followed their agenda as you see it in the picture. When they did the minute of silence, it reminded me of the one time I went to Quaker Church up by Mater Christi School...

The bummer was- I knew I could stay just under an hour and their agenda called for ninety minutes, the last portion of which being the one I cared about. I quickly learned that this local party likes to discuss things in an animated way and several people spoke out more than others.

So let me just tick through a couple more things...

Jay Vos touted Efficiency Vermont. Troudou advocated sit-ins at Leahy, Sanders's and Welch's offices, and said the Dems and Republicans were "bankrupt of ideas."... They talked about their web site, the current official version of which is produced by Owen Mulligan. Eckberg tried to put Mulligan's site up against some other website (that no one seemed to have heard of and whose URL he couldn't name) for the title of official Burlington Green Party Website, but put that item off. In a meeting atypical of most mainstream (and thus most) political caucuses, that one event stood out as extra odd.

But I basically got that Rene was their council candidate (W5.)

Then I dashed out and met Poopsie and Koko on Church Street with our friend Lisa. Then P,K&I went to Poopsie's car and she dropped me off at the OP where I was meeting Matty. Poops took K home for to nappy and Matty and I split up to meet at Channel 15 to do his show from 3 to 4, which was perfect, because I was going the Dem caucus at the Elks at 4:30. I stop at the Co-op to get eel rolls and snap a picture of the "world's most dangerous parking lot" the I go back to the library, grab 10 kids books and dash to 15 where I do the show.

Then I go to the Elks club...
Now the Democratic Party Caucus is not the Green Party Caucus. First of all, I think the Dems only publicized theirs via their own internal email lists, because I couldn't find any mention of it on their website, only of the dinner immediately following. Owen sent me "Saturday the 7th" which I appreciate, but then I caught that the 7th was Sunday, so I called Burlington Democratic Party Chair Mary Sullivan (She's Dean's party Chair. Don't you love that?) and she told me Sunday and said it was ok for me to come write about the thing. Which I guess I may have technically needed since I think the Elks Club is private. Thanks Mary.

So I get there... ok... what's going on... somebody taking money asks if I'm there for dinner. There's a cash bar. Tables are set of for a dinner. Oh God! What am I going to do with myself here? Who am I going to talk to? Bill Aswad? Um... no... he's not making any eye contact with me... um...Barb Grimes ( I just saw a picture of her in Hollywood on one of her sons' myspace pages, I guess I could mention that to her, but...) eye contact... Uh... Linda Deladuka? No! At best she'd call me "Haiky" and ask me about my mom, but luckily, no eye contact anyway...uh...Joanna Cole? Hmmmm... not so much. Shit! Luckily Mary Sullivan took some pity and talked to me for a minute. I tried to pick her brain for what would happen in the individual ward caucuses... mainly because I knew I'd want to bail before they were over, and that's all I really needed for Charity's show, which is really the only reason I'm doing this anyway. I actually hate blogging. It's a pain in my ass.

Here's what I got from Mary Sullivan (with my own spin, not hers necessarily) W1-Bushor still owns it, no Dem wants to try; W2-?; W3-?; W4?; W5- Joan Shannon to seek reelection; W6- Andy Montroll to seek reelection and W7... Is Carmen George going to run again, or not?

Drum roll please.... No. She isn't.

She tells me in an email subsequent to the caucus that she has been promoted by her employer Good News Garage and needs to devote herself to that. That's cool and the gang, Carmen, my friend. I take you at your word. I have to say, though, when I didn't run for reelection back in 1997, I wrote an op-ed for the Free Press saying I didn't want to run, when in fact the Progs made it clear Tom Smith would be their nominee, not me. I assumed they calculated I would not win re-election. Maybe. Maybe. But as I've said, "Tommy the Commie's" political life sort of ended in scandal. Once he tried to high-five me when we heard that a political opponent had been caught drunk-boating. Somebody somewhere probably had a high-five when Tom got in trouble at the end there too. But I digress...

Back to Carmen. So what If I'm a liar? You’re probably telling the truth- as you see it- now (just kidding) But let me say as someone who volunteered in a lit-drop for your campaign in 05, and as your constituent from ward seven for the past two years: you have been an engaging and responsible public servant. You always answered my constituency questions (like about the street and stuff) in a timely and courteous way, and you kept in touch. I think I generally agreed with your voting record, but honestly, I'd be hard pressed to name a single vote at this moment. (And I'm an engaged and active citizen.)

Carmen George would have been a shoe-in again I think. Mainly because I don't think the Republicans got anybody. Do they? Does anybody know? I guess we'll find out on my birthday. So if the GOP offers up weak, or no competition, then this could finally be the year of Linda Deladuka. This will be...what... her third try as the Dem nominee in W7? Third time's a charm?

I talked to another guy there who works for the state on condition of double-secret-super-duper-double-deep-background-cover, but I don't want to tell you what he told me.

Around this point the Dems started moving to tables by ward. Ward three's table was easily and by far the least populated sheltering only Rachel Weston, a man and another woman who said she liked this blog, but later kicked me out of the ward caucus because I live in seven, not three. But before that I joined them and interviewed Weston for several questions. That's good stuff for the blog. She's famous right now having just been elected at twenty-five to John Patrick Tracey's old seat in the legislature. (Plus that whole Paris Hilton-Nicole Richie style feud she's got going on with Zypher Teachout. Oh the drama! I can't stand it!)

Mini interview with Weston not exact quotes:

HB- So are you the youngest VT legislator ever?
RW- I know of at least one as young as 18.
HB-Burlington Cred?
RW- My parents met in Burlington. I was born in Massachusetts. Moved here for Grad School (Master of Public Administration) Graduated, ran for statehouse, won. BA in Anthropology, I play jazz flute. Have worked as a music teacher, sold folk instruments, waitressed and worked as a research assistant, also live in Maine.
When I asked what her priorities are in the legislature, she was careful to attribute the issues she mentioned to the people she listened to doorknocking in the campaign. She wants Healthcare for all based on ability to pay and energy alternatives like wind and solar.

I asked her about my pet issue- Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!, and she agreed we should vote on paper but was hesitant to support a constitutional amendment on the matter. I like that. Yes. We should always be wary of constitutional amendments. Even good ones. Rachel Weston is smart, and wise too, it seems. A younger perspective also bodes well for the city party which is large (I counted 55-60 people there) but generally pretty old. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just nice to mix it up.

Ok... Now: I'll give you the lost interview with Loyal Ploof.

I ran into former W3 School Commissioner and mayoral candidate Loyal Ploof on the way out of the Greens' meeting...

Mini interview with Ploof not exact quotes:

HB- Not a Green anymore?

LP-No. Greens are done. Eckberg is hard to deal with. I'm running for state senate as a Prog.

HB- You're a Prog again?

LP- Yeah but some Progs have been giving me the cold shoulder.

HB- Good luck. Take it easy.

LP- Take it easy.


End of Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus II


posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 12:11 AM   4 comments
Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus I
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Sunday Night 11 something...

Here are some composite pictures of Sunday's Green Party and Democratic Party Caucuses. I'll add text tomorrow y'all.. but I right now I have to go to bed...

The Burlington Green Party met Sunday, 1:00pm at Fletcher Free Library

The Burlington Democratic Party met Sunday 4:30pm at the Elks Club

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:14 PM   0 comments
To All It May Concern:

The Vermont Impeach website is now up & running. For all the information you need on the Vermont impeachment movement, here it is:
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:04 PM   0 comments
Fake Blog to Finally Disappear
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Stupid fake Tarrant blog "Politics Vermont" is finally going to f*ck off and die "next Wednesday" according to a recent comment posted by The Hayes Group PR firm on the blog January 5.


The Capitol Bureau said...
Dear Vermonter,
We will be leaving next Wednesday. We wanted to make sure that we covered all the exciting stuff that has been going on in these first few weeks. Sorry for the confusion.MatthewCommunications Director
January 05, 2007

BurlingtonPol will be claiming credit for their destruction from now until the end of time. I was right about them, and no one will ever prove otherwise.

So long suckers. Victory is sweet.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 11:27 AM   2 comments
Nominating Caucuses
Thursday, January 04, 2007
This blog is about politics in Burlington, Vermont. On Town Meeting Day Burlington holds elections, just like in November. We don't actually have a town meeting. Maybe we should. It would be like Athens.

I digress...

I have emails out to both my city councilors (W7- Republican and Democrat) and also to "info@" for more info. I'll post it when I get it. If you have more, do tell...

Here's all I got right now. Expect the same "Shempy" coverage from me as last year...or not even that really. It's a way less interesting election, what with no open mayoral seat, and all. Plus Poopsie and I are having another baby in March, so there's that.

Pretty much I can quit blogging entirely once PolVT goes off the air, and Town Meeting is Over. Ahhh! Whatevs. Here's the dirt... oh... and the world's shortest movie review: Rocky Balboa: Loved it! An exquisite portrayal of beauty in decay. Up there with I and II. I rank them like this: II, I, Balboa, V, IV, III... ok, the dirt...

Green Gathering this Sunday (On the Green Party Website (Link at Burlington Voter Power))
All Greens and supporters are invited to our upcoming meeting which is this Sunday, January 7th at 1:00 p.m. in the Burlington Fletcher Free Library in the community room. Local candidates for the Town Meeting Day election will be endorsed.

... Just In From Councilor Paul Decelles (R) W7...
Burlington Republicans to caucus on January 18 (my birthday) at Hunt Middle School to pick local candidates. Time uncertain...

...Just in From BurlingtonPol Owen Mulligan (Not a Dem, Just a good guy)....
Burlington Democrats to caucus on Sunday January 7 at the Elks Club at 4:30pm. Thanks for the tip Owen.

Anyone know about the Prog Caucus?

...Just in from Marrisa Caldwell for the Progressives...

Thursday, January 11th, 20075:30 pm - 7:30 pmin the H.O. Wheeler school cafeteriaMayor Bob Kiss, State Representatives David Zuckerman and Chris Pearson and others will speak.Dinner and childcare will be provided. All are welcome.For more information, please call Colin Robinson at 734-6265.


I'll be going on the acclaimed TV Show "She's Right" hosted by Charity Tensel to talk about local elections and blogging- January 19 at on Channel 17.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 6:09 PM   4 comments
More to Come...
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
...Stay Tuned.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 2:50 AM   0 comments
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