Ed Adrian W1Ns...Post Revised Updated Enhanced Extended...as 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.