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Election Day was Tuesday March 3, 2009
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2009 Mayoral Race

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The Dan Smith Interview
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The following is a faithfully transcribed conversation between me (pictured on left) and Independent mayoral candidate Dan Smith (pictured on right) recorded at Stone Soup on College Street on Saturday January 17, 2009. Also present was Dan's cousin and campaign manager Emily Mellencamp Smith, who recently worked for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as well as for Emily's list, an organization dedicated to electing more women to public office. Both she and Dan Smith supported Hinda Miller with their first-choice votes in the last mayoral election...


Labels:

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 12:17 PM  
55 Comments:
  • At January 27, 2009 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great interview. Made me feel better about my vote.

     
  • At January 27, 2009 4:46 PM, Anonymous Dave said…

    Well that ends it. Seems like a cool, smart, funny guy with great ideas. He has my vote.

     
  • At January 27, 2009 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dave, which ideas did you like best?

     
  • At January 27, 2009 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Which ideas did you like best Dave?

     
  • At January 27, 2009 8:14 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Nice work Haik...as usual.

     
  • At January 27, 2009 8:15 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    I'm telling you, hard to go wrong with a 2x Cavalier...

     
  • At January 27, 2009 8:21 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I'm telling you, hard to go wrong with a 2x Cavalier...

    Huh?

     
  • At January 27, 2009 9:07 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    1) www.virginia.edu
    2) www.law.virginia.edu/html/index.htm

    http://www.virginiasports.com/

     
  • At January 27, 2009 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like his idea on the train system. That makes a lot of sense and moving the CT station makes a lot of sense too. Having the train roll up from New York would actually give me incentive to take the train down to New York to visit friends and might encourage more commerce to the city.

    More importantly, I like how he openly acknowledges that the three other candidates represent "politics as usual." Because, it is true.

     
  • At January 27, 2009 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Go, Dan!

     
  • At January 28, 2009 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ditto. Liked the idea on reforming the transit system. That's something the other candidates aren't talking about. Still voting for Kurt as my first choice but I'm leaning towards Dan as my second choice.

     
  • At January 28, 2009 11:09 AM, Blogger Darren said…

    Nice to see you so civic minded, Dan. Good luck!

    Darren Wilson

     
  • At January 28, 2009 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Which one is Dan?

     
  • At January 28, 2009 12:00 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Good question. Dan's on the right. I'm on the left holding a pen.

     
  • At January 28, 2009 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I want my Mayor to make sure the city's infrastructure works, services for residents are there and taxes are reasonable. The retirement of city employees and whether we have access to Al Jazera shouldnt be campaign issues.

    I like Dan. I think he has enough Republican in him to be fiscally responsible in the face of whining councilors.

    Kiss? My ass!

     
  • At January 28, 2009 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Haha.

     
  • At January 28, 2009 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow. 16 comments. unusual for this blog. obviously the anon compliments are from dan's campaign- us regular readers aren't that thick ya know

     
  • At January 28, 2009 5:59 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    us regular readers aren't that thick ya know

    uh... thanks... I guess.

     
  • At January 28, 2009 8:26 PM, Anonymous Pete said…

    Ummm, I usually don't comment unless something interests me and this interests me.

    Maybe you're just an angry Kiss supporter who knows their candidate is going to lose.

     
  • At January 28, 2009 10:47 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Who are you talking to Pete?

     
  • At January 29, 2009 12:48 AM, Anonymous Pete said…

    The anonymous commentator who said that everyone who were saying nice things about Dan Smith were hackies from the campaign.

    I wasn't saying you were an angry Kiss supporter, Haik.

    And, thanks for doing that interview. I'm sure it will help people get a glimpse into the candidates minds.

    The big question is: will you be doing this for the other candidates?

     
  • At January 29, 2009 12:57 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    The big question is: will you be doing this for the other candidates?

    I'm interviewing Andy Montroll this Sunday and I'm working on setting a date to meet with the mayor too. I haven't talked to Kurt about an interview yet, but I'm definitely open to it. It's a lot of work, but it would be good to get all four.

    Stay tuned!

     
  • At January 29, 2009 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So it's fascinating to me that people think Dan is qualified. He hasn't run a business, he's not participated much in Burlington politics, he doesn't want to talk about a CAO, even though that's the second most important job in the City. Has his CAO ever balanced a municipal budget? I can't tell that he's ever had to negotiate or mediate anything - another important part of being a Mayor. Most of his supporters seem to be developers. Doesn't sound very independent to me.

     
  • At January 29, 2009 7:52 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Couple of things:

    1) George W. Bush worked in business for years. Are we ready to say he was qualified to run the country? This constant and fluffy "should run a business to be in government" is a mantra that never seems to have a solid basis for support. Other than some long standing belief that lacks evidence. Clinton = good president, right? What business did he run before becoming gov? Point being, the business connection sounds good on paper, but where's the proof? What's the evidence that there's some sort of 1-to-1 translation between business and government. Business people seem to like to think they could do a better job, but you know what? Gov't runs by very, very different rules. So until those rules change, a keen business sense a good politician does not make.

    2) Hmmm, what are the odds that a lawyer has done negotiation or mediation? I'd be willing to be somewhere between "high" and "pretty frickin likely." But, maybe not in this case. Haik, and sense of this, besides what Dan himself has said?

    3) Another knock against developers. A thinly veiled "oh, he must be in bed with business." And? What if he were? Is the problem that business is somehow bad? "Independence" means so from parties, not the needs and wants of the people. Do all developers belong to the same party? Would that be the Republican Party? Shouldn't that mean the actual Republican candidate is supported by developers? A vague "he's not independent" is a lame way to accuse someone of hiding their political leanings. I ask again, is there something wrong with business? Cuz you know, that's what brings jobs and a tax base. Two things no town can afford to turn their back on these days.

    So, the point? What are some legitimate problems with Dan and his positions? Everything mentioned by these anonymous posters sounds like baseless concerns with someone who's young, educated, and enthusiastic about change. Wait...I've heard of a guy like that before...

     
  • At January 29, 2009 7:59 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Note: that wasn't meant to act as some sort of endorsement. Hell, I can't vote for the guy. It's an endorsement for more thoughtful discourse on why someone may or may not be qualified for the job.

    To be "fair an balanced": the biggest knock against Dan, that I can see...lack of gov't experience. That Kurt's take too. Legit issue, for sure. Perhaps running the course and getting on the Council first ins the right way to do thins. Then again, where does traditionalism generally get us? Right where we are...and people want something different, right?

    Anyway, Kurt's a good guy with a strong backing and good experience for the city. Dan offers something different. The debate should be how those two points matter.

     
  • At January 29, 2009 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are so many things to be said about the above comments. Peter Brownell comes to mind as someone who thought he could breeze in and get stuff done - it's just not that easy.

    Bob Kiss ran a large non-profit agency and was in the State Legislature. Dan doesn't stack up.

    You say Dan's an attorney so I should assume he knows how to negotiate and mediate. Ed Adrian's an attorney and he's simply made a fool of himself at City Council meetings and antagonized people.

    Kiss and Clavelle have brought jobs to the City - what are you talking about? Progressives must like business because they keep working on bringing businesses to Burlington. That is such an old tired line.

    Kurt's not much better by the way. Needs Jane Knodell to even run the City Council meetings because he gets confused. Good luck to the City if either of them gets elected.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 12:45 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I'm appreciating this entire discussion. I think it's healthy for Burlington.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 8:00 AM, Anonymous jonas said…

    So Bob ran a non-profit and was in the legislature. Sure, good experiences. But, can you be specific about how business experiences actually translates into governmental skills? Because just saying so doesn't make it so. Granted, I think there are significant differences between for and non-profit enterprises that might make that translation different.

    Re: Ed and lawyers. You'll note that nothing about any of this is a defense of lawyers. We probably have too many in office as it is.
    I said, as a lawyer, assuming he doesn't have negotiating experience seems a bit silly.

    What business did Kiss and Clavelle "bring" to Burlington? Peter was in office so long, my guess is, statistically, yes, some businesses came to town while he was in office. Did any leave? Who's accounting for that? Who do we look to to figure out why so many businesses have left Church St? Does Kiss get credit for that too? Whats to say they had any direct influence on such things? Again, these "he did this or that" statements are rarely backed with evidence. So, it seems 'a tired old line' going both ways.
    Now, I'm not saying Kiss or Peter didn't do these things. I'm just saying, if they did, tell us how, when, and whom.

    "Progressives must like business because they keep working on bringing businesses to Burlington." Um, working at and doing are two different things. Not sure what the above quote actually proves.

    Re: Ed and lawyers. You'll not that nothing about any of this is a defense of lawyers. We probably have too many in office as it is.

    All that said, Kiss has seemingly done a good cost at keeping costs down and keeping an eye on the bottom line. Although, as people have said, perhaps that's actually Leopold. So, who are people really voting for if they're voting for Kiss?

     
  • At January 30, 2009 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd agree with Jonas that Bob has done a good job at keeping costs done and watching the budget. That's important. Seven Days did a great piece on him this week.

    But really...time for a reality check. Bob is too much of a delegating mayor. He doesn't inspire anyone to get involved and he is too soft spoken. The relationship with the Council is not that strong at the moment and his handling of the Adam Cate ordeal begged for improvement. My other problem is that his supporters keep bringing up Leopold. Let's be clear, we're not voting for Deputy Mayor. We're voting for Mayor and while Bob IS a nice guy...(I don't dispute that at all), I don't think he's been a good mayor for the simple reason that jobs haven't come into Church Street, the Circ is still not finished despite his statements that it will be (oldest story in the book right), he's turning off street lights and the cost of living continues to rise.

    But hey...he balanced the budget. That's 1 tick for Bob and a multiple others for his opponents.

    1. Dan Smith
    2. Kurt Wright
    3. Andy Montroll
    4. Bob Kiss

     
  • At January 30, 2009 12:07 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    the cost of living continues to rise.

    I'm not sure it's fair to lay that one on the mayor, or on anyone in particular for that matter.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dan is impressive.

    With enough support, he'll win.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 3:22 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Sweet, some support! Yes, the financial aspect of the job is certainly critical. And maybe...just maybe, that's where good business sense can help. But that's not all the mayor needs to worry about. The mayor, for better or worse, is the embodiment of the city...the name, the face. That's someone who should be energetic, dynamic, encouraging, etc. Someone who does inspire, who's good at leading and bringing people together.

    The Boathouse fiasco seems to be a symptom of problems not many people get to see.

    And just to point to actual things that have transpired, what have we heard from the Mayor's office? Sanctuary City? Gun possession questions? Air Show debates? For some reason, these are the kinds of things Mayor Kiss gets vocal about. I would think that city employee and practices impropriety are the kinds of things we should be hearing from him on, not politic-laden idealism. Double pension screw up? He was awfully quiet about that. How about the storm water debates? Anyone been following that? Probably should be. And while he didn't start all these problems, they continue under his administration. Those are the kinds of things a mayor should be addressing.

    I'm not saying things would have been categorically better under say, Hinda Miller. Just that these are the things the Mayor has had to deal with, and the record isn't exactly in his favor on many of them.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah but at least Hinda would have been a hell of a lot more dynamic then Silent Bob. She would have gone out there and aggressively promoted Burlington for businesses and green industries.

    I agree with you, 100% -- The pension issue is a HUGE concern of mine along with the fact that Silent Bob was vocal on some pretty idealistic stuff (sanctuary city and gun control) but fairly silent on the storm water...or the fact that during the BBA Debate, he said progress was being made on the Circ but then we see on Channel 3 a few days later that the project is in danger of being toppled. Plus, he had a fairly rocky relationship with Tom Trembley. Why do you think Tom picked Schirling? Because he's a wiz with the pension and could go toe-to-toe with Leopold.

    Keep in mind, the guy had one of the most pro-environment records in the House. I'm in no way crashing on that. I think it's great. However, you have to balance development with environmental conservation/green space. I personally think that Andy and Dan would be better about that. Don't really know how Kurt would balance that out.

    My big beef with Bob and his supporters, however, is that they're trying to make it look like Bob made Burlington one of the greenest cities in America and one of the healthiest cities in America. Remember, he inherited a lot of good and bad stuff from Peter Clavelle. Clavelle deserves credit (both good and bad) where credit is due.

    I'll give credit to Bob for some things. However, his record is checkered at best and he inherited some things that he and his supporters are trying to take credit for.

    He had 3 years and he got a "C" in my book. I just want a more dynamic mayor. Nothing wrong with that.

     
  • At January 30, 2009 5:10 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Exactly. And the storm water thing (I think) is a much bigger deal than people realize.

    Kiss didn't burn the city down. Has a good record on some things. And a really non-impressive record on even more. So, supporters...why keep him?

     
  • At January 30, 2009 9:11 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    Jonathan Leopold????

     
  • At January 31, 2009 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bob has integrity and works hard to make sure that the city is run efficiently and effectively. He's not glitzy. So what? I don't want glitzy. I want someone who understands the needs of the city, and how to run things well. Anyone who knows Bob, knows that things that happen at City Hall happen because he makes them happen, not because someone else is in control. That is not Bob's style. He listens to the people around him, but he makes his own decisions.

     
  • At January 31, 2009 11:33 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    That's well and good for "anyone who knows Bob". But, most people don't and won't. Instead, it seems many people have a distinct impression that the mayor answers to someone else. Now, that may not be the case, but perception matters in politics. So, for those who don't know Bob, tell us what it is he has done and how he's done it.

    It's great that there are these legions of anonymous supporters and detractors, but few seem to offer actual evidence of pros or cons of any candidate. If you're going to post in support of someone (or against) and not even use your name, at least sack up and give people something to think about. "Dan Smith isn't independent" and "Bob Kiss likes business" are about as useful as tits on a bull. Seriously.

    The fact is, no one has any idea what Dan Smith would be like as a mayor. There's a pretty clear idea about Bob Kiss. Kurt has a track record, as does Andy Montroll. So, why not actually cite what people have done, or not done? Speeches? City Council transcripts? Voting record? Cases litigated? Otherwise, its just partisan finger pointing.

     
  • At February 01, 2009 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    didn't know you were left handed Haik -kewl!!

     
  • At February 01, 2009 12:13 PM, Anonymous Dave said…

    Ya we would not know exactly what Dan Smith would be like as mayor, but seeing that 80% of Burlington voted for Barack Obama as PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, knowing less about a man with a somewhat mysterious past, it would be enormously hypocritical for anyone who voted for Obama to not vote for Dan Smith because we do not know enough about him.

     
  • At February 01, 2009 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hardly mysterious. He grew up in the area. Attended the University of Virginia for his Bachelors and his JD. He's a lawyer by trade and works for the GBIC. He's a big proponent of green industry and has been outspoken about storm water and I believe helped craft the proposal.

    He supported Hinda Miller in 2006 for Mayor.

    Frankly, I like Dan and Kurt the best out of all of them. Both have stopped by my home in the New North End and while I don't know who is getting my first vote, I know that Andy and Bob will be 3rd and 4th respectively.

    Jonas is right. The perception that Bob cedes responsibility to Jon Leopold is too strong. He is taking credit for things that, quite frankly, he had little to do with such as the UVM/Champlain fee-for-services agreement. He fumbled the waterfront issue and has a disastrous record with the Adam Cate issue.

    I'm sure he's a nice guy. I'm sure he means well. But I want a Mayor who will go out there and promote an image of Burlington that is dynamic, green, hard-working and a great place to start a business.

    Bob, I am sorry, doesn't project that at all. Kurt and Dan, in my opinion, seem much more aggressive about the issue in this staggering economy.

    Great article in the Freeps by the way about the Mayor's race. Deserves a good look:

    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20090201/NEWS03/90131019&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

     
  • At February 01, 2009 3:32 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    I was hoping someone would read that article. Montroll comes right out and lets us know that Kiss' (and his supporters') biggest claim in not raising fees/taxes isn't the full story. Turns out there were plenty of other tax-payer increases.

    These are the kind of details that make candidates interesting. Yes, Bob might be a swell guy. But, his seeming passivity in any number of instances (as noted above) doesn't inspire confidence. Being pro-active/aggressive isn't necessarily a bad thing. Burlington can't afford to sit back and hope good things come its way by virtue of being a "cool town". "Fortune favors the bold" and so on.

    And no political party has the corner on the "progress" market, regardless of the banner under which they run.

     
  • At February 01, 2009 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said.

     
  • At February 02, 2009 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Burlington doesn't rest on its laurels by virtue of being a "cool town". Burlington takes care of its citizens. That's it's reputation from Bernie, to Clavelle to Kiss. Let's hope Kiss continues...for the sake of Burlington's citizens. After all the debates this will come out. The poseurs will be vanquished.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 8:08 AM, Anonymous jonas said…

    When you have a mayor who's most visible moments are pronouncing the desire to become a "sanctuary city," making unclear statements about gun control, and engaging in a debate about banning the air show, it seems like he's someone who's more interested in Burlington's political image/leanings than actual issues: pensions, Waterfront, storm water, etc., etc. Those are the issue that require (demand) strong leadership. Those other things are just another way to get Burlington on the "most progressive city" lists. And how, in any real way, are the citizens of Burlington actually helped by such posturing? They're not. That's problematic.

    Again, Kiss' claim to fame has been keeping costs down. It has yet to be made clear how, exactly, he made that happen. What of that can we attribute to him vs,. Leopold? If it has really been all Kiss, GREAT! Good for him...but let's see the details.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The sanctuary city and the gun control issues were one comment lines that the press decided to use rather than the rest of a press conference.

    And for those who ask who can they attribute the financial success to, it's both Bob and Leopold. When you vote for Bob you get the expertise of both. None of the other candidates have voiced who would hold that second most important position and I think that's critical for us taxpayers.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 8:42 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Jonas, you have to chill about the sanctuary city and the gun control. These are visible moments because they give right wingers convulsions, but they have little if any effect on the overall running of the city. Voters should think twice before trying to fix something, that for all practical purposes, ain't broke.

    Leopold's work belongs to Kiss, because he is below Kiss. Governors don't build highways with their bare hands you know- Every leader counts on the people under him to get things done.

    As far as seeing some details- I spent Sunday morning interviewing Bob Kiss and Andy Montroll back to back.

    Readers will definitely be interested in reading those pieces when they're written.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 12:53 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    No, I don't think I have to "chill". He's virtually invisible (not always a bad thing for any leader) until he appears for voicing some seemingly pointless, ideological opinion. That's not leadership. That's grandstanding.

    Granted, nothing has come of these issues. But, my point remains: why take on those issues rather than the numerous actual problems the city has faced? Silence on so many other real issues is not leadership.

    So, were people voting for Hilary because they actually wanted Bill back in the White House? Did people really vote for Obama because they knew who he'd pick for his Cabinet? Methinks not.

    Kiss has the advantage of already having someone in place. But to suggest other candidates are responsible to endorse or otherwise name whom he might appoint is, as noted above, just not the way things work.

    Now, all the Kiss defenders need to realize I'm not suggesting Kiss shouldn't or couldn't be mayor. I'm pointing out that the defenses offered for his continuation in that position remain fairly weak. He is a nice guy. The budget isn't a disaster. The city continues to be fairly stable. All things Kiss has helped. Maybe that all people want. The other candidates suggest people want more. That's all.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Seems perfectly legitimate.

    I just want a Mayor who's not going to sit in his office and expect businesses come to Burlington.

    I personally think that Wright and Smith would be more energetic and go out and promote a business friendly image of Burlington.

    I may be wrong, though. We shall see. IRV is going to be fun to watch.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 11:30 PM, Anonymous Sam said…

    I agree that Dan and Kurt would be more energetic but remember, Kurt was the PRESIDENT of city council. He could have started on many of the issues he is talking about in the last couple years but he chose not to. Instead he did not accomplish all that much and contributed to the partisan gridlock we now see in city government. In MY opinion, Kurt did not do a create job as council president. He presided over meetings that were unbearably long which caused the public to become more disengaged in the decisions that affect this city. It is telling that he allowed things like decriminalizing marijuana to even be discussed on the agenda a couple meetings ago. That should have been handled in committee. I am personally not a fan of his leadership style, meaning I do not think he would be a great mayor.

    Sorry to make this a rant on Kurt but also he is calling himself the most independently based candidate in this race which I find kind of offensive. He has done nothing but cling to party lines in Montpelier being in lock step with Jim every step of the way. In city council he has stuck to his Republican ways, creating much of the gridlock we now see. KURT WRIGHT IS A REPUBLICAN, it would be crazy to suggest otherwise. Now I am not saying that him being a Republican is a bad thing, just own up to it and be honest.

    Dan still has a lot to prove but I just feel like the other three candidates are all pretty much the same. They have all been there for years and have had amble opportunities to take up many of the problems we are talking about. The problems out there are ones they created or did not address.

    Think about this. If Dan wins, the city council will no longer have Kurt, Andy, or Bob presiding over it. There will be a total of 5 new council members which would give the city a fresh start to tackle the critical problems it needs to address.

    In conclusion, if Dan can prove to me that he has an expert handle on the issues, offers good new ideas and strong leadership he will get my vote. It seems like he does so far but we will see. I have a feeling this election is about to get crazy.

     
  • At February 03, 2009 11:46 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Sam,

    Excellent point: as president of the council, one would think Kurt would have some sway in addressing some of these issues. I was surprised to the marijuana even addressed. Ok, that's not true. I'm not at all surprised...its Burlington. But your point is well taken: why let it get that far?

    Being a Republican (Dem, Prog, Ind, or Green) isn't a bad thing. But, Kurt being independent is like Bernie being independent...does anyone actually believe that?
    That said, the turnover on the Council will see the same parties fill the voids. Maybe not seat-by-seat, but the same parties, nonetheless. So, the question becomes, what does such change actually mean? If the city is run by Progs, then Dems, and a Rep or two, has anything really changed? What are these new people bringing?

    Ok, that was a bit of a digression. The only unknown in the mayoral race is Smith. Now, as per previous discussions, people assume he's a Rep because of his vague tie to developers. And that somehow, that's not good. Maybe he leans right. That would put him to the left of Kurt, and to the right of Montroll and Kiss (the ordering of the last two depends on where you think Progs fall...as many argue they're not as left as people think). So what that means is that there's a fairly balanced political spectrum of candidates. All in all, that's a nice problem to have. Of course I'm leaving out the Green candidate who, last I checked, didn't so much have a platform.

    Remember, IRV gave Kiss his job, though at the time, it wasn't clear he wanted it. Where's Loyal Ploof when you need him?

     
  • At February 04, 2009 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hardly think that Dan is a righty. He's got people on his endorsement list that are Democrats, Republicans, Progressives and Independents.

    He's a big proponent of green industry and fighting global warming while acknowledging, yes, that we need to be smarter about development and be strategic.

    I would put him smack/dab in the middle of the political spectrum.

    And to make a point about the Council...I think Democrats are going to pick up at most 1-2 seats this coming session. I think Emma is going to win her race in Ward 2 as a Prog and I think David Cain has a legitimate chance of picking up a seat in Ward 3 but we shall see if Marissa Caldwell has what it takes.

    The real battle is going to be in Wards 4 and 7. The battle for Kurt's seat should be VERY interesting and Craig Gutchell's seat is also up.

    Now, I'm a Democrat, but it would be sad if Paul Descelle was the only GOPer left on the Council. Difference of opinion is important.

    Personally, I think Democrats will pick up 1-2 seats and while Kurt has endorsed Clarence Davis, a Prog, as his sucessor...I highly doubt the Democrats will get behind whem you have Joan Shannon or Ed Adrian ready to lead the Council.

    Heard Karen Paul wants the job too yesterday.

     
  • At February 04, 2009 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I meant succeeding Kurt as Council President.

     
  • At February 04, 2009 8:27 AM, Anonymous jonas said…

    That'd be great if Dan were truly in the middle. Even if he leans right, who cares?

    Your point re: balanced voices is why I almost always (maybe always?) voted for Rep. in Ward 7. I know Paul, and certainly don't agree with all his positions, but it seemed to me he does represent the interests and concerns of his ward (even if they weren't mine), and that's what the council needs. Losing voices from different parties is not in the best interest of the city. See Madison's Federalist 51 on this, it's good.

     
  • At February 05, 2009 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I just want a Mayor who's not going to sit in his office and expect businesses come to Burlington." With this "economic downturn" I don't think anyone's going to be able to get businesses to come to Burlington, but you just keep dreaming...

     
  • At February 05, 2009 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can be more proactive about it then Bob has. I believe that is what the poster meant, correct?

     
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