“…as a Democratic councilor 10 years ago…”
Thanks as always to senator Jim Webb of Virginia for waking me up to what’s going on in Burlington. The Burlington Free Press’s Joel Banner Baird reports today that mayor Weinberger has nominated Ian Carleton to be the new city attorney, and that Ian Carlton wants more money to do it because he went to Yale.
Good story, but I have to question the way Baird charactarizes Carleton’s city council experience…
“He served as a Democratic councilor 10 years ago and later was the Vermont Democratic Party chairman. The possibility of re-entering public service prompted him to seek the job in Weinberger’s administration, Carleton said, adding that the salary boost would give “some recognition to my compensation level over the past decade.” “
Now if memory serves Ian Carleton was the city council president as recently as five years ago, so to say he served 10 years ago is a little weird. It doesn’t tell us how long he served for, or that he was president.
But whatever. Miro’s first big scandal. It doesn’t look great to be citing Yale for more money, and I would not encourage Miro to copy Ian in this regard. Is Carleton worth it? Probably. But he also probably isn’t going to starve if he gets 105K vs the 112K he wants.
The mayor takes responsibility for the PR failure of agreeing to ask the council for the extra money for someone who is also his personal friend… I imagine Miro and Ian had the conversation about Ian skipping a pay step. Unfortunately Joel Banner Baird doesn’t have a quote from Miro in the story. That’s weird too. Like a honeymoon preservative.
More than any of his recent predecessors, Miro has to be very careful to avoid any conflict of interest, or the appearance of any conflict of interest like padding a friend’s salary. For instance, people might question what he’s going to do with April Cornell’s old warehouse on North Avenue and whether he’ll give himself the permits to do it (!) (cymbal crash) … Well I heard he own it and was going to develop the property, but that’s unconfirmed. But you see my point. The public loves a fresh face, but we are also fickle. Oh so fickle.
I’m hopeful the mayor is successful in improving the infrastructure and the economy and contributing to the culture of the city, so I hope we don’t see too many stories like this one.