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Category — Andy Montroll

Leopold: Ashe and Wright Knew

Here is the video of Jonathan Leopold telling Matty Tanner and “Mike Jones” that the Board of Finance was briefed in May of 2008 about Burlington Telecom’s inability to get financing and of its continued use of pooled city cash in violation of its certificate of public good.  May 2008 was about a year before the story broke and almost a year before the re-election of mayor Bob Kiss.  If Kurt Wright had wanted to, or had been smart enough to, he certainly could have used that information in the last election, and he probably would have won. You may recall that at the time the Board of Finance was made up of the following five people- Mayor Kiss, Chief Administrative officer Leopold and a city councilor from each party.  Democrat Andy Montroll, Republican Kurt Wright and Progressive Time Ashe.


Assuming Kurt Wright is the Republican nominee- he’s going to have to answer for this soon enough, but right now the Democratic party has a choice to make in about a week.  Are you telling me they’re going to be stupid enough to nominate Progressive Tim Ashe with that kind of baggage?  Jesus Christ!  I almost dare the Dems to do it because it would be so comically self-defeating.  First of all, he’s not even a Dem.  Duh.  Secondly he would lose!  Given the choice between Wright and Ashe, many moderate Dems and Indpendents like me would vote for Kurt.  People feel the city needs a change and a shake up.  Tim Ashe loudly proclaimed Kiss, Leopold and BT to be resounding success stories when he nominated Kiss for re-election.  He’s about as far from “change” and “shake-up” as it gets.

And Where’s Lloyd Benson when you need him?  This week the Vermont chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers called Ashe the best choice saying  “Tim Ashe is a young Bernie Sanders.”  That’s like saying The Phantom Menace is as good as the orignal Star Wars.  Ridiculous on its face.   Somebody’s got to say it…

“Senator, I served with Bernie Sanders. I knew Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Bernie Sanders.”

November 6, 2011   9 Comments

Interview with the Mayor

Friday was the first time I’ve been in the mayor’s office in almost exactly 20 years. Twenty years ago around this time in January I went there to tell Peter Clavelle I was running against him in his first bid for re-election. He suggested I run for the school board instead. I probably should have listened to him. All well.

I’ve finished transcribing my interview with mayor Kiss. My thanks to him for for taking the time to speak with me on the record, and my thanks to you for reading BurlingtonPol.com. Visit often!

Click here to read 01.14.11 Interview with mayor Bob Kiss.

January 17, 2011   19 Comments

Fair Game

Shay’s Fair Game from 12.15.10 and 12.08.10

Senator Tim Ashe on running for mayor:

“I am hoping to play a big role in my second term,” said Ashe. “I’d have to be a total jerk to be talking about another office or election. Particularly one that is so far away.”

Obama was talking about running for president two years before November 2008.   I don’t think that necessarily makes him a jerk at all, let alone a “total” jerk.  I’m curious to know which nomination Tim Ashe would seek.  Progressive or Democratic?  As far as I know there is no “fusion” primary.  Whatever.  New Poll.  One vote per computer per month this time.  Not scientific, but just to tend slightly more toward science, I’ll ask that only likely Burlington voters participate.  Thanks.  Now let’s get it on!  (Ding Ding)  

For Mayor (Choose One):
Kurt Wright
Joan Shannon
Ed Adrian
Karen Paul
Tim Ashe
David Hartnett
Haik Bedrosian
Bob Kiss
Hinda Miller
Andy Montroll
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

December 19, 2010   8 Comments

Reboot BT

Thanks to Andy Montroll for forwarding a copy of the ‘Reboot BT’ letter sent to city officials last week. Click here to read the whole letter. Here’s a clip…

*****

“…In light of today’s announcement that CitiCapital is terminating BT’s lease and has requested that BT return all of the equipment that is secured by the lease (which presumably includes, among other things, all of the electronics in the central office, the fiber on the poles and in the ground, and the boxes mounted on customers’ homes), both groups desire to reiterate their proposals regarding BT to the City of Burlington, which includes the outright purchase of BT.

As you surely appreciate, once the equipment starts being removed, it will be difficult if not impossible to continue providing services. The mere possibility of such an interruption of services may cause otherwise loyal BT customers to begin seeking alternative service providers, which in turn will make it even more difficult for BT to recover from its current financial struggles.

We do not believe that it is too late to save BT (in some form) as a community focused entity. However, time is clearly running short. As stated above, both the RebootBT group and the group that is proposing to purchase BT remain ready and willing to help…”

December 1, 2010   3 Comments

Picks and Predications Election Day 2010

It’s a serious form of exhibitionism to want to tell people who your voting for, but based on this blog’s traffic stats, I’m guessing I find at least 200 voyeurs willing to accommodate me on election day.

I live in Chittenden 3-2 so I’m just going to tick off who I plan on voting for by looking at the sample ballot on the City’s website.

*Constitutional Amendment to let folks register to vote at 17 if they will be 18 by the time the general election rolls around: Yeah, I guess. Hey if that means you turn 17 in January like I did you can vote on Town Meeting in March even before turning 18? Hmmm. I don’t know anymore. Maybe I won’t vote on this.

*For Congress Pick: Peter Welch Prediction: Peter Welch
*For Governor: Pick: Peter Shumlin Prediction: Peter Shumlin
*For Lieutenant Governor: Pick: Steve Howard Prediction: Phil Scott
*For State Treasurer: Pick: Jeb Spaulding Prediction: Jeb Spaulding
*For Secretary of State: Pick: Jim Condos Prediction: Jim Condos
*For Auditor of Accounts: Pick: Doug Hoffer Prediction: Doug Hoffer
*For Attorney General: Pick: William Sorrell Prediction: William Sorrell
*For State Senate: Picks: Philip Baruth and Andy Montroll Prediction: They both win.
*For State Representaive: Pick: Angela Chagnon Prediction: Mark Larson
*For Probate Judge: Skip it.
*For Assistant Judge: Skip it.
*For State’s Attorney: Pick: TJ Donovan Prediction: TJ Donovan
*For Sherriff: Skip it.
*For High Bailiff: Skip it.
*For Justice of the Peace: Picks: Ed Adrian, Terry Bailey, Angela Chagnon, Paul Decelles, Vince Dober, Thom Fleury, Jim Flint, Carmen George, Maggie Gunderson, Selene Hoffer-Shall, Michelle Lefokowitz and Kurt Wright. Prediction: Terry Bailey wins on the strength of this blog’s preceding post.

*Ward Three Special City Council Seat: Vince Brennan has probably already won.  His absence will be felt on the school board.  Good luck on the council Vince!

November 2, 2010   3 Comments

Briggs and Montroll

I’m pretty sure I just saw John Briggs talking to Andy Montroll in the downtown mall.

December 2, 2009   2 Comments

Bob Kiss Wins Re-Election

Wright may seek recount.

Bob kiss has been re-elected mayor of Burlington in the 3rd round of Instant Runoff…

1st Round: Wright first, Simpson, Smith eliminated
2nd Round: Montoll eliminated.
3ndRound: Vast majority of Montroll voters vote Kiss for second choice. Kiss elected.

Final round count:
Kiss: 4313
Wright: 4061

*Congratulations and thank you to all the candidates in this election for a great race.
*Congratulations to Ben Pacy on what appears to have been a smooth, uneventful election.

Update 10:00pm- Kurt Wright just told Shay Totten that he has not ruled out asking for a recount, not because he expects the results to be overturned, but as a service to those of us who still have concerns about the process. I fully support this idea, and I urge Kurt to please ask for a recount.

We ought to do it 1) just to make sure that we can; and 2) so that those of us who do have concerns about IRV and election integrity can feel fully confident that our new election process is trustworthy.

I am very psyched and happy that Bob won, but I would feel even better about this election if we did a hand recount, to put the safeguards through their paces. Kurt-please go for the recount. You would be doing us an invaluable public service.

March 4, 2009   Comments Off

Bob Kiss For Mayor


I am so late with this endorsement. I didn’t really feel right about openly supporting Bob before I had actually published my interviews with all the candidates. I realized that would be weird when Eva Sollberger asked me if I had an endorsement at the Seven Days debate, just minutes after Kurt and I had agreed to meet. I actually had the stink of responsibility on me this election. I promised Eva I’d eventually make an endorsement and here it is…

…But first: Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and get the city council endorsements and predictions out of the way. No graphics for the city council races. Sorry kids. Quick and dirty. Here we go.

Ward 1- Endorsement: Bushor. / Prediction: Bushor.
Ward 2- Endorsement: None. / Prediction: Mulvaney-Stanak
Ward 3- Endorsement: Caldwell. / Prediction: Caldwell.
Ward 4- Endorsement: None. / Prediction: Kenworthy.
Ward 5- Endorsement: Shannon / Prediction: Shannon.
Ward 6- Endorsement: None. / Prediction: Kehoe.
Ward 7- Endorsement: Lesser-Goldsmith. / Prediction: Lesser-Goldsmith

Note: Ward Three- David Cain: What the hell is “UC-La?” I’ve heard of Pepperdine!

Note: Ward Seven- Eli Lessor-Goldsmith: You must keep your promise to live-blog from city council meetings.

OK. Now the mayor’s race-

Prediction- Only a fool would pretend to know how this one will go down. I will say this, though. I remember running into Richard Sugarman up at UVM the day before Town Meeting in 1993. He was frantically scrapping around, looking for Clavelle votes in a panic.

A national change-election in 1992 preceeded a Burlington change-election in 1993. Same for 1980 nationally and 1981 here. Obviously 2008 was a national change-election. So if it worked out that way here in Burlington for 2009, there would be precedent.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Bob Kiss has done a very good job in his first term. When it comes to what counts- the budget, taxes, streets, sidewalks and basic city services- his challengers don’t go there. They go after vague concepts like “leadership.”

Peter Clavelle left a mess behind for Bob Kiss to clean up and a couple of live grenades with their pins pulled to boot. Joe McNeil’s insane sexual misconduct and Brendan Keleher’s corrupt personal raid on the pension fund jump to mind.

If Kiss loses, I think he’d have a right to contemplate the twisted irony of a universe that would give Clavelle fifteen years as mayor and him only three. Which is to say, I think Bob Kiss is a better mayor than Peter Clavelle was. Kiss created a rainy day fund for the city. Wisdom. Quiet wisdom.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Don’t be fools Burlington. Stick to the devil you know. Dance with the one that brung ya. Don’t change horses mid-stream.

And yes. Everybody hates Jonathan Leopold. Everybody thinks Leopold has too much power, or is the one really running the city. But let’s remember people. The whole CAO system is new. I think we will have some of the same complaints with the next CAO too. I mean you slip in a brand new position right below the mayor and above everyone else, and sure people are going to see the person in that position as running the city. The CAO system is stupid. The mayor is the CAO. I don’t understand why having someone who wasn’t elected helping to do the mayor’s job is a good thing at all.

But let’s face it also. Leopold is Bob’s main problem. To be honest I wish he’s fired him a year ago. Absent that, they could have at least manufactured some public disagreement for show, so that Bob could have been seen as putting Leopold in his place a time or two. No need to have a real disagreement even, but it would have helped this mayor a lot to have invented one for public consumption. Play a little “good-cop” to Leopold’s “bad-cop.” But no. He didn’t. So here we are.

Bob is my first choice. He’s the best. And if we toss him out we’re a bunch of fools who when full of bread, forget about bread and think only of circuses. Are we so petulant as to stomp our feet and complain because Bob Kiss is not a fire breathing dragon, or clown juggling bowling pins?

The entire nation is crumbling around us, but Burlington is still pretty good. We have good leadership now. We’re going to toss out, the oldest, wisest, smarted, most serious person in the race? The one with a track record of doing a pretty damned good job?

We can’t be that stupid. If you’re reading this on election day and you’re still making up your mind, I urge you to vote for Bob Kiss as your first choice for mayor today. Do it because it’s in the best interest of our city.

Yes. Yes. You want to know my second choice, and all of that. Stupid IRV. Fine. My second choice is Dan. Dan F. Kennedy Smith. If we’re going to change, then let’s really change. I’m talking Camelot. I share a generational connection with Dan. He speaks in terms of solar power and regional planning that allows people to walk places instead of drive. I get that. His learning curve would be huge and he’d have all these developers crowding around him trying to tell him what to do, but I still like him. I think he would be very engaged and he would excite a lot of interest in local politics, which can only be good for this blog. Plus, it was Dan’s campaign that got me started doing all my interviews with the mayoral candidates. They reached out to me, and once I had interviewed Dan, I was stuck. I had to interview everybody else too. So you can thank Dan Smith for that.


I toyed with making Kurt number two, but nah. Kurt’s number three. Andy’s number four. Regardless of what may actually happen today, this is what I see. I see Marcellus Wallace telling both Kurt and Andy “You came close, but you never made it. If you were going to make it, you would have made it before now.”

Again- the pictures may not accurately predict what’s going to go down tonight. But what the hell. I have to give you people something. You’re good readers and you deserve it. During this election you have given this blog your clicks and comments more than ever before, and I’m very grateful.

Thanks for reading BurlingtonPol.com. Visit often!

March 3, 2009   Comments Off

The Andy Montroll Interview

The following is a faithfully transcribed conversation between me and Democratic Ward Six city councilor Andy Montroll recorded at The Bagel Cafe and Deli in the Ethan Allen Shopping Center on North Avenue on February 1, 2009 between 11:00am and noon. Andy Montroll is currently running for mayor of Burlington.


HB: OK. Thank you Andy for joining me today. Thanks for taking the time.
AM: Sure. You’re welcome Haik.

HB: I know it’s a busy schedule, being a candidate for mayor. How’s it going so far? How’s the campaign going?
AM: It’s been going really well….

February 24, 2009   Comments Off

Smith Campaign Spends 40K

Breaking News

There will be more on this later, but the first big headline from the local candidate campaign finance reports filed this week is the wide disparity in campaign spending among the mayoral contenders. Dan Smith spent the most with $39,845.00 more than tripling the campaign expenditures of incumbent mayor Bob Kiss who spent only $13,050.55. Kurt Wright’s campaign has spent $19.869.25. Andy Montroll’s campaign has spent $16,047.73. Story developing…

February 24, 2009   Comments Off