Category — David Berezniak
8:16pm Miro Weinberger has won the election for mayor of Burlington! Congratulations to the mayor-elect…
10:55pm- Time for a little unpacking of the day’s events here in Burlington, Vermont.
*Thank you to Kurt and Wanda for running honorable campaigns.
* From a personal standpoint, thank you very much to the 1,392 people who voted to re-elect me to the school board from Ward Seven. It’s an honor to serve you. I believe I received the
4th 8th highest vote total in the city behind Miro, Kurt and Bernie O’Rourke. Oddly Bernie was the one school board member with an opponent on the ballot and he got more votes than all 6 of the rest of us who were unopposed.
*Thank you Lauren Glenn, Meghan O’Rourke, Nat Ayer, Jess Wilson and everybody at Channel 17 for hosting election HQ tonight, and to Kathryn Flagg, Paula Routly, Tyler Machado, Cathy Resmer, Andy Bromage and the rest of the crew at Seven Days for inviting me to blog with them there.
* Jay Vos, formally of the wonderful local blog “Blazing Indescretions” tells me that Blogger has deleted his entire blog because they mistook it for spam. That is upsetting.
*The school budget passed 5359 to 4490 .
*Council Winners by Ward: 1- Ed Adrian, 2- Max Tracy 3-Rachel Siegel 4-Byran Aubin 5-Chip Mason 6-Karen Paul 7-Paul Decelles Congratulations all.
*The council takes a step to the left. Kurt departs in 4 and is replaced by a Dem. Berezniak departs in 2 and is replaced by the Prog
he Bram beat by 13 14 votes 2 years ago. Paul Decelles, whom I voted for today, got 54 more votes than ge got last time, yet only won by 97 votes, beating Tom Ayres 52.6% to 47.3%. Ayres is likely to run again next year when Vince Dober retires from the council. Ed Adrian envisions a “New New North End” that is solidly Democratic. Is his vision correct?
*Chart and numbers stolen from Seven Days:
Burlington Mayoral Race
7 of 7 wards reporting results.
The winning candidate must receive more than 40% of votes to avoid a runoff.
Miro Weinberger (D) 5801 Kurt Wright (R) 3746 Wanda Hines (I) 498
Burlington City Council Races
Ward 1 Adrian (D) 709 Write-ins 0
Ward 2 Tracy (P) 503 Hammerslough (D) 297 Write-ins 0
Ward 3 Siegel (P) 755 Hurley (D) 440 Ruloff (I) 44 Salese (I) 40 Write-ins 0
Ward 4 Aubin (D) 1095 Kenworthy (R) 974 Write-ins 0
Ward 5 Mason (D) 1177 Daigle (I) 453 Write-ins 0
Ward 6 Paul (I) 1118 Write-ins 0
Ward 7 Decelles (R) 965 Ayres (D) 868 Write-ins 0
March 6, 2012 8 Comments
My four year daugter “Yana” took on Mark Larson in an exciting and educational game of Rat-a-Tat Cat at the CP Smith Elementary School Math Night this evening. Math night is fun. This year some student volunteers from Burlington High School’s National Honor Society chapter helped lead the math related activities. I think they really helped engage the younger kids- but Mark was pretty good too. He definitely made the game fun for Yana. It occured to me while they were playing that I haven’t heard anything about who’s going to be appointed his seat in the legislature. This has pretty much been an open question since he was appointed to head the Department of Vermont Health Access in July. I asked him and he mentioned three names that will be presented to the governor for consideration- David, Carmen and Jean. There’s a little background on each here, thanks to Lea Terhune. I think all three are fine people and any of them would do a good job. I know and like all three of them, so it would be hard for me to pick. Luckily that’s not my job. What’s clear is the math for this race is easy. The deciding tally will be one to zero to zero, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with a non-scientific poll right now.
We will run the poll on the honor system. I don’t care how many times you vote in it, but please only do so if you reside in Chittenden 3-2, ok? Let’s go…
Left to Right: Berezniak, George and O’Sullivan
October 14, 2011 1 Comment
In an email with little precedent, Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) director Larry Kupferman told city councilors on Friday his office cannot afford to staff a task force which the council will vote on creating Monday night. With little explaination he estimates the council would need to give CEDO an additional $10,000 to staff a proposed new task force on urban agriculture.
Does this mean CEDO is now working at its maximum capacity and cannot take on any more work? If so, then shouldn’t the council have been alerted to that a while ago?
Below the row of stars to follow is Kupferman’s email and below the row of stars after that is the resolution to be discussed at the 03.21.11 city council meeting.
From: Larry Kupferman
To: Bram Kranichfeld, Ed Adrian, Joan Shannon, Nancy Kaplan, Vincent Dober, Bill Keogh, David Berenziak, Karen Paul
Cc: Ken Schatz, Richard Haesler, Bob Kiss, Jonathan Leopold, Richard Goodwin
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 3:30:03 PM
Subject: Urban Ag Task Force?
I notice that a council resolution entitled “Creation of Urban Agriculture Task Force” is scheduled to be discussed at Monday’s meeting.
I have not been involved in the discussions that have led to this resolution nor consulted about the staff time required to staff a task force of this nature.
Based on my experience with past task forces staffed by CEDO, I will state now that the department does not have funds designated now or in the next budget year for such staff assignment. If Council does not appropriate a sum (I estimate $10,000) for this purpose, I am afraid it will be an unfunded mandate until a way to pay for staffing requirements is determined.
I’ll be glad to discuss the intent of this resolution further before Monday night. Thank you.
Community and Economic Development Office
City Hall, 149 Church St.
Burlington, VT 05401
RESOLUTION RELATING TO CREATION OF
URBAN AGRICULTURE TASK FORCE
WHEREAS, a strong community-based food policy can provide benefits to the citizens of the City of Burlington including access to a healthier diet, a stronger local economy, a more robust food supply, and environmental benefits;
WHEREAS, Burlington is home to innovative, community-based food projects including the Burlington School Food Project, the Burlington Area Community Gardens, the Food Systems Spire at the University of Vermont, and the Intervale Center, a nationally recognized leader in food system innovation;
WHEREAS,Burlington residents are engaging in urban agriculture, defined broadly as “the growing of food and related activities within city boundaries,” including urban homesteading, permaculture, gardening, and community farming;WHEREAS, the City of Burlington currently lacks sufficiently clear regulations or a cohesive policy addressing urban agriculture;WHEREAS, this lack of sufficiently clear regulations or policy can cause confusion and creates an obstacle to engaging in these activities;WHEREAS, there currently is no single governing board devoted to review issues related to urban agricultural activities;
WHEREAS, the City of Burlington currently supports the continued development of a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food policy through the Burlington Food Council;
NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Burlington City Council hereby creates the Urban Agriculture Task Force (“Task Force”) which is charged with recommending to the City Council a cohesive urban agriculture policy, improved rules and regulations addressing urban agriculture, and steps to better promote and govern urban agriculture in Burlington;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Community and Economic Development Office is designated as the lead department for providing staff support for the Task Force with additional staff support to be provided as appropriate and as necessary by the Planning & Zoning Department, the Code Enforcement Office, the Parks & Recreation Department, the City Attorney’s Office, and the Public Works Department; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force shall consist of one (1) member of the Burlington Food Council appointed by the Burlington Food Council, one (1) member of the Board of Health appointed by the Board of Health, one (1) member of the Planning Commission appointed by the Planning Commission, and up to 4 additional community members appointed by the Burlington Food Council;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in particular, the Task Force is to
(1) Generate a cohesive urban agriculture policy informed in part by current research, best practices, and the needs of City residents,
(2) Review the current rules and regulations that govern urban agriculture in Burlington, including but not limited to city ordinances and zoning regulations,
(3) Seek input from residents, stakeholders, and experts as appropriate, such as the Intervale Center and the UVM Food System Spire;
(4) Identify potential inconsistencies or gaps in the current regulations and make recommendations on clarifying and improving them,
(5) Identify barriers to urban agriculture and make recommendations on how the city can better promote and govern urban agriculture,
(6) Make recommendations on how to integrate the needs of city residents with statewide and regional food system development efforts, and
(7) Create a written action plan including actionable next steps for the City Council and city departments, a timeline and outline of necessary work, and potential funding sources for further policy development and implementation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Task Force shall provide a final, written action plan as outlined above to the City Council within 1 year after adoption of this Resolution by the City Council, with interim reports to the City Council at three-month intervals describing activities to date.
March 20, 2011 8 Comments
Below is a statement released today by city councilor David Berezniak:
Burlington, Vermont February 25, 2010: Burlington City Council Candidate in Ward Two, David Berezniak has issued the following statement in response to recent phone call to voter in Ward 2 falsely purporting to be made on behalf of his campaign for re-election:
It recently came to my attention that a voter in Ward 2 has been contacted over the telephone by a caller identifying themself as a worker for my campaign. I was informed that the caller is aggressive and rude, trying to induce the targeted voter to reveal who they are voting for in the City Council races in Ward 2. I want to be clear that no such calls have been made by me or authorized by me or by anyone campaigning with me or on my behalf. I would never condone such behavior, and to express my disappointment that anyone would do this.
I hope my neighbors will continue to contact me if they should you receive a call of this nature and will vote their conscience on Election Day. Thank you.
CONTACT: David Berezniak: (802) 863-2598
February 26, 2010 4 Comments
Larry Kupferman was just reconfirmed as CEDO director by the city council in an 11 to 3 vote with only councilors Keogh, Berezniak and Shannon voting against his re-appointment.
Shannon led the effort against Kupferman, essentially saying he lacked the skills and merit for the job, and alluding to specific concerns which she would not enumerate. “I don’t see the point,” she said about going into specific detail about those concerns.
The rest of the mayor’s appointments were confirmed without discussion, including that of current airport director Brian Searles taking over as interim Parks and Recreation Director. Current director Wayne Gross, mayor Kiss explained, will not be an employee of the city as of July 1.
June 16, 2009 No Comments
Here’s an MS Word .doc of Tonight’s Special City Council Meeting Agenda.
3.PUBLIC FORUM (Time Certain: 6:35 p.m.) *Allotted Time: 20 minutes total
4.ORDINANCE: COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE – Downtown Use and Height #ZA 09-15 (Planning Department)(1st reading)
5.ORDINANCE: COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE – UVM Core Campus and Height Overlay #ZA 09-13 (Planning Department) (1st reading)
Update Friday March 13, 2009:
As you may know already, last night’s city council meeting devolved to the point where president Wright actually called the police on councilors Adrian and Berezniak. I’m reserving commentary, except to say the events are unfortunate and regrettable. Shay Totten does an adequate job explaining what happened at Blurt.
If anybody wants to read the police report from last night, here it is.
March 12, 2009 66 Comments
Here’s an MS Word .doc of Monday’s City Council Agenda. Some Highlights:
8. PUBLIC HEARING: Burlington Comprehensive Development Ordinance: ZA-08-01 re:Institutional Zoning Districts
8.01. COMMUNICATION: Public Hearing Notice, re: Burlington Comprehensive
Development Ordinance: ZA-08-01 re: Institutional Zoning Districts
9. RESOLUTION: Training of City Election Officials (Councilors Wright, Knodell,
Decelles, Gutchell, Paul, Bushor, Ashe & Davis)
10. RESOLUTION: Transparency and Accountability in the Conduct of Elections in Burlington (Councilors Adrian, Berezniak and Shannon)
11. RESOLUTION: Election Charter Change Issues (Councilors Shannon & Montroll)
12. COMMUNICATION: Jonathan P.A. Leopold, Jr., CAO and Kenneth A. Schatz, Esq., City Attorney, re: Election Issues
April 11, 2008 No Comments
The Free Press’s website isn’t great, by the way. It’s visually hectic and poorly organized. They make you answer a survey and they only keep their stories up for about a week. Then you have to pay for them. They didn’t even have a non-scientific poll disclaimer on their dumb online poll, until I suggested it. On the other hand, they do have Ed Shamy. But I digress.
Getting back to my coverage of the hearing last Wednesday… The ladies at the courthouse couldn’t copy the complaint for me because it was upstairs at the hearing. I guess they only had one copy. I couldn’t take pictures without asking the judge for permission, so forget that.
I said hello to Paul Decelles and asked him for a quote. He said he was “disappointed” and said O’Sullivan’s case was “purely partisan.”
All rise for Judge Dennis Pearson. You may be seated.
The Plaintiff: Jean O’Sullivan and attorney Jake Perkinson
The Defendants: Jonathon Leopold, Assistant City Attorney Eugene Bergman, City Attorney Ken Schatz.
Seated in the courtroom: Ben Pacy, Roxanne Leopold, Andy Potter, Sam Hemmingway, Channel 3′s videographer, the Free Press’s photographer, Paul Decelles, me, Kurt Wright, Barbara Perry, David Berezniak, David Zuckerman, and a few people I didn’t recognize.
The first thing Judge Pearson did was take Leopold’s name off the case. The case would be against the city in general, not Leopold specifically. Then he denied the city’s motion to dismiss the case. Then Ken Schatz asked to have the case continued for further discovery, but he didn’t have a decent answer to “what further discovery would you do?” when asked by the judge. The judge said “the complaint as a whole states a viable claim” that there was a ‘defect in the election that questions its validity’ so the hearing proceeded.
Editor’s Note- The following is not word for word quotation, unless it happens to be in quotes. The Q&A may not be in perfect chronological order either, but they are close. These questions and answers are mostly paraphrased, but they give you the gist of what I heard. [My commentary will be bold.]
Perkinson called Leopold to the stand.
Leopold hobbled over with crutches and was sworn in. Leopold explained that he is the city’s chief administrative officer (CAO) which means he is the Clerk-Treasurer. As the Treasurer, he is the CAO (yeah right? that’s circular logic) and as Clerk, he “has general responsibilities for city functions, including overseeing the elections.” He said there are about 35 people working under him in the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, eight of whom worked on elections in some way.
Perkinson: Who managed the staff directly?
Leopold: Ben Pacy.
Perkinson: You are not responsible for what Pacy does?
Leopold: Basically no, because I was out of the office. Pacy only asked me a couple of questions leading up to the election of March 4 and I didn’t discuss it with him again until two days after.
[This was a very disappointing answer. Leopold said he was not responsible for the actions of his subordinate. That is incorrect and dishonorable.]
Perkinson: Are you aware of the legal requirement to attend an election workshop?
Leopold: No, but Ben Pacy was in contact with the Secretary of State’s office.
Perkinson: Do you know anyone in the Clerk’s office who has had any election training?
Leopold: We used to have Jo LaMarche, but she quit in December.
[Jo LaMarche was the true City Clerk and she was shafted for years by Clavelle (in favor of Brendan "13K extra for life" Keleher) and now unfortunately by the Kiss administration. To think this Ben Pacy character was above her in the pecking order! That's an outrage! Burlingtonians should be outraged by that. Is it any wonder she quit?]
Perkinson: Do you think it was appropriate for Pacy to break the seals?
Leopold: Assistant city attorney Bergman said it was legal. The Secretary of State’s office was unclear on that point.
[Dude... Yes or No please. What do you think? Because if you think it was OK, you're nuts. And he didn't even know Pacy broke the seal until the following Saturday?]
Perkinson: Is it your belief that no party should hold a majority on the city council?
Leopold: Yes. It makes my job easier if no party holds a majority.
[It would be harder to do the bidding of a Progressive mayor if the Progressive's had a majority?]
Perkinson: Did you tell Barbara Perry you were supporting her opponent because you didn’t want to see Ed Adrian gain any more influence on the city council?
Leopold: No, I wouldn’t have said such a thing.
Perkinson: Did you meet with any sitting city councilors to discuss strategy leading up to this last election?
Leopold: I met with Kurt Wright and Jane Knodell, along with David Zuckerman, Karen Paul and her husband to talk about how to support Karen’s campaign.
Perkinson: When was this?
Leopold: I don’t remember. I was recovering from my motorcycle accident and out of sorts because of medication. Maybe it was a Saturday. And except for Kurt Wright, we all met again the following Saturday to discuss the election.
[Great. You're whacked out on drugs because you tried to jump 40 barrels on your motorcycle and broke your leg, and you have an amateur with no training running the election. Later Leopold admitted he tried to put Pacy out in front on the recount too, before pressure forced him to do it himself. ]
Perkinson: Did anyone at these meetings question the propriety of the person in charge of counting the ballots working on a campaign?
The witness is dismissed. Ben Pacy is called to the stand and sworn in.
Perkinson: Are the votes supposed to be counted at the polling place?
Pacy: “In a perfect world.”
[So what about IRV? If the votes have to be counted at the polling place, then IRV is against the city charter because the mayoral votes are now gathered at city hall and counted. And they're counted by Terry Boricious. I can't say I'm all that comfortable with that, either.]
Perkinson: “Is it your understanding that it is the duty of the clerk to ensure ballot boxes aren’t tampered with?”
Pacy: We put the boxes in a safe place. In the Clerk’s office in City Hall.
Perkinson: What authority allowed you to break the seals?
Pacy: I had a time crunch. I only had 48 hours to certify the election.
[You dummy! A time crunch doesn't give you any authority to break into the ballot box! Did you seriously not understand the question?]
Judge Pearson: What was the discrepancy that made you take action?
Pacy: There were approximately 70 hand counts. The tabulator counted 971-958 but there was all this hand written stuff on the tabulation sheet…36, 20, 3, 4… so the number represented to the folks at the polling station was 1010-982. The guy from LHS thought ward 7 was weird too. That’s a high number of handcounts. I called the ward clerk Diane and asked how many handcount ballots there were and she said six or seven. I broke the seal on the box that said B, C, and D ballots. “I was a little nervous about it” so I asked Sue Trainer from the Clerk’s office to join me.
[The numbers were all a jumble. I never really have been able to follow what happened since the time Kurt Wright told me about all this weirdness in the grocery store. But for Pacy to say "I was a little nervous about it" shows very clearly that he knew it was wrong to tamper with the ballots. Like it's not obvious. But what may be obvious to most people, might not be obvious to Pacy, if his testimony is any guide. Still this statement is a clear admission of a guilty conscience.]
Perkinson: How was the tabulation sheet transmitted to you from the polling place?
Pacy: Somebody in the Clerk’s office handed it to me.
[No, you dope! Was it FAXed, emailed, delivered by currier, or what? "Somebody handed it to me." Give me a break! He didn't even know who!]
Perkinson: Did you ever compare the vote totals to the entrance checklist?
Judge Pearson: Do you have anything that shows the total number of votes cast?
Perkinson: When you broke the ballot box open, were there other people in the room?
Pacy: There were like fifteen people all over the place.
Perkinson: When did you learn you would take the lead role in running this election?
Pacy: I was appointed in November to oversee the Clerks’s office. I didn’t know I’d be running the election until Jo LaMarche quit in December.
Perkinson: Did Jonathan Leopold give you any direction or training on how to come up to speed on how to run an election?
Pacy: No, but I was in contact with the Secretary of State’s office getting pointers on how to run the election. “I got the impression the Secretary of State’s office was a little concerned.”
[Did he just say that? That's pretty damning.]
Perkinson: So you were responsible for your own training?
[Has anybody seen Stripes? Where Bill Murry, Harold Ramis and John Candy have to train themselves? "Boom Chuga-Luga-Luga! Boom Chuga-Luga-Luga! Boom Chuga-Luga-Luga! Boom!" It's funny in a Bill Murry movie. Not so much in a Burlington election.]
That’s all I could stay for. I only expected the thing to run an hour and I had been there two. Poopsie needed me to run an errand and my parking meter had expired. And yes, I got a $10 parking ticket, but I hope this post is worth more than that to the city. I missed Barbara Perry’s testimony and that of whomever else, unfortunately. But since it took almost a week to write up my notes, I guess I should be satisfied with the part of the hearing I witnessed.
A couple of things. One- Bob Kiss: You can’t just let this slide. You need to fire Pacy or Leopold, or both. If not fire, then demote, suspend or punish somehow. You have to do something. Somebody on your team tampered with the ballots. Do something about it, or you risk losing the endorsement of this blog. Ben Pacy seems like a nice guy who made a mistake. He wasn’t trying to change the election, but he made a serious mistake. He is in a position he is not qualified to handle. Through his entire testimony I never had the feeling that he “got it.” Pacy was defiant and annoyed. Never contrite. Leopold was defiant and aloof. Never contrite. The person in charge of running the election needs to understand the sanctity of the ballot box. Pacy doesn’t, therefore he isn’t qualified. He’s got the wrong job. Maybe move him back to Parks.
Two- This whole “Clerk-Treasurer-CAO” thing is baloney. It’s a worse idea than merging Police and Fire. The functions are different. Leopold is the Treasurer, just as he was in the 80s. The “CAO-” Chief Administrative Officer is the Mayor, really. We still need a City Clerk, and we will never get one better than Jo LaMarche was, even though she never got the title. To think Ben Pacy was her boss is an outrage. And I am sorry, Mr. Kiss. Even you were not in the courtroom last Wednesday- it’s your administration and the buck stops with you.
April 7, 2008 No Comments
Well here it is folks, Tuesday March 4, 2008- Town Meeting, Election and Primary Day. And I owe my readers a big apology. I guess I could lean on my mom dying in January as an excuse, or the extreme turmoil of continued unemployment, but my coverage has been virtually non-existent.
*Apologies to Councilor Decelles for still not writing up my notes on our interview of December 27. I still got ‘em and I’ll still do it (whether or not you’re re-elected today.)
*Apologies to Owen Mulligan for not getting your link up- usually I do a whole sidebar thing for the current election, and I just didn’t do it this year… but here’s Owen’s current campaign site: http://www.voteowen.org/
*Many thanks to Bill and Exit Voices for picking up a some of BurlingtonPol’s slack this year. Go there today and let your exit voice be heard.
*Oh! and congratulations to me on hitting 50,000 unique visitors to this blog any second now today! (Scroll to the bottom of the page to my counter… click it for details!) Hitting 50,000 on election day. Nice synchronicity.
*And for Councilor Kurt Wright, who asked me if BurlingtonPol will be making predictions and endorsements this year, I now slap together the following…
Ward 1- Endorsement: Ed Adrian (D); Prediction Ed Wins easily over the “Chemtrails” guy Derek Case (Anti-Masonic), Calderon (G) and Cook (I).
Ward 2- Endorsement: None; Prediction: Berezniak (D) will squeak in with a plurality over Hoekstra (I(P)) who made the double mistake of 1-putting his picture on his signs and 2- not shaving for the picture; and Glade (G) who will split Hoekstra’s vote.
Ward 3- Endorsement: None; Prediction: Davis (P) will beat Ploof (D) but it won’t be a total blow-out.
Ward 4- Endorsement: Russ Ellis; (D) Prediction: Ellis beats write-in candidate “Pedro.”
Ward 5- Endorsement: Bill Keogh; (D) Prediction: Keogh wins over Oberbrunner (G) and Starfighter (I) in biggest crush of the day.
Ward 6- Endorsement: None; Prediction: Newly minted DEMOCRAT Barbara Perry wins over Karen Paul (I) and Kim Mason (G).
Ward 7- Endorsement: Decelles (R); Prediction: Despite the influx of Democratic absentee ballots and the “Obama factor” Decelles pulls out his first re-election over newcomer Steve McIntyre (D) to be the only Republican elected in the city today.
(To my Democratic friends sure to give me grief for that last endorsement… I know, I know… but as my little brother would say “I have my reasons.”)
And on the ballot Items… No predictions, but I’ll tell you I’m voting Yes for all but item 2. That means YES on 1. Vote yes on 1. Yes. on. 1.
No school board talk from me. Sorry.
Presidential Primaries- Dems: Obama’s going to win with over 60%; GOP: McCain will win. Huckabee 2nd. Ron Paul (I’m voting for Ron Paul) will take between 15-20%.
*Final Note: As I often am, Last night I was a guest on the Matty and Stech Variety Hour (featuring Josh Bridgman) on channel 15. There were two guest on from Saint Mike’s promoting an Iraq “war” (it’s an occupation, not a war- but I digress) teach- in all day tomorrow. Details here.
OK. That’s it for me today. Go vote. Do what you do, and have fun. Thanks for reading BurlingtonPol (Today renamed in honor of Dr. Ron Paul, OB/GYN) and for sticking with me through the good times and the bad. Comments are open and always welcome.
…And as our good friend John Mclaughlin says…”Bye Bye!”
March 4, 2008 No Comments