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Category — Eli Lesser-Goldsmith

Dober Wins in Ward Seven

Re-run from 03.24.09.  The comments are interesting.

http://www.burlingtonpol.com/2009/03/25/dober-wins-ward-seven-run-off/

February 23, 2011   Comments Off

Adrian to Tweet Meetings

Breaking News

Ward One city councilor Ed Adrian will be tweeting live from city council meetings starting Monday. His twitter page is here: http://twitter.com/CouncilorAdrian

In related news, I just found out that I’ve been mixing up the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (the idea that the precision with which one can measure a particle’s position is inversely proportional to the precision with which one can measure its momentum) and the observer effect (the idea that the method by which something is observed changes what it’s observing).

How embarassing. For years I’ve been pontificating on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as if it were the observer effect. Live and learn.

Is the observer effect absolute? Is it possible to observe something without changing it? Certainly not in Ed’s case. It’s a logical certainty that anything a councilor does in a council meeting changes the meeting. The question is will the change, will the effect of one councilor tweeting a meeting result in something beyond his own distraction?

Well Dude, we just don’t know.

September 19, 2009   2 Comments

Dober Wins Ward Seven Run-Off

According to Briggs at the Burlington Free Press, Vince Dober has defeated Eli Lesser-Goldsmith in the Ward Seven run-off by a vote of 515-425. As a result, the Democrats will not have a majority on the new city council.

March 25, 2009   10 Comments

Eli Lesser-Goldsmith

Rerun from 01.15.09
Note: Eli Lesser-Goldmith will be competing against Vince Dober in a runoff election on March for the seat being vacated by Craig Gutchell. Voting will take place at the Miller Center on Gosse Court.
*****

After wrapping up my show last Saturday at The Radiator on College Street, I stopped in to Stone Soup next door to get a cup of coffee. Inside I ran into Democratic Ward Seven city council candidate Eli Lesser-Goldsmith (photo right) and sat down with him for an impromptu interview.

He showed me a copy of his fist piece of campaign literature and I asked him how the door knocking was going. Although he said that by Saturday he had only knocked on about 100 doors so far, Eli was adamant that he will knock on every door in the ward at least two times. It’s an ambitious goal in Ward Seven, which has the largest land area and least population density of any ward. When I mentioned this he said “I’m undaunted.”

When the conversation moved to issues Eli outlined three main areas he wants to work on.

This first of the three was development. Lesser-Goldsmith says he supports building new senior housing at the site of the Motor Vehicles Department on North Avenue, but that most new development should take place downtown. He says the city “could have done a better job” on the recent zoning re-write and that it should have been more lax in terms of parking requirements. He believes that Planning and Zoning should be merged into Public Works and that “design review is a thorn in the side for a lot of people.” He says permitting should be a faster process and gives Burlington developers credit for being “tenacious” in the face of cumbersome regulations.

The second issue Eli touched on was jobs. He said higher, denser buildings downtown would provide more room for business to grow, citing Fuse marketing as an example of a company recently forced to move out of the city because they could not find the office space in Burlington they needed. He said the city needs to attract new businesses and that he could personally act as a “go-between” toward that end.

Our jobs discussion moved tangentially toward the issue of transportation. Eli said “the fact that we have only one bus line in the new north end is a total joke.” He said he’d like to see changes in the funding structure of CCTA to make federal funds correlate to ridership, and more park and ride facilities just outside the city to alleviate traffic congestion.

The third thing Lesser-Goldsmith promises to focus on if elected is the issue of parks and the waterfront. I of course tried to sell him on the idea of stairs from Battery Park to the Waterfront and he seemed to like the concept. We discussed making the College Street Shuttle more user friendly by bringing the drop-off / pick-up point back to the loop near the boathouse. This had been the bus stop in the past, Eli said, but traffic problems forced the bus stop to move to its current location at One Main Street. We discussed gating the loop as a possible means to avoid those past problems. “The waterfront has been a huge missed opportunity for the City of Burlington” Eli said. “The more people we get to the waterfront the better.”

He said the “North 40″ should be cleaned up and turned into a giant park for the time being. When I asked if he supported the Moran Plant redevelopment as it’s proceeding, he said he liked the idea of re-using the building. Noting that the process is already underway he said “Sometimes when you’re given lemons, you have to make lemonade- let’s embrace that.” But while he supports the proposed sailing center as an appropriate use of the building, he is much less enthusiastic about the climbing wall and children’s museum proposals. Instead he said he prefers to see a mixed use for the building that would include high-end condominiums, a cafe and an observation deck.

Wrapping up our discussion, we touched on the topic of government transparency and responsiveness. He liked my idea of an official online forum where city officials could discuss issues online, in writing and in real time. He even went so far as saying he would actually blog live from the city council meetings themselves. When I suggested some might say this would distract from his duties as a councilor, he assuredly replied “I can multi-task.” “If elected” he proclaimed, “I’ll be the most easy-to-communicate-with city councilor Burlington has ever seen.”

March 10, 2009   1 Comment

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

Stimulus Watch

This is interesting: “shovel-ready” stimulus projects in Burlington. Thanks to Eli Lesser-Goldsmith for the link.

February 26, 2009   Comments Off

Kurt Wright Interview

Yes. Even Kurt asked me how I’m going to do this when I haven’t even finished Andy’s interview yet. I Had to bail on the house party I was going to go to Saturday. And I only got to minute 26 of 45 transcribing Andy. But I had a good radio show with guest Eli Lesser-Goldsmith on Saturday morning, and I did conduct an interview with Kurt Wright Sunday. See, here’s a picture. That’s me on the right.

February 23, 2009   Comments Off

Eli Lesser-Goldsmith

After wrapping up my show last Saturday at The Radiator on College Street, I stopped in to Stone Soup next door to get a cup of coffee. Inside I ran into Democratic Ward Seven city council candidate Eli Lesser-Goldsmith (photo right) and sat down with him for an impromptu interview.

He showed me a copy of his fist piece of campaign literature and I asked him how the door knocking was going. Although he said that by Saturday he had only knocked on about 100 doors so far, Eli was adamant that he will knock on every door in the ward at least two times. It’s an ambitious goal in Ward Seven, which has the largest land area and least population density of any ward. When I mentioned this he said “I’m undaunted.”

When the conversation moved to issues Eli outlined three main areas he wants to work on.

This first of the three was development. Lesser-Goldsmith says he supports building new senior housing at the site of the Motor Vehicles Department on North Avenue, but that most new development should take place downtown. He says the city “could have done a better job” on the recent zoning re-write and that it should have been more lax in terms of parking requirements. He believes that Planning and Zoning should be merged into Public Works and that “design review is a thorn in the side for a lot of people.” He says permitting should be a faster process and gives Burlington developers credit for being “tenacious” in the face of cumbersome regulations.

The second issue Eli touched on was jobs. He said higher, denser buildings downtown would provide more room for business to grow, citing Fuse marketing as an example of a company recently forced to move out of the city because they could not find the office space in Burlington they needed. He said the city needs to attract new businesses and that he could personally act as a “go-between” toward that end.

Our jobs discussion moved tangentially toward the issue of transportation. Eli said “the fact that we have only one bus line in the new north end is a total joke.” He said he’d like to see changes in the funding structure of CCTA to make federal funds correlate to ridership, and more park and ride facilities just outside the city to alleviate traffic congestion.

The third thing Lesser-Goldsmith promises to focus on if elected is the issue of parks and the waterfront. I of course tried to sell him on the idea of stairs from Battery Park to the Waterfront and he seemed to like the concept. We discussed making the College Street Shuttle more user friendly by bringing the drop-off / pick-up point back to the loop near the boathouse. This had been the bus stop in the past, Eli said, but traffic problems forced the bus stop to move to its current location at One Main Street. We discussed gating the loop as a possible means to avoid those past problems. “The waterfront has been a huge missed opportunity for the City of Burlington” Eli said. “The more people we get to the waterfront the better.”

He said the “North 40″ should be cleaned up and turned into a giant park for the time being. When I asked if he supported the Moran Plant redevelopment as it’s proceeding, he said he liked the idea of re-using the building. Noting that the process is already underway he said “Sometimes when you’re given lemons, you have to make lemonade- let’s embrace that.” But while he supports the proposed sailing center as an appropriate use of the building, he is much less enthusiastic about the climbing wall and children’s museum proposals. Instead he said he prefers to see a mixed use for the building that would include high-end condominiums, a cafe and an observation deck.

Wrapping up our discussion, we touched on the topic of government transparency and responsiveness. He liked my idea of an official online forum where city officials could discuss issues online, in writing and in real time. He even went so far as saying he would actually blog live from the city council meetings themselves. When I suggested some might say this would distract from his duties as a councilor, he assuredly replied “I can multi-task.” “If elected” he proclaimed, “I’ll be the most easy-to-communicate-with city councilor Burlington has ever seen.”

January 15, 2009   Comments Off

The Ides of January

Beware the Ides of January. There’s a lot of stuff going on. Here’s a brief, haphazard concatenation of news and information…

*Breaking News: The Ward 3 Progressives caucused last night and selected Marissa Caldwell to run against David Cain for the seat being vacated by Tim Ashe.

*I ran into ward 7 Democratic city council candidate Eli Lesser-Goldsmith after my radio show on Saturday and did a brief impromptu interview. I hope to have that written up soon, but as a sneak preview I’ll share that Eli says if he’s elected he intends to live-blog directly from city council meetings.

*Speaking of my radio show- it’s on at a new time: Saturdays 11am-12pm on 105.9fm Burlington or streaming live at TheRadiator.org

*Speaking of the Radiator, here’s me and Robert Ready talking about it with Melinda Moulton at channel 17.

*Gaza remains under attack by Israel, with almost a thousand people killed so far.

*Burlington Pol Howard Dean helped win back both houses of Congress and the White House for the Democrats and was then unceremoniously kicked to the curb and shafted. There’s gratitude for you.

*Obama gets sworn in a week from today. I’m taking an hour off work and going down to Nectars to watch with Philip Baruth.

*I’ll turn 36 on Sunday. My Mother would have been turning 72.

January 13, 2009   Comments Off

Post # 690: "Hot Scoops"

Philip Baruth Running for School Board in Ward Four
Lesser-Goldsmith Gets Opponent in Ward Seven
Tom Treat Makes Second School Board Run in Ward Seven

Sweet. Hot scoops from a trusted source…


Philip Baruth is running in for school board Ward 4.

Vince Dober is the Republican running in Ward 7 for city council. He is in the Air Force. Keep an eye out for campaign signs made of camouflage. At just 20 years old, Dober would smash your “youngest city councilor” record by almost two years Haik.

Tom Treat is running for school board in Ward 7 with an anti-magnet school platform.

Lastly, the word on the street is that Dan Smith is the developers’ b*^%ch. Check out his list of supporters, it is a who’s who of developers. There goes the neighborhood…”


Thank you friendly, nameless, trusted, anonymous source!

January 3, 2009   Comments Off