Category — Fred Lane
No balloons this year. Sorry. Can’t afford ‘em.
In the city council races today only 2 of 7 wards are officially contested and the incumbents in the two contested wards, Brennan and Dober in 3 and 7 respectively, will both win handily. Dave Hartnett running as a Democrat to replace Nancy Kaplan in Ward 4 faces a dark-horse write-in challenge today from Ralph Montefusco. That sums up the council races.
The school board races are just as uncontested this year, with 5 of seven wards’ candidates walking on. The outcomes of the two contested school board races are less certain than those for city council. In 5 it’s incumbent Fred Lane vs. challenger Paul Hochanadel. In 7 it’s incumbent Nathan Moreau vs. Challenger Ed Scott. Both races are toss-ups.
Who I’m voting for- I live in Ward 7. My vote for school board is a secret. As I said, my prediction for school board in 7 is “toss-up.” For city council in Ward 7, I can’t bring myself to vote for either guy, so I’m just going to write myself in. If you have the same issue, you’re welcome to write me in too (“Haik Bedrosian”), but as I said- I fully expect Dober to win easily.
OK let’s talk about the ballot items a bit.
1) School Budget: I’m voting yes. I predict it passes with around 54% of the vote. People will want to mollify their guilt for voting no on the general fund tax increase, by voting yes for the school budget.
2) City Tax Increase: I’m voting no. I predict it fails with around 40% of the vote.
3&4) Burlington Electric Bonds. I’m voting yes. I predict narrow passage for both.
5) Changing the way we elect mayor from 40%+plurality wins, to 50%+ wins: I’m voting no. Charter changes should not be based on face-saving measures designed to make last year’s losers appear consistent. Fail. And I predict it does fail with 49% of the vote.
6) The charter change in question 6 is purely to express that the existing practice of allowing a majority of a quorum to pass things is correct. It changes nothing. I’m voting yes. I predicts it passes with about 60% of the vote.
7) Take the treasurer off the Board of Finance: I’m against fixing a policy around a particular personality, and I think this is an attempt at that. However, this measure would take away the mayor’s de facto second vote on the board of finance, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Per se it wouldn’t have much practical effect because the finance board would still get its info from the treasurer, but I can see how for some it would be considered a start toward tipping the power balance between the council and mayor closer to equilibrium.
8) Advisory reforendum on keeping affordable housing: Sure. Why not? I’ll vote yes for this and predict is passes with about 60%
Comments are open. Consider this an open thread to talk about the Burlington elections today. And don’t forget to vote!
March 1, 2011 5 Comments
Frederick Lane is an author, attorney, educational consultant, expert witness, and lecturer who has appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. He currently serves as chairman of the Burlington (VT) School Board. His fifth book, “American Privacy: The Four-Hundred-Year History of Our Most Contested Right,” is now available in paperback from Beacon Press or the retailer of your choice. His his sixth book, “CyberTraps for the Young,” will be published on April 1, 2011.
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January 31, 2011 1 Comment