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Category — Loyal Ploof

Five Years Ago

February 5, 2011   1 Comment

The Place To Be II

The NPA was a little disorganized, but it worked.  The open forum on Burlington Telecom broke out during the city councilors’ report, and it never stopped, so in essence it took the form of a Q & A with Vince Dober, Paul Decelles and Kurt Wright.  Bob Kiss took part from the audience, answering questions from there.  I spoke with him a bit before the meeting convened and he agreed to do another interview with me.  Sweet.   Hopefully we can set that up soon.

The place, as usual, was a virtual who’s who of hardcore local political types.  In attendance beside the folks I mentioned, Dale Tillotson, Lea Terhune, Karen Paul, Russ Ellis, Bernie O’rourke, Dave Harnett and Loyal Ploof.

I’ll come back to this…

December 21, 2010   4 Comments

Mayor Speaks!

I feel like folks may be starting to catch on to this blog. For example look at this picture from the Wards 4-7 NPA blog

It feels like a vaguely familiar visual pun and juxtaposition.

So I attended the entire north end Neighborhood Planning Assembly meeting tonight at the Miiller Center.  Man that was the place to be.  Bob Kiss was the main attraction and he did very well in his speech, saying that he was going to try to go to one NPA per month for five months to get around to all of them in the city.

Loyal Ploof was selling “Proud Naysayer” buttons to chide the mayor about his election night comments about the new north end returning to a nay-sayer role, and the mayor did well to acknowledge the pins and other reactions to those remarks.  He discussed paving, which was good, sister cities and even threw a kind word my way for winning the Ward Seven School Board election.  He ended his speech to a very solid and sustained round of applause.  Bob knew we might be his toughest crowd out here in South Colchester, but that very genuine round of applause spoke to how regardless of politics, people really appreciate having the attention of their leaders.

Other highlights- Larry Solt is the father of Drummer Chris Solt from the legendary BHS rock group and Battle of the Bands winner Brass Tactics!

Kurt Wright spoke both as councilor-elect and as a state representatives.  He seemed almost giddy to report on when a committee he’s on will take up the city’s IRV charter change.

Our other state rep Mark Larson reported a little about Doug Racine’s senate health care proposal and said that in Vermont in the next three years, health care costs are expexted to rise by 100 percent.  I’m pretty sure that means it will double.  He said that would be an additional billion in health costs, so presumably that’s what the state is paying now.  My thought is that it’s the calender that’s driving those projected increases, in that’s it’s been sixty-five years now since 1945.

There’s a new sheriff in town on code enforcement and his name is former Burlington Police Officer Bill Ward.  He is taking names and writing tickets in that wild frontier land known as “Lakewood Estates.”

There was a lively discussion on a range of topics.  People are concerned about the state of our school buildings.  People are concerned about the city’s retirement fund.  People are concerned with vacant buildings.   And so on.

I get sworn in on the school board April 1, I believe.

March 16, 2010   3 Comments

Loyal’s Tidal Wave

New Blog by Loyal Ploof…

October 20, 2008   Comments Off

Dems Nominate Strauss and Ploof for Council

Looks like it’s that time again.
Burlington Democrats caucused Thursday and nominated city council candidates Tamara Strauss for Ward Two and Loyal Ploof for Ward Three… more details to come.

For me to personally go get information about the March elections is going to be harder than ever this year. Expect spotty, incomplete coverage from BurlingtonPol this cycle. Information I don’t have to work for is always welcome. Any tips, literature, meeting dates, gossip or shameless promotions you share with me are most appreciated. Just email I’m not going to guarantee I’ll publish everything I get, but I do guarantee I’ll appreciate getting it.

And a word to Councilor Decelles- Paul I’m sorry I haven’t written up our interview yet. My attention has been diverted for reasons I’ll share some other time. I’ve still got the notes, and I’m still going to do it. Kirstin didn’t wake you up for nothing that day- I promise. In the meantime, readers can divert their attention with this…. The Star Wars Guide to the Presidential Candidates.

Thanks my friend John in New York City for that link. John, like me, will turn 29 for the seventh year in a row this month. Looks like we’re about halfway home John. Can you believe how mercilessly short life really is?

January 11, 2008   Comments Off

Seven out of Eight Ain’t Bad

Well all of my predictions came true, except of course Jane Knodell losing to Dave Rogers in Ward Two. I guess the “wake up call” I predicted Ward Two would send the Progs was hype. I’m a publisher. Sometimes I want things to be more interesting than they are. Dave Rogers ran hard, but at the end of the day Jane is still an asset, and the Progressive machine’s old north end juggernaut still reigns.

A word to Tom Licata and Linda Deliduka. There isn’t a “three-strikes, you’re out” rule in Burlington Politics, but if there were- you’d both be out. This year Licata pulled less than 33 percent and Deliduka pulled less than 25. Learn to take a hint people.

Here’s a Breakdown by vote totals and percents for the Burlington City Council races decided today. Congratulations to all the winners, especially Councilor-Elect Ed Adrian.

Ward 1 Special
Ed Adrian (D) 264 votes 47.0588235%
Dick Bove (I) votes 78 13.9037433%
Megan Munson-Warnken (P) 219 votes 39.0374332%

Ward 1
Sharon Bushor (I) 428 votes 100%

Ward 2
Jane Knodell (P) 214 votes 63.1268437%
David Rogers (I) 125 votes 36.8731563%

Ward 3
Tim Ashe (P) 345 votes 79.3103448%
Loyal Ploof (I) 90 votes 20.6896552%

Ward 4
Jim Holway (D) 514 votes 44.1580756%
Kurt Wright (R) 650 votes 55.8419244%

Ward 5
Rene Kaczka-Valliere (G) 131 16.6666667%
Joan Shannon (D) 532 votes 67.6844784%
Basil Vansuch (I) 123 votes 15.648855%

Ward 6
Tom Licata (I) 221 votes 32.3572474%
Andrew Montroll (D) 462 67.6427526%

Ward 7
Ellie Blais (I) 313 32.0696721%
Linda Deliduka (D) 239 24.4877049%
Craig Gutchell (R) 424 43.442623%

March 7, 2007   Comments Off

Sparks fly in Council Debates III

When we last left the Ward One debate between Independent Dick Bove, Progressive Megan Munson-Warnken and Democrat Ed Adrian- Bove was talking about how he tried to kill Urban renewal when he was on the council in the sixties, but then councilman (and later mayor) Francis Cain cast the deciding vote in favor of it.

Funny story about Frank Cain-When the cold war ended some friends and I cleaned out the bomb shelter in city hall and found these old reel to reel tapes recorded by mayor Cain to be played in the event of a nuclear war. You know- don’t panic, stay in your homes- that sort of thing. I didn’t hear the tapes but they came with written transcripts. Also in the bomb shelter? Saltines- lots and lots of saltine crackers in big metal canisters that were forty years old and rusting away. Nasty.

All right- let me write about this debate already-

Opening statements (continued):

Ed- living in Burlington since 1996. Concerned about “process.” Examples of issues where he’s had concerns about process: School Redistricting and YMCA. Wants to promote a family environment.

Megan- “Deeply invested in Burlington.” “Every day we are walking, driving and biking in Burlington.” “I can be a bold creative and very thoughtful voice for Ward One.”

Call-in question: What’s up with the openness of some local political caucuses and the closed nature of others?

Ed- SEI discussion has been too one-way.

Megan- Only a handful of people go to city council meetings.

Dick- Thank God for Channel 17.

Call-in question: What’s the role of the city council in the school budget?

Megan- I’ll know more “once I get in there and start asking those kinds of questions.”

Dick- Easy question. The council doesn’t have a role in the school budget. That’s what the school board is for.

Ed- That’s why we have a school board.

Question: Reaction to SEI Task Force?

Dick- We have to consolidate schools to keep taxes low.

Ed- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Magnet elementary schools don’t make sense. Ward One voters usually approve school budgets overwhelmingly. Happiness of the children is very important.

Megan- SEI task force has started “wildfires” but I’m not necessarily opposed to their ideas.

Question: Waterfront?

Ed- Keep the ‘north forty’ open. Rip down the Moran plant.

Megan- Maybe retrofit Moran.

Dick- Tony Pomerleau wanted a high-rise on the 40, but Bernie stopped it. The waterfront is “Bernie’s field of dreams.” YMCA deal was suspect because CEDO people were on the YMCA board of directors, etc. Rip down Moran. Fixing it up would be “throwing good money after bad.”

Question: Main economic driver in Burlington?

Megan- UVM-FAHC, tourism and small biz.

Dick- Let’s bring football back. Keep people living downtown. That’s beautiful. Reduce bureaucracy at city hall.

Ed- Let’s look beyond CEDO.

Question: Zoning Rewrite?

Ed- Very important process but hard to make it interesting for people.

Megan- Frustrated with zoning process. “Five years is a long time.” (Note- Megan Munson-Warnken has only lived in Burlington about three years. Unless you happen to know that, it might sound like she’s been watching the process for the last five years. She hasn’t.)

Dick- Owners of historic houses in Burlington are getting totally screwed by a myriad of complicated regulations. (Teacher and Athena Club Chess Guy Bill McGrath recently testified to the city council regarding just this.)

Closing statements.

Blah blah blah. Ed announced his blog and actually gave out his cell phone number. That’s incredible. I’ve never seen another candidate do that. Jerry Brown announced 1-800-426-1112 a lot in 1992 (a number he’s used for subsequent campaigns) but Ed gave out his personal cell number. That’s a clear signal he will be an accessible and engaging councilor if he wins the election.

Debate winner: Ed Adrian.

Next debate: Ward three incumbent Tim Ashe faces independent challenger Loyal Ploof. In a nutshell- Tim crushed Loyal twenty million to zero in their debate. Sorry Loyal. Tim was extremely articulate and clearly has commanding knowledge of the issues. Not to mention his positions are totally spot-on. Loyal…not so much.

Debate winner: Tim Ashe.

Coming Monday- I tell you who should win this year and why… Stay tuned!!

February 28, 2007   Comments Off

Progressives to Field W1 Candidate

I received a tip today that local activist and cafe owner Megan Munson-Warnken (Photo Right) will be the Progressive candidate in the special Ward One election being held on Town Meeting Day. The winner of the race will fill the seat being vacated early by Democrat Ian Carlton. I am still trying to reach Munson-Warnken for comment. She will face Ed Adrian who won a tight nomination battle on last Thursday to become the Dems standard-bearer in Ward One.

Today was the deadline for folks to turn in their nominating petitions at City Hall. I was hoping for Elections Director / City Clerk Jo Lamarshe to email me the official list of candidates by tonight, but it looks like I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Rumor has it that Martha Lang who promised an Independent run after losing to Adrian in the Democratic caucus, has withdrawn her ballot-petition. Another runner-up from that caucus, Dick Bove, has been spotted collecting signatures for the race and may appear on the ballot as an Independent.

The entry of Munson-Warken into the special W1 race will bring the number of contested council races this year to four of the eight being held. The other contested races are in Wards 3, 5 and 7. All of the odd numbered wards will have contests this year…. developing story…

…Wait a minute… This just in… Loyal Ploof has dropped out of the Ward Three race. Briggs has the story

January 30, 2007   Comments Off

Slacker Wrap-Up

This is how lazy I am- I’ve built up this debt of posts I owe the blog- things I’ve promised I’d come back to but haven’t yet, mostly from the caucuses but other stuff too. I’m about to write-off this debt by producing the laziest reviews and follow-up you’ve ever seen and then lumping all into one post. I promise not to do any of the important subjects I touch on any justice.

Ed Cashman- I’ve been promising to do a post on Cashman for some time. Why don’t I just skip to the three theories of punishment justification I learned from Derk Pereboom at UVM? Let’s see…1) Retributive theory- ‘Just because.’ 2) Moral Education theory-’Punishment teaches right and wrong.’ 3) Deterrence theory- ‘Punishment deters the criminal himself (specialized) and the public at large (general).

The Onion River Co-Op Parking Lot- It sucks. I think they should make it two way through the YMCA lot and let people exit to Union Street. If the neighbors don’t like it they can move. Oh wait, they’re all UVM kids who are about to move in six months anyway. My bad. I would love it if someone took over their old space down the road and competed with them. I wish more stores had the foods I eat. I’m hungry.

Burlington Progressives Caucus IV- I ran into Peter Clavelle and he said Bob wanted to run a Prog in the special W1 race. Peter wondered out loud if the Dems would retaliate by running someone against Sharon. (I still seriously doubt that either the Progs or the Dems are going to find anybody and get the signatures by early next week.) Peter said he’s doing international consulting for ARD .

Burlington Progressives Caucus III- I had a long chat with a man named Don Horenstein who was seated near the mayor….Don said he’s been a member of Burlington Employees Retirement System Board since 2002, and that the formally contentious board has found “comity” under the guidance of Jonathon Leopold, formally Burlington treasurer under Bernie now Bob’s “Chief Administrative Officer.”

Why can’t we keep it simple, people? There was nothing wrong with the term “Treasurer,” and the fact of the matter is Jo LaMarshe is the City Clerk, whether you call her the “Director of Elections and Records,” or not. Jon’s the Treasurer and Jo’s the Clerk! Got that?!

Anyway Horenstein said the Board was looking at saving Burlington’s retirement system a lot of money by consolidating fees paid to multiple fund managers. He raved about Bob Kiss and in particular Leopold. He said Republican Charlie Smith told him Bob Kiss was lucky to get Leopold.

My conversation with Don left the immediate orbit of city finance and went into a little macroeconomics. Don said employers looking to relocate were more interested in the quality of a location’s labor force and cultural amenities than in its tax rates. He also said the high per-capita debt of Americans, our Federal Trade and Budget Deficits were all leading to “a day of reckoning.”

I also chatted with Jane Knodell. I asked about the 1% sales tax we enacted last year. She said half its revenues were going into the general fund and half were going into the city’s rainy day fund- now over a million dollars! Yes! Also- the city is now fully funding its retirement obligations and is looking for ways to reduce them.

I finally got a chance to speak with Bob and he basically confirmed what Jane told me about the 1%. I told him that reserve was similar to my idea of a “municipal endowment” which he said was great in theory. (My idea is to have about a billion dollars or more in the municipal endowment and pay a huge chunk of the city’s general budget with its revenue. Call me a dreamer, but if Harvard University can do it, so can the City of Burlington. )

Burlington Republicans Caucus II- Of all four caucuses I attended, I felt the most comfortable at this one. I feel like everyone wanted to shake hands. Kevin said I could vote in the W7 caucus since I was there, even though I’m an Independent. That was nice. Craig Gutchell, who is sitting councilor Paul Decelles’s father-in-law won the nomination to run R in 7 (I didn’t vote) thus setting up what promises to be the most competitive race this year with him versus Dem Linda Deleduka for the seat being vacated by Carmen George.

And of course, as we have all heard, the Republicans allowed the nomination of Loyal Ploof for W3 council and Shawn Starfighter for W3 Inspector of Elections. I’ll let Charity cover this one.

She’s Right on Channel 17- Speaking of Charity, I went on her TV show on January 19. I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard it was good.

Done. Now I owe you Nothing! Nothing!

Ed Adrian Update II- Wait a minute- Just in from Ed Adrain… (not to be confused with Ed Cashman)… We could be looking at a four-way nomination race in the Dem Caucus tonight. It’s 5:30 at the Burlington School District Office on Colchester Ave. If you live in Ward One, be there or be…Prog? No official word yet from the Progs Re: W1 Special Election Shocker… Update on who wins the Dem caucus can probably be found at VDB. But even if it isn’t, I still owe you nothing.

January 24, 2007   Comments Off

Burlington Republicans Caucus I

Scoops from tonight’s GOP Caucus: 1) Democrat Linda Deladuka will face Republican Craig Gutchell in the race to fill the Ward Seven seated being vacated by Carmen George. 2) Progressive Tim Ashe will face Republican Loyal Ploof in his bid for re-election from Ward Three.

(Yes, that’s me on the top right talking to Charity. No, I’m not a Republican.)

January 19, 2007   Comments Off