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Category — Miro Weinberger

When The Levee Breaks

So in my last post, I resigned from the school board.  For very personal and painful reasons I am living in ward 3 as part of trial separation from ward seven, and can’t hold the office anymore legally.  There are a number of other reasons.  My father, God bless him, is like 103 years old or something.  I’m sensing I need to clear the decks to be with him as much as I can.  My job, whatever it is, is mentally taxing and emotionally draining and now- separation.  And when I say separation from ward seven- that’s obviously a euphemism.  It’s hard for me to talk about my personal life but suffice it to say that in recent weeks events therein have overhelmed my ability to vigorously represent my constituency and so it would have been wrong of me not to resign even if I hadn’t left the ward.  There will be a special election this year in Ward 7 this year to fill at least one school board seat.  As there will be in ward 1 to fill the city council vacancy left by Ed Adrian’s departure September 30.  Miro was promoting Kevin P. Worden on Twitter tonight.  Oh…  that’s the other thing.  Maybe I can blog a little more too now that I’m off the school board.  I am sorry I didn’t cover the AG primary better.  I’ve just felt blown apart this month and I could barely write at all.  A lot has happened that I’ve missed.

September 6, 2012   3 Comments

“…as a Democratic councilor 10 years ago…”

Thanks as always to senator Jim Webb of Virginia for waking me up to what’s going on in Burlington. The Burlington Free Press’s Joel Banner Baird reports today that mayor Weinberger has nominated Ian Carleton to be the new city attorney, and that Ian Carlton wants more money to do it because he went to Yale.

Good story, but I have to question the way Baird charactarizes Carleton’s city council experience

“He served as a Democratic councilor 10 years ago and later was the Vermont Democratic Party chairman. The possibility of re-entering public service prompted him to seek the job in Weinberger’s administration, Carleton said, adding that the salary boost would give “some recognition to my compensation level over the past decade.” “

Now if memory serves Ian Carleton was the city council president as recently as five years ago, so to say he served 10 years ago is a little weird. It doesn’t tell us how long he served for, or that he was president.

But whatever. Miro’s first big scandal. It doesn’t look great to be citing Yale for more money, and I would not encourage Miro to copy Ian in this regard. Is Carleton worth it? Probably. But he also probably isn’t going to starve if he gets 105K vs the 112K he wants.

The mayor takes responsibility for the PR failure of agreeing to ask the council for the extra money for someone who is also his personal friend… I imagine Miro and Ian had the conversation about Ian skipping a pay step. Unfortunately Joel Banner Baird doesn’t have a quote from Miro in the story. That’s weird too.  Like a honeymoon preservative.

More than any of his recent predecessors, Miro has to be very careful to avoid any conflict of interest, or the appearance of any conflict of interest like padding a friend’s salary. For instance, people might question what he’s going to do with April Cornell’s old warehouse on North Avenue and whether he’ll give himself the permits to do it (!) (cymbal crash) … Well I heard he own it and was going to develop the property, but that’s unconfirmed. But you see my point. The public loves a fresh face, but we are also fickle. Oh so fickle.

I’m hopeful the mayor is successful in improving the infrastructure and the economy and contributing to the culture of the city, so I hope we don’t see too many stories like this one.

May 1, 2012   3 Comments

Mayor Weinberger

Here is Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger being sworn in and making his inaugural speech.  Video courtesy of Greg Pokies Guma.

Oh!  And just in from WCAX, Joan Shannon is the new City Council President.  Congratulations Joan!

April 3, 2012   2 Comments

Before the Leaves Grow…

Miro… if you’re reading… I pretty much just have one request. Right about now with the leaves off the trees you can get a fairly clear view from the base of Pearl Street where the fountain is, straight down to the waterfront. There’s even something of a path on the hill there etched by folks seeking a short cut.

Take a walk down there sometime before the bloom and try to envision what it would be like to transplant the Spanish steps of Rome to that spot. That’s a grand vision, but even a wooden staircase and/or ramp system would tremendously enhance the synergy between the Battery Park and the Waterfront by proving a direct pedestrian link between them.

If you do build a permanent stair and ramp structure in that spot, with benches, landscaping, fountains and amenities, it would be an instant tourist attraction. A vantage for sunset watchers, and a treasure that would last centuries, not decades.

In a hundred years nobody will remember if you fixed Burlington Telecom or fired Larry Kupferman, but if you give the city a grand public work made of stone and iron, then you do have a shot at immortality. As a developer, perhaps you can figure out how to do this project. I hope you can see it. I hope you can do it.

March 12, 2012   7 Comments