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Category — Ward 5

More Chip Mason

Sorry about the lack of blogging.  Do you people know how freaking busy I am?  Full plate people.  Full plate.  I am a very busy, very important man, and I don’t have a lot of time for baloney.  So without further ado- here is the email that helped another very busy, very important man about town win the Ward 5 Democratic city council nomination 100% to zero.  Lady’s and gentleman, Mr. Chip Mason!

On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM, Chip Mason <> wrote:

Friends and Neighbors,
I am seeking the nomination for Ward 5 City Councilor at the Ward 5 Democratic caucus next Tuesday, January 17, at 6:00 p.m. at Champlain Elementary School.  I am writing to ask for your support.

Burlington is very important to me.  I am a lifelong Burlington resident who attended Burlington public schools and graduated from the University of Vermont.  I have lived in Ward 5 for over thirteen years with my wife, Rebecca and two daughters.  I have invested a great deal of my time to try to make Burlington an even better place to live and work.  I am an active community volunteer currently serving as a commissioner of the Burlington Employee Retirement Board, on the Board of Directors of the Lund Family Center and the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation.  I also coach for the Greater Burlington Girls Soccer League, Burlington Catamounts and Burlington Youth Hockey Association.  In my professional life, I am a corporate attorney with a law firm located in downtown Burlington.  In my work, I represent many Vermont-based businesses on a variety of matters including debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions.

Iam eager to take the next step and serve the community on the City Council.  I am concerned about the challenges facing Burlington and feel that I have the professional and civic experience to help us face them.  I am excited about the prospect of working with the next Mayor and the City Council to finally deal with these challenges, including the underfunded pension obligation, Burlington Telecom and the Moran Plant.  I believe that my experience and relationships will bolster the City Council’s ability to address these issues. 

I am writing to ask for your help.  If you are able, please attend the caucus on Tuesday the 12th  at 6:00 p.m. and vote for me so that I can be on the ballot in March. 

I have a facebook page at where you can learn more about me.  I am eager to hear from you about the issues you are concerned about in Burlington and Ward 5.

I am ready and eager to serve Ward 5 and the Burlington and hope I can count on your support.

Thank you,

Chip Mason

Scarff Avenue

January 24, 2012   1 Comment

Chip Mason Running for Council

William A. Mason IV, or “Chip” Mason an attorney at for city council at the party’s ward caucus January 17th, 6pm at Champlain Elementary School.  He did not say whether this meant incumbent Democrat and city council president Bill Keogh who’s up for re-election, is stepping down.

January 5, 2012   5 Comments

From Fred Lane

Below the row of stars to follow is an email I just received from school commissioner Fred Lane who is in a contested re-election bid against challenger Paul Hochanadel on Tuesday.  I will happily publish information from any Burlington candidate.
Hey Haik –
John Briggs sent over some questions for an article he’s writing about the budget and school races. I don’t know what percentage of answers he’ll use, so I thought I’d send the complete answers to you for posting on BurlingtonPol if you see fit. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Name: Frederick Lane
Age — 48
Educational Background — Amherst College (B.A., American Studies/Classics, 1985); Boston College Law School (J.D., 1988)
Time in Ward — 18 years
Reasons for Running –
1) Leadership, experience, and vision — The Board is facing a number of particularly challenging issues right now–contract negotiations, District finances in a tough economy, compliance with NCLB, diversity initiatives, and high school renovation–and I think that my experience and leadership will be asset to the Board as we work on those issues;
2) Board continuity — The Board has undergone considerable turnover in the last couple of years, and I hope to provide stability and guidance to more recent Board members as they become familiar with the complex issues facing the schools;
3) Commitment to Public Service — I’ve been active in Burlington community affairs for eighteen of the twenty years I’ve been in the City–Fire Commissioner, Ward Clerk (Ward 5) and School Board– and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of Burlington’s kids;
4) Belief in Public Education — I think that public education is one of the core elements of American society, and we should be doing everything possible to improve and perpetuate it. I have enjoyed working towards that goal, and hope to continue doing so.
Differences with opponent: I don’t think that there are significant differences in philosophy between myself and my opponent. I think that the chief distinguishing characteristics are my experience on the Board (10 years in October) and my record of leadership on difficult issues facing the Board.
You can find additional information on my Web site at

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.
American Privacy Facebook Page:

February 23, 2011   Comments Off

Interview with the Mayor

Friday was the first time I’ve been in the mayor’s office in almost exactly 20 years. Twenty years ago around this time in January I went there to tell Peter Clavelle I was running against him in his first bid for re-election. He suggested I run for the school board instead. I probably should have listened to him. All well.

I’ve finished transcribing my interview with mayor Kiss. My thanks to him for for taking the time to speak with me on the record, and my thanks to you for reading Visit often!

Click here to read 01.14.11 Interview with mayor Bob Kiss.

January 17, 2011   19 Comments

Driscoll Would Decline Progressive Nomination

On Jan 4, 2011, at 11:28 PM, Haik Bedrosian wrote:

Hi Carina,

Happy New Year. I hope you’re well. Shay is reporting you will be out of town Thursday and unable to attend the W5 caucus. Ususally if you want to win, it’s better to attend. Isn’t there a way to rearrange your plans so you can be there?

Also, you said you weren’t seeking the Progressive nomination, but if they nominated you anyway, would you accept it?

I hope you check out my blog sometimes. It’s pretty popular.


From: Carina Driscoll
Subject: Re: A couple of questions
To: “Haik Bedrosian”
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 8:56 AM

Hi Haik,

Happy New Year to you as well.

I am so disappointed to not be able to attend the caucus. I did not choose the date. I was hoping that the meeting would have been warned earlier so I could have made it. It is so hard to ask people to turn out on your behalf and then not be there to meet them. I have had long-standing flight arrangements to leave this afternoon with Blake and the kids to fly out west to spend time with my in-laws. It is just too costly to change the flights.

As far as accepting the Progressive endorsement, I would be honored and humbled, but would have to gratefully decline. There are many, many people who have been involved in the progressive movement over the last three decades for whom I have great admiration and respect. I will continue to be part of that movement as a Democrat. I have not changed my values and will always work for a progressive agenda to bring creative solutions that to move Burlington forward.

Take care,

January 5, 2011   Comments Off

Full Court Press

“Full Court Press,” I just learned, is a defensive play in basketball. 

Former City Dem Chair Mary Sullivan endorsed Carina Driscoll for city council in an email to Ward Five Democrats tonight.  She passes on a message from Carina in which she essentially renounces her Progressive faith and is born again, bathed in the Holy Light of the Democratic party!  Halleluyah!

I’m just joking around.  Don’t nobody get mad.  Carina Driscoll writes:

 “When I left my seat on the Council six years ago, I also left the Progressive Party.”

That sounds plausible  to me, because when I left that very same seat on the council fourteen years ago, I also also left the Progressive Party.

Joan Shannon recently told me her focus was winning re-election this March.  This means there’s going to be a fight at the caucus.  I don’t know who started the rumor that Carina wouldn’t personally attend it, but it’s a rumor.  The stand up thing for Carina to do, obviously, is attend.

I’m glad Carina is not pussyfooting about the party switch.  It saves local political bloggers like me time and energy.

I’m not going to bother reprinting Sullivan’s endorsement, but here is the statement from Driscoll (below the row of stars to follow) that came with it.  Enjoy!

****Oh wait- update- Shay has a post on this- he says “Ward 5 Democrats will meet at the Champlain Elementary School at 6 p.m. Thursday night.” he also says “Driscoll will be out of town that night and unable to attend the caucus” without explaining further.

Why I am Running For City Council
Carina Driscoll

Six years ago I resigned from City Council with the impending birth of my first child. Cole is now six, and my second child, Tess is two years old. In the last six years, I have been absent from Burlington politics, busy raising my kids and founding the Vermont Woodworking School with my husband, Blake. With Tess in pre-school, and Cole at Champlain and the business successfully founded, I have decided that it is time again to serve. If you are curious about my business, check us out online at

When I left the council six years ago, you couldn’t be on the council and not aware of the city’s pending financial problems. When it came time for the Mayor’s race, I voted in the democratic caucus and endorsed Hinda Miller, because I believed Burlington needed a Mayor with a business background and a strong personality. Despite Bob Kiss’ decision to enter the Mayor’s race, I upheld and confirmed my endorsement of the Democratic candidate. I have certainly not always agreed with Hinda’s voting record, but I believed she was up for the task at hand at that time. 

I believe I am the best Ward 5 City Council candidate today for the issues that we face going forward. Until we successfully move past the problems of Burlington Telecom which are plaguing the city, it truly has to be the only issue. I have not been party to the evolution of Burlington Telecom’s troubles. Unfortunately, there are many who are accountable and there will be a process that is occurring outside of the council that will address that. At this time, it is not clear what the council’s accountability is, but at the very least it is fair to say that the council has been asleep at the wheel and has failed on its oversight responsibilities. It is time for some fresh faces on the council. 

I believe at this time, the council has an opportunity to lead, but somehow with the current make-up of the council, it hasn’t been able to move past pulling stunts, finger-pointing and bitter partisanship. It is time that the council roll up its sleeves, come together at the table, and do what it takes first to protect tax-payer money, and if possible, re-invigorate this public utility to continue to offer high quality, fiber-optic telecom service that is so important to Burlington’s economic development. 

To be clear, I do not intend to seek the Progressive nomination for City Council, although I would welcome and appreciate the support from Progressives in Ward 5 on election day. When I left my seat on the Council six years ago, I also left the Progressive Party. For quite some time now, my priorities and perspective have been more in line with the progressive wing of the Democratic party. There are many wonderful developments that have been happening in the Democratic party both nationwide and right here in Vermont. I found, when reaching out to Democratic leaders here in Ward 5 that I was warmly welcomed and supported as a potential candidate. I am grateful for that support. I am absolutely a small ‘p,’ progressive Democrat. 

I am a fresh face with experience. In addition to running a successful business, and having served on the council in the past, I have also served on the Burlington School Board, and in the Vermont State Legislature. I would be proud to be an elected leader with Burlington’s democratic party and I welcome your support in my bid for Burlington City Council.

January 4, 2011   4 Comments

Driscoll Seeks Ward 5 Dem Nomination

Breaking News

Driscoll seeks to unseat Shannon; Blais to Run Again in Seven…

A reliable source has confirmed that Carina Driscoll, former state legislator and Progressive city councilor from Ward Three will be seeking to wrest the Democratic nomination for Ward Five city council from incumbent councilor, and possible mayoral candidate Joan Shannon.

There is speculation about whether Discoll is abandoning the Progressive party entirely, or whether she will seek to be a fusion candidate running under a duel Prog/Dem banner.  There is also speculation about whether she will actually attend the Democratic caucus, personally- or simply be nominated by someone else in absentia.

Developing Story…

Also- In other News, a source confirms Ellie Blais, former Ward Seven city councilor will seek to unseat incumbent Republican councilor Vince Dober in the March election. No word yet on her intended party label.

Developing Story…

January 3, 2011   3 Comments