The questions continue surrounding the financially troubled Burlington Telecom. But the answers are not coming and the scandal could have political as well as legal repercussions.
"What this discussion is not is what has gone on in the past. It is only about Burlington Telecom today and tomorrow," said City Council President Bill Keogh at This week's public hearing regarding BT.
Keogh guided the conversation away from an ongoing criminal investigation into BT's finances. Those in the know are saying little about the past or the future of the troubled utility, or the nearly 17-million dollars that the public service department says the Kiss administration illegally took to cover BT's operating expenses.
But at the hearing, Mayor Kiss promised that BT will not shut down. "On their part, City Capital has agreed they will not do anything precipitous, and certainly our expectations are that BT services will continue without any serious threat or concern regarding quality, performance or reliability," he said.
The problem is that not enough information has been made public to evaluate the mayor's promise to keep BT operating. That would require a private investor with deep pockets. Meanwhile, the BT fiasco could turn a city tax rate increase on the March city ballot into a loss.
"I predict that that tax increase will be defeated, and perhaps largely as a result of a no-confidence feeling by the public in regards to the Kiss administration and their handling of Burlington Telecom," said Council Member Kurt Wright.
Still, it could be premature to write off the mayor's political future at this point. Kiss has one more year left in his three-year term of office in which he might be able to reverse BT's declining prospects.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>