YCQM: December 17, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> NARRATOR: FROM WCAX, THIS
IS YOU CAN QUOTE ME.
>>> GOOD MORNING, I'M DARREN PERRON.
ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
GROUNDING THE STATE AIRPLANE. JENNIFER COST AT THAT UNCOVERSALLEGATIONS OF QUESTIONABLE
SPENDING, AND A STATE POLICE
INVESTIGATION CONNECTED TO
VTRANS IN HER SPECIAL
REPORT "THE PLANE TRUTH."
A SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW
WITH INFINITE CULCLEASURE,
RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF
BURLINGTON, BUT TELLING US
ABOUT HIS CRIMINAL PAST, AND
WHY IT MAY HELP HIM IN THE
RACE.
PLUS, THE CURRENT MAYOR, MIRO
WEINBERGER HERE TO TALK ABOUT
WHY HE'S RUNNING AGAIN, AND
THE DEMOCRAT JOINS ME NOW.
MAYOR, GOOD MORNING TO YOU
>> DARREN, GOOD TO BE WITH
YOU.
THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT
THIS.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING AGAIN?
>> WELL, DARREN, BEING MAYOR
HAS BEEN THE HONOR OF A
LIFETIME.
I AM PROUD OF THE WORK WE'VE
DONE THE LAST SIX YEARS.
I THINK WE'VE COME A LONG WAY
ON MANY, IN MANY AREAS,
IMPROVING OUR FINANCES, ADDING
VIBRANCY TO THE DOWNTOWN,
REHABILITATING THE WATERFRONT,
ADDRESSING SOME OF OUR DEEPEST
SOCIAL CHALLENGES IN TERMS OF
HOME L -- HOMELESSNESS, THE
OPIOID EPIDEMIC.
IN MANY WAYS I THINK WE'VE HAD
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND WE HAVE
LAID THE GROUND WORK FOR EVEN
GREATER SUCCESSES IN YEARS
AHEAD.
I WOULD LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO KEEP WORKING ON THESE AND
OTHER ISSUES FOR THE PEOPLE OF
BURLINGTON.
>> Darren: DO YOU TOUT THOSE
AS YOUR BIGGEST
ACCOMPLISHMENTS THUS FAR?
>> WELL, LOOK, YEAH.
LOOK BACK.
CITY WAS A VERY DIFFERENT
PLACE FIVE YEARS AGO THAN IT
IS TODAY.
SIX YEARS AGO.
IN MANY WAYS.
WE WERE ON THE EDGE OF JUNK
BOND STATUS.
OUR WATERFRONT, THE NORTHERN
WATERFRONT WAS AN EYESORE, HAD
BEEN STALLED FOR MANY YEARS.
THE DOWNTOWN MALL WAS FADING,
ERODING AWAY.
OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IN MANY
AREAS OF THE CITY WAS IN
DECLINE.
SIX YEARS LATER, WE HAVE OUR
A CREDIT RATING BACK, GOT OUR
THIRD CREDIT RATING UPGRADE IN
THREE YEARS IN THE LAST WEEK.
OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS GOING IN
THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
WE ARE BUILDING MORE
SIDEWALKS, STREETS, WATERLINES
AND REBUILDING OUR BIKE PATH,
DOING BETTER IN THOSE AREAS
THAN EVER.
JUST THIS WEEK WE SAW THE MALL
BUILDING START TO COME DOWN
SHALL ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A
VIBRANT, MIXED-USE
NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE HEART OF
THE DOWNTOWN.
WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY IN
THOSE AREAS, AND MORE, BUT
THERE'S STILL A LOT MORE TO
DO.
>> Darren: WHAT DO YOU BRING
TO THE TABLE THAT YOUR TWO
CHALLENGERS IN THIS RACE DO
NOT?
>> WELL, NOW SIX YEARS IN, I
THINK I BRING A RECORD OF
PROVEN ACCOMPLISHMENT AND
LEADERSHIP.
I THINK, I HOPE THE PEOPLE OF
BURLINGTON HAVE SEEN THE KIND
OF DISCIPLINE, THOUGHTFUL,
RESPONSIVE AND DECISIVE
LEADERSHIP THAT I HAVE BEEN --
THAT I HAVE BROUGHT TO MANY
ISSUES THE LAST SIX YEARS.
AND, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING ELSE
THAT I THINK WE BRING TO THE
TABLE IS A GREAT TEAM THAT
WE'VE BUILT OVER THE LAST SIX
YEARS.
I AM VERY PROUD OF THE
DEPARTMENT HEADS THAT WE'VE
PUT IN PLACE.
THE NEW FIRE CHIEF, NEW POLICE
CHIEF THAT WE HAVE, THIS GREAT
TEAM OF EILEEN BLACKWOOD AND
BETH ANDERSON, AND, YOU KNOW,
NOEL McKAY, WOMEN THAT ARE
LEADING THE HEART OF THE
CITY'S OPERATIONS.
I THINK WE PUT TOGETHER A
GREAT TEAM.
WE'VE SHOWN THAT WE CAN GET
THINGS DONE FOR THE PEOPLE OF
BURLINGTON, AND I HOPE THE
PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON SEE THAT
AND GIVE US A LITTLE MORE TIME
TO CONTINUE MAKING PROGRESS IN
THESE AREAS.
>> CARINA DRISCOLL, ONE OF
YOUR CHALLENGERS, AN
INDEPENDENT WHO JUST LAUNCHED.
SHE REALLY DOES CREDIT WITH
GETTING THE CITY ON GOOD
FINANCIAL GROUND, BUT SHE SAYS
NOW IT'S TIME FOR NEW
LEADERSHIP, PRIMARILY SHE
QUESTIONS TRANSPARENCY IN YOUR
OFFICE AND WHETHER BURLINGTON
IS FOR SALE TO THE HIGHEST
BIDDER.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?
>> YEAH.
I'VE SEEN THE POINT, AND I
THINK I DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND
IT.
I THINK LOOKING BACK AT THE
LAST SIX YEARS, THIS HAS BEEN
A TIME OF, NOT OF SELLING OFF
ASSETS, BUT OF MAKING MAJOR
PUBLIC INVESTMENTS.
IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE
DONE WITH THE BIKE PATH, OR ON
THE WATERFRONT, OR WITH THE
DOWNTOWN MALL INVOLVEMENT.
WE ARE BUYING BACK CITY
STREETS LOST DURING URBAN
RENEWAL.
ADDING TO THE PUBLIC
INFRASTRUCTURE.
WE BOUGHT BACK FROM THE FORMER
BURLINGTON COLLEGE LAND, WE
BOUGHT BACK 12 ACRES AND HAVE
CREATED A GREAT NEW PARK UP
AGAINST THE CAM BRIE YAN RISE
PROPERTY.
WE HAVE MADE MAJOR INVESTMENTS
IN THE URBAN RESERVE, A PU --
NEW PARK THERE.
ANOTHER WATERFRONT PARK NEXT
TO THE NEW MARINA THAT'S GOING
TO GET BUILT.
WE HAVE BEEN PURSUING THIS
GREAT STREETS STRATEGY, WHERE
WE ARE MAKING MAJOR
INVESTMENTS, NOT ONLY PARKS,
BUT OTHER PUBLIC SPACES, IN
THE STREETS THEMSELVES, WE ARE
GOING TO REBUILD MAIN STREET,
WE ARE GOING TO REBUILD ST.
PAUL STREET NEXT SUMMER.
WE ARE FINALLY ON THE CUSP
AFTER DECADES OF BUILDING THE
SHM PLAIN PARKWAY -- CHAMPLAIN
PARK WAU.
AFTER DECADES WE GOT A NEW BUS
STATION BUILT.
I THINK IT IS OVERLOOKED HOW
MUCH MAJOR PUBLIC INVESTMENT
THAT WE HAVE MADE IN OUR PARKS
AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES OVER
THE LAST SIX YEARS.
THE NEXT THREE YEARS WILL BE
MORE OF THAT.
>> Darren: CARINA DRISCOLL
ONCE WORKED FOR YOUR
ADMINISTRATION.
WAS SHE A GOOD EMPLOYEE?
>> YOU KNOW, I APPRECIATE WHAT
CARINA DID IN THE EARLY, YOU
KNOW, THE FIRST YEAR OF THE
NEW ADMINISTRATION, HELPING US
GET THE NEW ADMINISTRATION SET
UP.
SHE DID THINGS LIKE RUN SEARCH
COMMITTEES THAT WOULD EVALUATE
CANDIDATES AND PUT THEM IN
FRONT OF ME FOR DECISIONS, AND
I APPRECIATED THE WORK SHE DID
IN THAT JOB.
WISHED HER WELL WHEN, YOU
KNOW, WE SAT DOWN AND DECIDED
IT WAS TIME FOR HER TO MOVE ON
ABOUT A YEAR IN.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR
CANDIDACY WILL FOCUS ON IF
YOU'RE ELECTED AGAIN.
YOU TALKED ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE
DONE SO FAR.
WHAT IS TO DO?
>> WELL, I HAVE A LONG LIST.
FIVE AREAS THAT I WOULD BE
VERY EXCITED TO KEEP WORKING
ON, INCLUDE FINISHING OUR
SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
PLAN.
WE ARE IN THE FIRST YEAR OF
IT.
WE JUST COMPLETED THE FIRST
YEAR OF IT.
WE GOT FOUR MORE YEARS OF
MAJOR INVESTMENTS TO DO.
I WOULD LOVE THE ABILITY TO
OVERSEE THAT.
AGAIN, THE REDEVELOPMENT OF
THE DOWNTOWN, WE ARE JUST
STARTING TO SEE THE
CONSTRUCTION TAKE PLACE, THE
CITY HAS A BIG JOB TO MAKE
SURE THOSE STREETS AND OTHER
PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE GETS
BUILT RIGHT OVER THE NEXT
COUPLE YEARS DURING
CONSTRUCTION.
I WOULD LIKE TO LEAD THAT
EFFORT.
THE OPIOID WORK THAT WE HAVE
DONE, I'M PROUD OF WHAT WE AND
CHIEF DEL POSO HAVE DONE,
STANDING UP TO THIS STRONG,
LOCAL RESPONSE TO THE OPIOID
EPIDEMIC, WE ARE STARTING TO
SEE RESULTS FROM THAT.
WE PLAYED A ROLE IN BRINGING
THE WAITING LIST FOR TREATMENT
DOWN TO ESSENTIALLY ZERO.
BUT WE HAVEN'T SEEN -- WE
HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO BEND THE
CURVE YET IN TERMS OF THE
NUMBER OF OPIOID DEATHS, AND
IT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE
PUT THE MOST TIME INTO OF
LATE.
WE HAVE TO DO MORE.
OTHER BIG IDEAS LOOKING OUT IN
THE FUTURE, WE WILL BECOME ONE
OF THE FIRST NET ZERO ENERGY
CITIES IN THE COUNTRY OVER THE
NEXT 10-15 YEARS.
THE NEXT TWO OR THREE YEARS
WILL BE CRITICAL AS WE PURSUE
DISTRICT ENERGY AND STRATEGIC
LEK TRY IF I INDICATION --
ELECTRIC OF OUR VEHICLE FLEET
TO GET TO THAT GOAL.
SO I COULD KEEP GOING, BUT,
YOU KNOW, AGAIN, I WOULD LOVE
THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON
THESE ISSUES AND CONTINUE TO
WORK HARD ON THEM IN THE YEARS
AHEAD.
>> Darren: I WOULD LIKE TO GET
A FEW SPECIFICS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD
HAPPEN TO THE MORAN PLANT?
CARINA DRISCOLL POINTS TO A
FAILED DEAL WITH NEW MORAN,
WHAT HAPPENED THERE AND WHAT'S
NEXT?
>> WELL, WHAT HAPPENED THERE
IS A COUPLE THINGS.
FIRST OF ALL, I MADE GOOD ON
WHAT I SAID I WOULD DO BACK
SIX YEARS AGO, TO MAKE A
DECISION QUICKLY ON THE PASS
PLAN.
WE DECIDED NOT TO GO FORWARD
WITH WHAT HAD BEEN THIS
CLIMBING WALL CONCEPT.
WE CAME UP THROUGH PUBLIC
PROCESS, WE SAID WE WOULD MAKE
ONE LAST EFFORT TO AMBITIOUSLY
REDEVELOPMENT THE WATERFRONT,
WE GAVE THE NEW MORAN TEAM A
CHANCE TO DO THAT.
EVERYONE WORKED HARD ON IT.
IT DIDN'T WORK OUT.
SO WHERE WE ARE NOW IS, WE ARE
LOOKING TO FIND A WAY TO USE
THE MONEY THAT WE HAVE SET
ASIDE, AND HAVE NOT BEEN
SPENDING.
PEOPLE I HOPE REMEMBER THAT,
WE SET ASIDE $6 MILLION TO
INVEST IN THAT SITE TO MAKE IT
COMPLEMENT THE REST OF THE
NORTHERN WATERFRONT.
THE REST OF THE NORTHERN
WATERFRONT HAS COME A LONG WAY
IN RECENT YEARS.
WE HAVE WORLD-CLASS SKATE PARK
BUILT THERE, EXTENDED LAKE
STREET, ABOUT TO SEE A NEW
MARINA NEXT YEAR.
BIKE PATH COMPLETELY REBUILT
IN THAT AREA.
WE'VE GONE FROM IT BEING AN
EYESORE TO ONE OF THE MOST
EXCITING PARTS OF THE TOWN.
IF GIVEN THE CHANCE, I WOULD
FIND A WAY TO USE THAT $6
MILLION TO MAKE SURE THE MORAN
BUILDING AND SITE -- WE ARE
NOT GOING TO TRY TO REDEVELOP
IT AS A FULL-FLEDGED BUILDING,
BUT WE WILL DO SOMETHING THAT
MAKES IT A COMPLEMENT TO THE
OTHER ACTIVITIES ON THE
WATERFRONT.
>> CARINA DRISCOLL ALSO POINTS
TO THE FACT THAT THE MEMORIAL
AUDITORIUM IS FALLING APART.
>> YES.
>> FIRST THING YOU SEE WHEN
YOU COME DOWN MAIN STREET.
SHE IS WORRIED THAT WE ARE
JUST GOING TO SELL THIS ASSET.
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, WHAT
DO YOU ENVISION THERE?
>> WELL, I HAVE NO PLANS TO
SELL IT.
I HAVE BEEN WORRIED THIS FOR A
COUPLE YEARS.
WE WENT TO THE CITY COUNCIL IN
THE FALL OF 2015 AND WE SAID
THIS BUILDING HAS BEEN
NEGLECTED FOR MANY, MANY
YEARS, AND WE CAN NO LONGER
CONTINUE TO DO THAT.
WE SAID AT THE TIME WE NEED TO
PUT ABOUT A QUARTER MILLION
DOLLARS OF EMERGENCY REPAIRS
IN, AND WE DID THAT.
AND WE ALSO SAID WE NEED TO
COME UP WITH A NEW LONG-TERM
PLAN AND WE HIRED A GREAT
COULD BE SUL TANT --
CONSULTANT NAMED JEFFREY
GLASSBERG TO COME UP WITH THE
PLAN.
BASICALLY TO GO FROM THERE,
ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO TO TODAY,
WE'VE PURSUED A COUPLE OF
IDEAS THAT WE PURSUED AN IDEA
WITH UVM THAT DIDN'T WORK OUT.
WHERE WE ARE NOW, I AM
COMMITTED TO BRINGING TO THE
COUNCIL AND THE VOTERS BY NEXT
FALL, AFTER SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC
PROCESS AND CONSULTATION, A
PLAN TO KEEP BURLINGTON
MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM WHAT IT
HAS ALWAYS BEEN.
A PUBLICLY OWNED, PUBLIC
ASSEMBLY SPACE.
NO FREE LUNCH HERE.
VOTERS WILL HAVE TO DECIDE TO
MAKE INVESTMENT IF WE WANT TO
KEEP IT AT THAT, AND MODERNIZE
IT TO A RELEVANT 21ST CENTURY
BUILDING.
NO ONE HAS DONE THAT PLAN.
I INTEND TO DO IS IN
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PUBLIC
AND BRING IT TO THE VOTERS
NEXT FALL.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT BURLINGTON
TELECOM, OBVIOUSLY YOUR FIRST
CHOICE IN GETTING THE CITY
OWNED UTILITY SOLD TO THEM,
ENDED UP GOING TO CITY
COUNCIL, NOW A GROUP OF
BURLINGTON RESIDENTS HAVE PUT
IN A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST,
ASKING FOR ALL CORRESPONDENCE
BETWEEN YOUR OFFICE AND
CITIBANK RELATED TO BT,
IMPLYING YOU PLAYED A ROLE IN
THE THREAT OF A LAWSUIT IF THE
KIT SSH CITY WENT WITH KBTL.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE?
>> THAT'S THE FIRST TIME
HEARING ABOUT THAT PUBLIC
RECORDS REQUEST.
NOT GOING TO TURN UP VERY
MUCH.
THE ONLY CONVERSATION THAT
HAPPENS BETWEEN THE CITY AND
CITIBANK IS THROUGH OUR
LAWYERS, BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN IN
LITIGATION WITH THEM FOR MANY
YEARS, AND IN THE PROCESS OF
IMPLEMENTING A LITIGATED
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, I MEAN,
HERE'S -- YOU KNOW, STEPPING
BACK FOR A SECOND, WHERE WE
ARE WITH BURLINGTON TELECOM,
WE HAVE ACHIEVED A VERY
IMPORTANT MILESTONE, AFTER A
DECADE OF FINANCIAL
CHALLENGES, THE PROPOSAL
ACCEPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL,
WHICH WAS ONE OF THE TWO THAT
I REPRESENTED -- RECOMMENDED
TO THEM IN EARLY OCTOBER THAT
THEY CONSIDER, RESOLVES THAT
DECADE OF FINANCIAL
CHALLENGES, VERY MUCH TO THE
BENEFIT FINANCIALLY OF THE
CITY AND TO THE TAXPAYERS, AND
THAT AGREEMENT WILL ENSURE
THAT BURLINGTON TELECOM WILL
HAVE A LONG, HEALTHY FUTURE,
WHICH WAS SOMETHING THAT ALSO
WAS VERY MUCH IN DOUBT WHEN WE
WERE BEING SUED BY CITIBANK
THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO.
WE WERE ON THE CUSP OF
POTENTIALLY SEEING THE FIBER
RIPPED OUT OF THE GROUND, OR
THE ENTITY PUT INTO SHE
EVERSHIP -- RECEIVERSHIP.
WE STABILIZED IT, PRO TED THE
TAX PAIRINGS, AND NOW
BURLINGTON TELECOM IS HERE FOR
THE LONG RUN AND WILL CONTINUE
TO BE A COMPETITOR TO COMCAST
AND AN ASSET AS LONG AS WE CAN
SEE IN THE FUTURE.
>> CARINA DRISCOLL HAS A
FAMOUS STEPFATHER, SENATOR
BERNIE SANDERS.
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THAT?
>> NO.
LISTEN, I THINK IT'S GOOD FOR
THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON TO
HAVE A CHOICE WHEN THEY GO TO
THE POLLS.
I WELCOME BOTH CARINA AND
INFINITE CULCLEASURE INTO THE
RACE AND AM LOOKING FORWARD TO
CONVERSATIONS LIKE THIS OVER
THE NEXT TWO AND A HALF MONTHS
LEADING UP TO THE TOWN MEETING
DAY.
>> WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST
CHALLENGE?
>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE
CHALLENGE OF ANY THIRD-TERM
MAYOR IS TO CONVINCE THE
PUBLIC THAT -- THAT HE OR SHE
HAS BEEN DOING A GOOD JOB, AND
STILL HAS IDEAS ABOUT THE
FUTURE.
I THINK THE THIRD TERMS CAN BE
A TOUGH REELECTION.
CERTAINLY GOING TO BE WORKING
VERY HARD, KNOCKING ON DOORS,
GOING TO EVERY HOUSE PART --
HOUSE PARTY AND COULD HAVE
SHALL -- COFFEE.
>> KLAHCH I CAN.
I HAVE A LOT OF IDEAS ABOUT
AND I CARE A GREAT DEAL ABOUT
THIS JOB.
CITY OF BURLINGTON IS A GREAT
CITY.
VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE SERVED
IN THIS ROLE, AND I HOPE
PEOPLE WILL SEE BY TOWN
MEETING DAY THAT I STILL HAVE
SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE IN THE
YEARS AHEAD.
>> MAYOR WEINBERGER, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.
UP NEXT, A MAN WHO HOPES TO
UNSEAT HIM.
INFINITE CULCLEASURE.
AND LATER, WCAX INVESTIGATES.
WHY IS THE STATE AIRPLANE
REALLY FOR SALE?
AND WE UNCOVER SOME
QUESTIONABLE SPENDING.
DON'T GO AWAY.
>> Darren: IS BURLINGTON READY
FOR ANOTHER SOCIALIST MAYOR?
HE WAS THE FIRST TO ANNOUNCE
PLANS TO RUN AGAINST MAYOR
WEINBERGER AS AN INDEPENDENT.
INFINITE CULCLEASURE SAYS HE'S
OFFERING SOMETHING DIFFERENT
TO VOTERS.
>> WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE THE
NEXT MAYOR OF BURLINGTON?
>> BECAUSE I THINK BURLINGTON
IS READY FOR ANOTHER SOCIALIST
MAYOR.
>> THAT'S HOW YOU WOULD
DESCRIBE YOURSELF, A SOCIALIST
MAYOR.
>> YEAH.
I THINK THAT'S HOW I WOULD
DESCRIBE IN PARTICULAR HOW WE
DISTRIBUTE -- WE WOULD
DISTRIBUTE RESOURCES, YOU
KNOW, THE PUBLIC RESOURCES.
YOU KNOW, IN A SOCIALIST WAY.
>> YOU HAVE NEVER HELD ELECTED
OFFICE BEFORE.
SOME PEOPLE MAY KNOW YOU IN
THE COMMUNITY, BUT OTHERS
DON'T.
WHAT DO PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT INFINITE?
>> I HAVE A WORLD-CLASS
EDUCATION.
BEEN WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW, HIGH
SCHOOL AGE YOUNG PEOPLE,
COLLEGE-AGE YOUNG PEOPLE.
I'VE BEEN A COMMUNITY
ORGANIZER FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS
NOW, PROFESSIONALLY.
I HAVE BEEN ORGANIZING
ACTIVISTS ALMOST ALL MY LIFE.
PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO KNOW THAT I
AM REALLY GOOD AT SHARING
POWER AND HELPING PEOPLE,
COACHING PEOPLE TO REACH THEIR
POTENTIAL.
>> YOU SPENT TIME IN FEDERAL
PRISON ON DRUG CHARGES.
>> YES.
>> YOU WERE CONNECTED TO SOME
PRETTY VIOLENT INCIDENTS.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE
THAT ARGUE YOU DO NOT DESERVE
TO BE MAYOR BECAUSE OF YOUR
CRIMINAL HISTORY?
>> ]
LAUGHS ]
--
[LAUGHS ]
I WOULD ARGUE THAT, YOU KNOW,
MY -- YOU KNOW, MY LIFE
EXPERIENCES ACTUALLY ARE
PROBABLY MORE SIMILAR TO MOST
OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN
BURLINGTON THAN THE PEOPLE WHO
ACTUALLY RUN OUR LOCAL
GOVERNMENT NOW.
I AM ALSO A SURVIVOR OF TRAUMA
AND VIOLENCE, AND WE REALLY
NEED TO, YOU KNOW, TAKE A HARD
LOOK AT WHAT IT MEANS TO, YOU
KNOW, OVERCOME, YOU KNOW,
ADVERSITY.
>> CERTAINLY INSTITUTIONAL
FACTORS AT PLAY TO WHY YOU
ENDED UP WHERE YOU ENDED UP,
BUT DO YOU HOLD ANY
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THAT.
DO YOU TAKE ANY ACCOUNTABILITY
FOR THAT?
>> I WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED
AND PLED GUILTY TO A
CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE
COCAINE.
I DO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR
SELLING DRUGS.
YOU KNOW, IN SOME WAYS,
COMPROMISING MY INTEGRITY A
LITTLE BIT BECAUSE I THOUGHT,
YOU KNOW, I NEEDED TO DO THAT
TO SURVIVE, YOU KNOW.
AND I ACTUALLY RETURNED BACK
TO THIS COMMUNITY BECAUSE, YOU
KNOW, I KNEW THAT, UM, I COULD
STILL VOTE, YOU KNOW.
I WASN'T DISENFRANCHISED, YOU
KNOW, AND I HAD, YOU KNOW, THE
UNDERSTANDING THAT, YOU KNOW,
I COULD REDEEM MYSELF.
>> THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
ISSUES THAT THIS CURRENT
ADMINISTRATION HAD TO DECIDE
IN TERMS OF THE SALE OF
BURLINGTON TELECOM, THE
REDEVELOPMENT OF THE MALL.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE
DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE IN
POWER ON THOSE ISSUES?
>> YOU KNOW, ONE THING I
DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE DONE
DIFFERENTLY WITH THE MALL
DEVELOPMENT AND THE REZONING
OF, YOU KNOW, AND THE CITY WAS
TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAD
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT,
YOU KNOW, THAT HELD THESE
DEVELOPERS WHO GOT PUBLIC
SUBSITUATED -- SUBSIDIES
ACCOUNTABLE, AS FAR AS THE
TELECOM SITUATION IS
CONCERNED, YOU KNOW, I REALLY
AM DISAPPOINTED.
YOU KNOW, I AM A BURLINGTON
TELECOM CUSTOMER SHALL AND,
YOU KNOW, I REALLY FELT LIKE
WE SHOULD NOT HAVE EVER LOST
THAT AS A PUBLIC UTILITY.
>> ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE ON
THE MINUTIAE OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENT?
THERE IS A LOT OF DAY-TO-DAY
TASKS, REALLY COMPLICATED,
THAT HAVE -- THAT OFTEN DON'T
SEE THE PUBLIC EYE.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
>> AND THAT IS REQUIRED OF THE
MAYOR BEHIND THE SCENES.
HAVING NEVER HELD ELECTED
OFFICE, DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO
ALL OF THOSE THINGS?
ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO THAT?
>> OH, YEAH.
YOU KNOW, I THINK THE BEST
MAYOR WE EVER HAD NEVER HAD
EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE.
WHAT I AM REALLY GOOD AT IS,
YOU KNOW, DL GATING, YOU --
DELEGATING RESPONSIBILITIES TO
PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, IN TERMS OF
THEIR STRENGTHS.
>> YOU DID NOT NAB THE
PROGRESSIVE ENDORSEMENT, BUT I
UNDERSTAND YOU ARE GOING TO
STAY IN THE RACE AS AN
INDEPENDENT.
>> YEAH.
>> WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO FOLKS
WHO HAVE CONCERNS THAT YOU ARE
GOING TO BE A SPOILER
CANDIDATE, WOULD YOU SAY THAT
YOUR IDEOLOGIES ARE LINED UP
ENOUGH WITH CARINA TO WORK
WITH HER, OR YOU FEEL AS
THOUGH YOU ARE REALLY GOING TO
BE A DIFFERENT FACTOR IN THIS
RACE?
>> OUR VOTING UNIVERSE IS
LARGE, OKAY.
AND MOST OF THE FOLKS WHO,
BOTH CARINA DRISCOLL AND MIRO
WEINBERGER, YOU KNOW, ARE
COMPETING FOR PROBABLY NOT THE
FOLKS, YOU KNOW, THAT, YOU
KNOW, WOULD BE LOOKING AT ME
AS A CANDIDATE.
RIGHT?
SO I WOULD ALSO SAY THAT, YOU
KNOW, I THINK WHEN BERNIE RAN
FOR MAYOR, HE WAS SPLITTING
THE VOTE.
I THINK HE SPLIT THE VOTE A
LOT OF TIMES BEFORE, YOU KNOW,
HE ACTUALLY WON AN ELECTION.
SO IT'S TIME.
YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S TIME,
YOU KNOW, TO GIVE THE PEOPLE
OF BURLINGTON A DIFFERENT
OPTION.
>> LET'S HEAD TO THE NEWSROOM
NOW TO SEE WHAT'S COMING UP ON
THE WEEKEND.
HEY, SCOTT.
WHAT'S UP?
>> DARREN, THANKS VERY MUCH.
COMING UP IN A FEW MOMENTS,
DAVE BUSH WILL BE ALONG TO
TELL US HOW LONG WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE THESE FREEZING
TEMPERATURES.
PLUS, IT'S A FAMILY EN RIVER
-- IN RICHMOND THAT HAS A
GUEST FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
WHY A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE IS
GETTING ATTENTION.
AND WHO IS COOKING FOR THE
HOLIDAYS?
OUR OWN DARREN PERRON WITH HIS
KNEES -- NIECES AND NEPHEWS
MAKING SPECIAL TREATS.
AN ANNUAL TRADITION AT CHANNEL
3, AND AS ALWAYS, IT LOOKS
PRETTY GOOD.
>> THEY ARE GOOD TV.
SEE YOU IN A COUPLE MINUTES.
UP NEXT, THE PLANE TRUTH ABOUT
THE STATE AIRPLANE.
WE DISCOVER QUESTIONABLE
SPENDING IN THE AVIATION
PROGRAM AND IT IS CHANGING
RULES FOR ALL VTRANS
EMPLOYEES.
WHAT OUR INVESTIGATION
REVEALED.
\M\M
>> IT'S ONE OF THE MOST
CONTROVERSIAL PIECES OF STATE
EQUIPMENT, AND WE'VE
DISCOVERED VERMONT IS NOW
TRYING TO SELL THE STATE
AIRPLANE.
WHY?
JENNIFER COST AT THAT IS
FOLLOWING THE -- COSTA IS
FOLLOWING THE MONEY AND TELLS
US WHY THE SECOND LARGEST
STATE AGENCY MADE SWEEPING
CHANGES TO THE PURCHASING
POWER OF WORKERS IN HER
SPECIAL REPORT, "THE PLANE
TRUTH."
>> THE YEAR THIS AIRCRAFT WAS
BUILT, ASTRONAUT JOHN GLEB
ORBIT D.JOHN GLENN ORBITED THE
EARTH.
A GALLON OF MILK COST A BUCK,
AND MARILYN MONROE SERENADED
JFK.
TIMES HAVE DEFINITELY CHANGED,
BUT NOT FOR VERMONT'S STATE
PLANE.
THE AVIATION DEPARTMENT IS
STILL FLYING THE 1962 CESSNA.
WE GOT 16 YEARS OF FLIGHT LOGS
SHOWING AN AVERAGE OF 118
FLYING HOURS A YEAR.
>> THAT'S NOT A LOT OF HOURS
FOR AN AIRPLANE.
>> THE GOVERNOR HAS NEVER
REALLY BEEN A FAN OF HAVING A
TAXPAYER-FUNDED STATE PLANE OF
THE.
>> WE HAVE A HANGAR THAT WE
HAVE TO APPROPRIATE FOR THAT
AND MAINTENANCE.
MAYBE SFS NOT-O-- IT IS NOT
WORTH IT.
MAYBE WE SHOULD DO AWAY WITH
THE AIRCRAFT.
>> THAT'S WHEN HE WAS
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND WE
FIRST TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS
STORY.
IN 2013, HE AND GOVERNOR
SHUMLIN WERE AT ODDS OVER THE
HUNK OF STEEL.
LAWMAKERS WERE TRYING TO CLOSE
A $60 MILLION BUDGET GAP, AND
SHUMLIN WANTED A NEWER, SAFER
PLANE.
>> LAST TIME I WAS IN IT THE
DOOR FLEW OPEN.
I PULLED IT BACK.
[ LAUGHTER ]
WANTED TO SEE WHAT THE GAS CAP
WAS READING.
SO WE KNOCKED THE GAUGE A FEW
TIMES, AND WE COULDN'T GET IT
TO READ.
MY STAFF FLIPS OUT EVERY TIME
I CRAWL INTO IT.
>> THE BEECHCRAFT BARON HE
WANTED CAME WITH $1.5 MILLION
PRICE TAG.
SHUMLIN BELIEVED IT WAS A
BETTER INVESTMENT THAN SINKING
$80,000 INTO FIXING THE OLD
ONE.
SCOTT CALLED THAT EXTRAVAGANT.
IN THE END, SHUMLIN'S PLANS
FOR A NEW PLANE WERE GROUNDED.
>> NO PLANS FOR 1.5 MILLION
PLANE?
>> NO.
NOT ON MY WATCH.
>> NO NEW PLANE.
AND WE DISCOVERED HE IS
SELLING THE ONE WE HAVE.
>> I THINK WE JUST CUT OUR
LOSSES RATHER THAN CONTINUE TO
PUT MONEY INTO IT.
>> WE DUG INTO THE NUMBERS,
AND FOUND EVEN SELLING IT
WON'T BE PROFITABLE FOR THE
STATE.
SINCE 2013, VERMONT SHELLED
OUT $58,000 TO FLY IT, AND
SUNK ANOTHER $180,000 INTO
MAINTENANCE.
ACCORDING TO THIS APPRAISER
REPORT, THE PLANE IS ONLY
WORTH $102,000.
SCOTT TELLS US HE'S NEVER USED
THE CESSNA, BUT A HANDFUL OF
STATE AGENCIES DO FOR
SURVEYING, AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY,
AIRPORT CHECKS AND LOW SPEED
SEARCHES.
HE SAID WHEN THOSE INFREQUENT
REQUESTS COME UP, IT WILL BE
CHEAPER FOR THE STATE TO RENT
A PLANE.
>> I THINK THAT THAT WOULD
MAKE MUCH MORE SENSE THAN
OWNING OUR OWN AIRCRAFT AT
THIS POINT.
>> IT IS NOT JUST THAT HE
WANTED TO SELL THE STATE
PLANE.
A TIP LET US TO CONFIRM THAT
HIS ADMINISTRATION QUIETLY
FOLDED THE STATE'S AVIATION
PROGRAM INTO THE RAIL
DEPARTMENT AFTER THE SUDDEN
RESIGNATION OF ITS LONG-TIME
AVIATION DIRECTOR, AND THAT
MAY HAVE BEEN MOTIVATED BY
MORE THAN SAVING MONEY.
>> WHEN THE DIRECTOR MOVED ON,
WE DECIDED IT WAS A GOOD TIME
FOR US TO TAKE A LOOK, A DEEP
DIVE INTO WHETHER WE COULD DO
THINGS DIFFERENTLY WITHIN THE
PROGRAM.
THAT'S WHEN THERE WAS SOME
IRREGULARITIES THAT SURFACED.
(CHEERING ]
>> THERE ISN'T A STATE AIRPORT
PROJECT IN VERMONT THAT MOVES
WITHOUT A GREEN LIGHT FROM
THIS GUY.
>> WE ARE EXPANDING THE
AIRPORT.
>> GUY ROUELLE.
>> ADDING A THOUSAND-FOOT
RUNWAY EXTENSION.
>> A LONG-TIME BEECH EMPLOYEE
AND STATE AERONAUTICS
ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE LAST SIX
YEARS.
>> THERE IS NO QUESTION, WE
WILL BRING IN MORE PASSENGERS.
>> BUT WHEN WE TRIED TO CALL
HIM ABOUT THE PENDING SALE OF
THE STATE PLANE, WE LEARNED
HE'D STEPPED DOWN.
>> HE RESIGNED ON HIS OWN.
>> SIX MONTHS AGO.
AND THE GOVERNOR DISSOLVED HIS
POSITION, QUIETLY FOLDING
AVIATION INTO RAIL.
>> WAS IT PURELY A COST
SAVINGS, OR PROBLEMS IN
AVIATION DEPARTMENT?
>> WELL, I THINK, AGAIN, AFTER
THE FORMER DIRECTOR MOVED ON,
WE DID AN INTERNAL AUDIT TO
TRY AND FIND OUT THE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR US TO DO
THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
>> OPPORTUNITIES HE LATER
DESCRIBED AS IRREGULARITIES
WITHIN THE AVIATION PROGRAM.
>> THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO TAKE
A DEEPER LOOK.
THERE IS AN INVESTIGATION
UNDERWAY AT THIS POINT IN
TIME, SO I CAN'T REALLY
COMMENT ON WHAT THEY ARE
LOOKING INTO.
>> WHILE THE GOVERNOR ADMITTED
THERE'S AN ONGOING
INVESTIGATION, HE SAID HE
COULDN'T GIVE US SPECIFICS.
THOSE WE FOUND IN THIS
INTERNAL MEMO, SENT TO STATE
POLICE IN OCTOBER.
IN IT, VTRANS APPEARS TO BLOW
THE WHISTLE ON ROUELLE.
THEY CLAIM AN AGENCY AUDIT FOR
POTENTIAL MISMANAGEMENT FOUND
MULTIPLE TIMES WHERE HE
SIDE-STEPPED POLICIES IN AN
APPARENT ATTEMPT TO GAIN FAVOR
WITHIN THE AVIATION COMMUNITY.
INCLUDING ABUSES OF HIS STATE
PURCHASING CARD, ADVANCING
PROJECTS AT AIRPORTS WHERE HE
HAD PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
CREATING TWO BUDGETS, ONE FOR
HIS BOSSES AND LAWMAKERS TO
SEE, AND ANOTHER HE USED
INTERNALLY WITH NO OVERSIGHT.
THEY ALSO FLAG HIS SPENDING OF
STATE FUNDS FOR PROJECTS THAT
WOULD HAVE QUALIFIED FOR
FEDERAL FUNDS, WHICH WOULD
HAVE SAVED THE STATE
SIGNIFICANT RESOURCES.
WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY
VTRANS THINKS ROUELLE MAY HAVE
COST THE STATE, BUT WE DO KNOW
HE'S ACCUSED OF RACKING UP A
$19,000 TAB AT SHARKY'S
HELICOPTERS.
HIS BOSS SAYS ROUELLE CLAIMED
HE WAS TAKING THREE AVIATION
COURSES.
THE AGENCY SAYS IT LATER
LEARNED THROUGH THE AUDIT THE
COURSES WERE FOR HELICOPTER
TRAINING, A FURNISHINGS NOT
REQUIRED -- A FUNCTION NOT
REQUIRED UNDER ROUELLE'S JOB
DESCRIPTION, AND THAT HE
REPRESENTED A HELICOPTER ON A
REGULAR BASIS -- RENTED A
HELICOPTER ON A REGULAR BASIS
THROUGHOUT 2016 AND 2017.
WE GOT HIS MONTHLY PURCHASING
LOG.
ROUELLE DOES NOT APPEAR TO
HIDE HIS SPENDING.
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS MONTH
AFTER MONTH, SIGNED INVOICES
THAT CLEARLY REFLECT
HELICOPTER TIME.
AND THIS EMAIL BETWEEN HIM AND
THE VTRANS FINANCE TEAM WHERE
HE SAYS HE IS BECOMING A
HELICOPTER PILOT, AND THE
MONEY IS GOING TOWARDS FLIGHT
PROFICIENCY.
AND THE USE OF ANOTHER
AIRCRAFT WHILE THE STATE PLANE
WAS DOWN.
WE WOPDERED WHY NOT --
WONDERED WHY NOT JUST FLY A
RENTED AIRPLANE FOR THOSE FIVE
MONTHS, RATHER THAN CHARGING
TAXPAYERS TO BECOME A
HELICOPTER PILOT.
AND WHY DID THE STATE TIN TO
FOOT THE BILL FOR LESSONS
MONTHS AFTER THE STATE PLANE
WAS BACK IN THE AIR?
>> DID THIS DEPARTMENT NEED
MORE OVERSIGHT?
>> OBVIOUSLY.
WE THINK, AGAIN, AFTER DOING
THE INTERNAL AUDIT THAT WE
SHOULD BE DOING THINGS
DIFFERENTLY.
MORE CHECKS AND BALANCES.
OBVIOUSLY ANY TIME SOMETHING
LIKE THIS SURFACES, WE CAN
LOOK BACK AND SAY WE SHOULD
HAVE DONE THINGS DIFFERENTLY
AND WE ARE TRYING TO BE
PROACTIVE IN DOING THAT.
>> WE CALLED ROUELLE, WHO IS
NOW WORKING IN THE PRIVATE
SECTOR AS AN AVIATION
CONSULTANT.
HE SEEPED SHOCKED -- SEEMED
SHOCKED WHEN WE 1KD HIM ABOUT
THE STATE POLICE
INVESTIGATION.
HE TOLD US HE DID PHENOMENAL
WORK FOR THE STATEMENT HE TOLD
US HE DID PHENOMENAL WORK FOR
THE STATE.
IN THIS RESIGNATION LETTER, HE
SAYS HE INHERITED AN AIRPORT
SYSTEM IN A DEEP STATE OF
DISREPAIR, AND UNDER HIS
LEADERSHIP, TRANSFORMED IT,
SECURING $73 MILLION IN
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR REPAIRS.
COMPLETED PROJECTS ON TIME,
AND ON BUDGET, AND FOR THE
FIRST TIME EVER, CARRIED FUND
FORWARD RATHER THAN BURDENING
OTHER PROGRAMS.
HE ALSO OFFERED HIS CON SUL AS
A RESULTING -- CONSULTING
SERVICES TO THE STATE.
>> I AM NOT SURE THAT WE WOULD
MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION.
WE'VE DECIDED TO, AGAIN, MOVE
THE TWO PROGRAM TOGETHER AND
WE ARE QUITE COMFORTABLE WITH
THE LEADERSHIP WE'VE DEVELOPED
AT THIS POINT IN TIME.
>> Darren: THAT WILL DO IT FOR
YANGTZE -- FOR KWOIG YOU CAN
QUOTE ME.
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