YCQM: November 12, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
>> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
WCAX INVESTIGATES.
JENNIFER COSTA REVEALS WHY
HOMEOWNERS ARE ON THEIR OWN IF
CONTRACTORS DO SHODDY WORK.
IS THAT PUTTING YOU AT RISK?
JENNIFER JOINS ME A BIT LATER TO
DISCUSS NO STANDARDS IN THE
BUILDING BUSINESS.
ALSO, GOT A FAVORITE FOOD TRUCK?
IS IT FINE TO DINE THERE?
I'LL LOOK AT WHAT HEALTH
INSPECTORS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT
RESTAURANTS ON WHEELS.
AND WILL SHE OR WON'T SHE?
BURLINGTON'S MAYOR MAY HAVE A
CHALLENGER THIS COMING ELECTION
SEASON AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN
THIS MORNING.
FORMER CITY COUNCILOR AND STATE
LAWMAKER CARINA DRISCOLL IS
CONSIDERING A RUN FOR BURLINGTON
MAYOR.
I ASKED HER WHY SHE MIGHT THROW
HER HAT IN THE RING AND IF SHE'S
EXPECTING ANY HELP FROM HER
FAMOUS STEPFATHER, SENATOR
BERNIE SANDERS.
CARINA DRISCOLL, THANKS FOR
BEING HERE.
>> Driscoll: MY PLEASURE.
>> Darren: ARE YOU RUNNING FOR
MAYOR?
>> Driscoll: THAT'S A GOOD
QUESTION, DARREN.
IT'S CERTAINLY THE QUESTION I'M
ASKING RIGHT NOW.
I AM READY TO JUMP BACK INTO
POLITICS IN BURLINGTON AND I'M
INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF THE
CONVERSATION AT THIS TIME.
HOW DO I THAT, I'M CONSIDERING
THAT.
>> Darren: WHEN WILL YOU MAKE A
DECISION?
>> Driscoll: I PLAN TO MAKE A
DECISION BY THE END OF THIS
MONTH, SO BY DECEMBER 1st.
>> Darren: WHAT KIND OF
CHALLENGES IN THE CITY OF
BURLINGTON WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR
PRIORITY IF YOU DO DECIDE TO
RUN?
>> Driscoll: IT'S A LITTLE EARLY
TO SET A PLATFORM, BUT I CAN
TALK TO WHY I AM CONSIDERING
STRONGLY RUNNING.
AS YOU KNOW, I I SERVED IN MAYOR
WEINBERGER'S ADMINISTRATION WHEN
HE WAS FIRST ELECTED AND I AM
VERY PROUD OF HIS
ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
I THINK HE'S DONE SOME GREAT
WORK TO PUT THE CITY ON FIRM
FINANCIAL FOOTING.
I DO THINK WE HAVE A LOT AT
STAKE GOING FORWARD.
WE'RE LIVING IN A TIME IN
BURLINGTON WHERE WE'RE SEEING A
LOT OF DEVELOPMENT, WHICH IS
ALSO TRUE ACROSS THE NATION, AND
THAT DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT
IN A CITY IS A GOOD THING, BUT I
THINK PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO --
ARE LONGING FOR MORE OF A STAKE
IN THE PROCESS.
THEY WANT TO PARTICIPATE MORE IN
DETERMINING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR
THE CITY OF BURLINGTON.
WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
THINGS GOING ON IN THE NEW NORTH
END LIKE THE BIKE LANE PROCESS,
WHILE I THINK BIKE LANES ARE
GREAT, I THINK THAT A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN THE NEW NORTH END FEEL
LIKE THEY WERE NOT PART OF
DETERMINING WHAT THEIR
NEIGHBORHOOD WAS GOING TO CHANGE
TO LOOK LIKE OR YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
DOWNTOWN.
IT HAS FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR AND
THERE IS NOT YET A REAL PUBLIC
PROCESS THAT CITY HALL HAS
ENGAGED TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE MORAN
PLANT INITIATIVE HAS BEEN
ABANDONED.
IT LOOK LIKE SOMETHING WAS GOING
TO COME TOGETHER, BUT THAT IS
NOT COMING TOGETHER, AND THERE
ISN'T A REAL PUBLIC DIALOGUE.
I HOPE TO BRING TO THE
CONVERSATION REAL DIALOGUE ON
HOW DO WE OPEN UP CITY HALL
AGAIN AND HOW DO WE GIVE PEOPLE
A SAY AND SOME PARTICIPATION AS
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SOME OF THE
BIGGER DEVELOPMENTS WE'RE GOING
TO CONTINUE TO SEE.
I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE MORE
HAPPEN IN THE SOUTH END.
WE'RE SEEING THE MALL GO UP AND
WE HAVE TO ANSWER A LOT OF
QUESTIONS, BUT WE NEED TO DO
THAT AS A COMMUNITY.
I THINK JUST TO CONTINUE, THE
BURLINGTON TELECOM DEBATE IS A
GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW OUR, YOU
KNOW, THE MAYOR HAS DECIDED TO
HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS.
IT'S A MATTER OF A PROCESS THAT
IS LOOKING FOR THE HIGHEST
BIDDER.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S HOW WE
DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THE CITY
OF BURLINGTON AND I THINK WE
HAVE MANY ITEMS WE'LL BE --
WE'VE HAVE ON OUR AGENDA AS A
COMMUNITY.
SO THAT'S WHAT I'M CONSIDERING
RIGHT NOW.
HOW DO I JUMP BACK INTO WHAT'S
GOING ON IN BURLINGTON AND BEST
CONTRIBUTE TO ENSURE EVERYONE'S
VOICES ARE HEARD AND COUNTED,
AND WE DETERMINE HOW TO BUILD A
THRIVING CITY THAT WE ALL
ENVISION AND WE WANT.
>> Darren: DO YOU THINK, THEN,
THAT CITY HALL, THE MAYOR, ISN'T
LISTENING TO EVERYBODY?
>> Driscoll: I THINK THAT THE
MAYOR HAS A WAY THAT HE MOVES
FORWARD ON HIS PROJECTS AND HE
HAS A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE
AROUND HIM THAT I BELIEVE THEY
THINK THEY KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR
THE CITY OF BURLINGTON, AND THAT
THEY'VE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH, YOU
KNOW, THE KEYS TO CITY HALL TO
MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
I ACTUALLY THINK THE ROLE OF THE
MAYOR IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN
THAT.
I THINK THE ROLE OF THE MAYOR IS
ACTUALLY TO BRING PEOPLE OUT AND
HEAR THEIR VOICES AND HAVE
PEOPLE BE PART OF DETERMINING
THE FATE AND FUTURE OF OUR CITY.
SO THERE ARE COUNCILORS AND
THERE ARE INDIVIDUALS THROUGHOUT
THE CITY WHO DO FEEL LIKE THEY
ARE NOT BEING CONSULTED AND
THEY'RE ESSENTIALLY SIDELINED
FROM DETERMINING THE FATE OF OUR
CITY.
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT, THE WORK
THE MAYOR HAS DONE TO BRING THE
CITY BACK INTO LINE FINANCIALLY
AND HE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL WITH
WHAT HE'S DONE WITH THAT SO FAR
AND WITH BURLINGTON TELECOM, I
THINK WE'RE A LITTLE BIT ON THE
ROCKS AS TO HOW THAT'S GOING TO
WORK OUT AND I THINK THAT HAS TO
DO WITH THE PUBLIC PROCESS.
THERE WASN'T AN EFFORT ON THE
PART FZ CITY HALL TO BRING
PEOPLE TOGETHER IN THAT
CONVERSATION AND I UNDERSTAND
IT'S COMPLICATED WITH POSSIBLE
LAWSUITS, BUT IT'S NOT OUR
NATURE IN VERMONT TO SHRINK FROM
THE THREAT OF LAWSUITS.
WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND
FIND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS.
SO I'M CONSIDERING A RUN FOR
MAYOR AND I'M ALSO CONSIDERING A
RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL, AND ALSO
WORKING WITH LOTS OF INDIVIDUALS
IN THE COMMUNITY TO SAY HOW DO
WE MOVE FORWARD AS A COMMUNITY,
HOW DO WE BEST INSERT OURSELVES
INTO THESE DISCUSSIONS, AND HOW
DO WE SORT OF TAKE THOSE
CONVERSATIONS BACK INTO OUR
NEIGHBORHOODS AND NOT HAVE
CONVERSATIONS ON THE -- IN THE
CASE OF THE AUDITORIUM,
PREDETERMINED, BASICALLY
PREDETERMINED IN THE MAYOR'S
OFFICE.
>> Darren: IS THE BT, SOME CALL
MESS, THE BIGGEST REASON WHY YOU
ARE CONSIDERING A RUN?
>> Driscoll: CERTAINLY NOT AND I
DO THINK THAT THE BURLINGTON
TELECOM SITUATION IS -- IT HAS A
LONG HISTORY.
I THINK IT'S NOT
STRAIGHTFORWARD, BUT I DO THINK
IT IS SYSTEMATIC OF A TYPE OF
LEADERSHIP THAT I THINK POSSIBLY
BURLINGTONIANS MIGHT WANT TO SEE
HANDLED DIFFERENTLY.
THAT'S THE QUESTION I'M ASKING
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AND
COLLEAGUES, IS THIS SOMETHING WE
WANT TO CHANGE AT THIS TIME OR
ARE WE GENERALLY HAPPY?
CERTAINLY THE MAYOR DESERVES
GOOD MARKS ON MANY ACCOUNTS, BUT
I DO THINK WE NEED TO LOOK
FORWARD.
>> Darren: YOU'D BE UP AGAINST
THE MAYOR AND HE AS OF NOW IS
THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS SAID
THAT THEY ARE RUNNING.
HE'S SEEKING RE-ELECTION.
WHAT WOULD YOU POINT OUT ARE HIS
SHORTCOMINGS IF YOU ARE UP
AGAINST HIM?
>> Driscoll: YOU KNOW, I THINK
I'VE ALREADY SAID IT DARREN.
I THINK IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE THE MAYOR
DO BETTER, I THINK THERE ARE A
LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND HIM WHO
FEEL WE'D LIKE TO SEE HIM DO
BETTER WITH PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT.
BUT I DON'T SEE IT NECESSARILY
AS THE MAYOR'S PRIORITY, AND I
DON'T THINK THAT'S GOING THAT'S
GOING TO CHANGE.
IF IT DOES CHANGE, YOU KNOW,
THAT'S A GOOD THING, THAT'S A
GOOD OUTCOME OF MY DIPPING MY
TAIL IN THE WATER AND
CONSIDERING WHETHER OR NOT I
NEED TO MAKE THIS MOVE AT THIS
TIME, BUT THAT'S PRIMARILY WHAT
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE.
BETTER COMMUNICATION, BETTER
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT.
I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IS
A LONG PART OF OUR HISTORY AND
BURLINGTONIANS EXPECT IT AND I
THINK WITH THE DECISIONS WE HAVE
COMING FORWARD, THAT DYNAMIC HAS
TO CHANGE.
>> Darren: YOUR STEPFATHER IS
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS, ALSO A
FORMER MAYOR OF BURLINGTON.
WOULD YOU SEEK HIS HELP IN YOUR
CAMPAIGN IF YOU RUN?
>> Driscoll: SO I WILL SAY THAT
I AM NOT LOOKING FOR HIS HELP OR
HIS ENDORSEMENT IN THIS
CAMPAIGN.
I KNOW THAT WHATEVER I DECIDE TO
DO, I'LL HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MY
PARENTS AS PARENTS AND THAT THEY
SUPPORT WHATEVER IT IS THAT I
DECIDE TO TAKE ON FOR
CHALLENGES.
>> Darren: WOULD YOU RUN AS AN
INDEPENDENT OR A PROGRESSIVE
LIKE YOU DID WHEN YOU WERE A
STATE REP?
WHAT WAS THAT, BACK IN 2002?
>> Driscoll: THAT SOUNDS ABOUT
RIGHT, 2000, 2002.
I WAS A PROGRESSIVE WHEN I WAS
ELECTED AS A STATE LEGISLATOR
AND AS A CITY COUNCILOR.
I THINK AT THIS TIME, THERE ARE
A LOT OF REASONS WHY WE SHOULD
SHY AWAY FROM POLITICAL PARTIES
AND THE PARTY PROCESS.
I THINK WE NEED TO DO SOME WORK
THERE AND WHETHER OR NOT I
ENGAGE PARTY -- YOU KNOW, PARTY
SUPPORT I THINK AS QUESTION I
HAVEN'T ANSWERED.
RIGHT NOW, I'M LOOKING TO
DETERMINE IF IT'S SOMETHING I
WANT TO DO.
>> Darren: SO YOU'VE BEEN OUT OF
ELECTED OFFICE NOW FOR 13 YEARS.
YOU LAST SERVED ON THE CITY
COUNCIL AS YOU JUST MENTIONED.
ARE YOU READY TO JUMP BACK INTO
THIS?
>> Driscoll: I AM ABSOLUTELY
READY TO JUMP BACK INTO
BURLINGTON POLITICS.
I THINK THE QUESTION FOR ME
RIGHT NOW, IT'S NOT A FOREVER
GONE CONCLUSION THAT I RUN FOR
MAYOR, IT'S HOW DO I BEST DO
THAT AND BEST SERVE MY
COMMUNITY.
I'M TRYING TO FIGURE THAT OUT.
I'M SEEKING INPUT AND I WELCOME
THAT.
>> Darren: CARINA DRISCOLL,
THANK YOU.
CHANNEL 3'S KRISTIN KELLY ASKED
MAYOR MIRO WEINBERGER HIS
THOUGHTS ON A POSSIBLE CHALLENGE
FROM CARINA DRISCOLL.
>> Kristin: SHE'S NOW SAYING TO
US THAT SHE'S EXPLORING A RUN
AGAINST YOU.
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THAT?
>> Weinberger: MY REACTION OF
SOMEONE RUNNING AGAINST ME?
I EXPECT AND HOPES THAT SHE'S
GOING TO RUN AND THERE WILL BE A
REAL ELECTION IN MARCH.
I THINK IT'S HEALTHY WHEN WE
HAVE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE AND
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES PUT
FORWARD, AND SO, YOU KNOW, I
WELCOME -- I'M LOOKING FORWARD
TO -- I'M NOT IN CAMPAIGN MODE
YET, BUT I CERTAINLY FEEL OVER
THE LAST FIVE AND A HALF YEARS,
I'VE DEVELOPED A CLEAR RECORD.
I BELIEVE IT'S A STRONG RECORD,
INCLUDING MY RECORD ON
BURLINGTON TELECOM AND IT'S ONE
THAT I LOOK FORWARD TO TALK
ABOUT IN THE COMING MONTHS.
>> Kristin: DO YOU THINK THE
DIVISION OVER THIS WHOLE DEBATE
OVER BURLINGTON TELECOM WOULD
FUEL OPPONENTS?
>> Weinberger: YOU KNOW, AGAIN,
KRISTIN, CERTAINLY THERE'S BEEN
A BIG DEBATE AND THERE'S
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES HERE.
THAT'S CERTAINLY POSSIBLE.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I FEEL LIKE
ONE OF THE STRONGEST PARTS OF MY
RECORD THE LAST FIVE AND A HALF
YEARS IS TAKING AN ENTITY THAT
WAS 15, $16 MILLION IN THE RED,
THAT WAS -- NOT AT ALL CLEAR
THAT IT HAD ANY KIND OF FUTURE,
THAT WAS DOWN AROUND UNDER 4,000
SUBSCRIBERS, THAT HAD DRAGGED
DOWN THE CITY'S CREDIT RATING TO
THE SUBPRIME STATUS AND THAT'S
WHERE WE WERE JUST THREE AND A
HALF YEARS AGO.
WHERE WE ARE NOW IS WE HAVE OUR
A-RATING BACK AS A CITY, THE
NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS HAS JUMPED
TO OVER 7,000.
THERE IS A CLEAR FUTURE FOR
BURLINGTON TELECOM, AND WE HAVE
A CHANCE TO KIND OF PERMANENTLY
ENSURE THAT BURLINGTONIANS HAVE
ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, HIGH SPEED
INTERNET SERVICE WITH GREAT
CUSTOMER SERVICE.
ALL THOSE THINGS ARE VERY MUCH
IN DOUBT FOUR YEARS AGO.
THEY'RE NOW WITHIN OUR GRASP
TODAY, SO I THINK THAT'S A
RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.
CERTAINLY NOT DUE TO ME ALONING
IT TO BE CLEAR ON THAT.
THE COUNCIL HAS BEEN A BIG PART
OF THIS, THE BURLINGTON TELECOM
EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN REMARKABLE
HOW THEY WORKED THROUGH
DIVERSITY, WE HAVE A GREAT
MANAGEMENT GROUP THAT LED US
THROUGH THAT, BUT I'M HAPPY TO
TALK ABOUT THAT RECORD.
I'M WILLING TO TALK THROUGHOUT A
CAMPAIGN IF THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS.
>> Darren: STILL AHEAD,
CONVENIENT CUISINE.
KITCHENS ON THE MOVE.
THIS MORNING, A LOOK AT TRENDY
FOOD TRUCKS AND HOW THEY SCORE
IN CLEANLINESS.
PLUS...
>> Jennifer: THIS NEW BUILD
LOOKS TO BE A BEAUTIFUL LOG
HOMING BUT TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
AND THE HOMEOWNER SAYS THIS IS A
CONSTRUCTION NIGHTMARE.
WE INVESTIGATE VERMONT'S
BUILDING CODES COMING UP.
>> Darren: BUILDING COZIES.
THEY'RE DESIGNED -- CODES.
THEY'RE DESIGNED TO KEEP US
SAFE, RIGHT?
JENNIFER COSTA DISCOVERS HOW NO
STANDARDS COULD PUT YOUR FAMILY
AT RISK.
>> I HAVE TO SAY THE FOUNDATION
IS ABOUT THE ONLY THING THAT'S
HOLDING UP.
>> Jennifer: SHE SPENT MORE THAN
A QUARTER MILLION ON A HOUSE
THAT'S FALLING APART.
>> IN, OUT, UP, DOWN, JUST
LIVING ALL OVER THE PLACE.
THIS ONE'S OFF, THAT ONE'S OFF.
>> Jennifer: WE WERE SKEPTICAL
THAT A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD HOME WOULD
DETERIORATE SO QUICKLY.
SHE INVITED US TO SEE FOR
OURSELVES.
>> IT'S ROTTED.
>> Jennifer: WHAT IS THIS?
>> THAT'S A PIECE.
>> Jennifer: A PIECE OF ROTTEN
WOOD, A SHIM, REALLY, SHOVED
UNDER THIS POST TO COMPETENCE
STATE FOR EXTERIOR BEAMS SHE
SAYS THE CONTRACTOR CUT TOO
SHORT.
SHE ALSO SHOWED US HUGE CRACKS
IN THE LOGS, STRANGE BUCKLING,
POOR SUPPORT, AND FLIMSY FLOORS
YOU CAN SEE THROUGH.
>> NOT RIGHT.
IT'S UNFORGIVABLE.
>> Jennifer: SHE BLAMES A
BUILDER SHE CLAIMS BUT CORNERS.
>> YOU CAN SEE THE DAYLIGHT.
>> Jennifer: WHEN PROBLEMS
STARTED TO POP UP, SHE HIRED A
LOG HOME INSPECTOR.
HIS REPORT BACKS UP A LOT OF HER
COMPLAINTS.
SHE CALLED A LAWYER AND QUICKLY
DISCOVERED HOME BUILDING AS GAME
OF BUYER BEWARE IN VERMONT.
>> HE CALLED ME BACK AND SAID I
CAN TAKE YOUR $4,000, BUT
THERE'S NO LAWS HERE TO PROTECT
YOU.
>> Jennifer: THEN SHE REMEMBERED
OUR STORY FROM THE SUMMER ON
CROOKED CONTRACTORS AND IN THAT
REPORT, WE TOLD YOU UNLIKE
ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, GAS AND
OIL TECHNICIANS, BUILDERS ARE
NOT LICENSED OR REGULATED IN
VERMONT.
SHE TOLD US SHE JUST ASSUMED
VERMONT HAD RESIDENTIAL BUILDING
STANDARDS AND SOMEONE FROM THE
TOWN WOULD CHECK THE
CONTRACTOR'S WORK, SO WE TOOK
OTHER FRUSTRATIONS TO CABOT'S
ZONING ADMINISTRATOR.
DOES THE BUILDER HAVE TOO FOLLOW
ANY RULES?
>> THERE ARE NO BUILDING CODES
IN THE TOWN OF CAB BOT.
>> Jennifer: TO BUILD IN CABOT,
ON YOU ONLY NEED A LOCAL ZONING
PERMIT AND A STATE WASTEWATER
APPLICATION.
>> ANYBODY CAN BUILD A HOUSE IF
THEY WANT TO.
>> Jennifer: AND WHEN IT COMES
TO SAFETY AND WORKMANSHIP --
NOBODY COMES BACKS AND CHECKS?
>> NO, LOCAL BUILDERS HAVE BEEN
RELIABLE, RESPONSIBLE, AND YOU
KNOW WHO'S BUILDING YOUR HOME,
SO WE HAVEN'T HAD A NEED FOR
THAT AT THIS POINT IN TIME.
>> WE GET COMPLAINTS EVERY YEAR.
>> Jennifer: WE DISCOVERED
ALMOST ALL OF VERMONT'S CITIES
AND TOWNS LACK RESIDENTIAL
BUILDING CODES.
>> SINGLE-FAMILY, OWNER-OCCUPIED
HOMES FOR THE MOST PART IN
VERMONT ARE NOT REGULATED,
PERIOD.
>> Jennifer: STATE FIRE SAFETY
DIRECTOR TELLS US VERMONT DOES
ENFORCE BUILDING CODES FOR
COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES AND
MULTIFAMILY RENTALS WITH THREE
OR MORE UNITS.
BUT STRESSES THERE ARE NO
STATEWIDE BUILDING STANDARDS FOR
SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES AND NO REAL
RECOURSE FOR UNHAPPY CONSUMERS.
HE SAYS TO BE EFFECTIVE, TOWNS
JUST CAN'T ADD BUILDING CODES.
THEY NEED OVERSIGHT, TOO.
ROUTINE INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE
THOSE CODES ARE FOLLOWED.
>> ANY TYPE OF BUILDING
INSPECTION ON A BUILDING THAT IS
NOT CURRENTLY REGULATED AND THEN
YOU'RE GOING TO REGULATE IT,
YOU'LL END UP WITH A SAFETY
PROBLEM.
>> Jennifer: BUT IT'S UNCLEAR TO
US WHETHER MOST MUNICIPALITIES
HAVE THE CASH TO FULL THAT OFF.
AS FOR LOLLY --
>> I'VE BEEN THROWING MONEY INTO
IT SINCE I GOT IT.
>> Jennifer: WE COULD NOT HELP,
BUT WE REFERRED HER TO THE
CONSUMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
WHERE SHE FILED A COMPLAINT.
SHE TELLS US THAT WENT NOWHERE.
>> THEY EVEN USED PIECES OF WOOD
IN HERE.
>> Jennifer: IT'S NOT FRAUD
BECAUSE THE CONTRACTOR DID THE
WORK.
SHE IS JUST NOT HAPPY WITH THE
QUALITY.
SO IT SEEMS SHE'S STUCK WITH
WHAT SHE CALLS A MONEY PIT.
>> FROM WHAT I CAN GATHER, IT
WON'T FALL DOWN.
HOWEVER, IT'S GOING TO BE A
LIFETIME OF REPAIRS AND
MAINTENANCE.
>> Darren: AND JENNIFER JOINS ME
NOW.
GOOD MORNING.
>> Jennifer: GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: DID YOU EVER FIND THE
BUILDER OF HER HOME?
>> Jennifer: WE DID.
WE DID TRACK DOWN THE BUILDER
AND TALKED TO HIM AND HE STANDS
BEHIND HIS WORK.
HE TELLS US THAT HE WENT BACK TO
HER HOME EVERY TIME THAT SHE
ASKED HIM TO, AND, YOU KNOW, HE
SAYS HE HASN'T HEARD FROM HER IN
THREE YEARS.
HE DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHERE THIS
WAS COMING FROM, BUT WE WENT AND
CHECKED IT OUT AND SAW SOME
QUESTIONABLE THINGS FOR
OURSELVES.
>> Darren: WHAT ABOUT REGULATING
THIS INDUSTRY?
WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM THE
STATE?
IS ANYTHING BEING LOOKED AT?
>> Jennifer: RIGHT NOW, THE
SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE IS
LOOKING AT WHETHER CONTRACTORS
OUGHT TO BE REGULATED.
THEY'RE IN THIS PHASE CALLED THE
SUNSHINE REVIEW AND THEY DO WANT
TO HEAR FROM THE PUBLIC.
THE NEXT PUBLIC HEARING IS
NOVEMBER 29th.
YOU CAN COMMENT ONLINE AS WELL.
WE HAVE A LINK ON OUR WEBSITE,
BUT BASICALLY THEY WANT TO HEAR
FROM CONSUMERS AND HOMEOWNERS
WHO HAVE HAD SIMILAR STORIES TO
LOLLY TO GET A SENSE, A PULSE OF
WHETHER OTHER PEOPLE ARE
STRUGGLING WITH THIS AS WELL.
>> Darren: WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?
DID YOU GET ANY FEEDBACK ON
THAT?
>> Jennifer: I DID.
UNLIKE A LOT OF STORIES I DID,
THIS IS A STORY THAT KEEPS ON
GIVING.
EVERY DAY I OPEN UP MY INBOX, I
HAVE ANOTHER EMAIL AND I THINK
WHEN YOU KNOW YOU DO A STORY
THAT REALLY HIT AND NERVE WITH
PEOPLE, YOU HEAR FROM BOTH
SIDES.
SO I'M HEARING FROM LOTS OF
HOMEOWNERS IN VARIOUS TOWNS
AROUND THE STATE THAT SAY, ME
TOO.
LOLLY'S STORY REALLY RESONATES
WITH ME BECAUSE I HAD THE SAME
THING HAPPEN OR WORSE.
THEN I'M HEARING FROM THE
BUILDERS THAT HAVE NO INTEREST
IN HAVING THEIR INDUSTRY
REGULATED.
>> Darren: JENNIFER, STAY RIGHT
THERE.
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT
ANOTHER INVESTIGATION YOU DID
COMING UP IN JUST A MINUTE.
RIGHT NOW, LENS HEAD TO THE
NEWSROOM TO SEE WHAT THE
CHANNEL 3 WEEKEND TEAM IS
WORKING ON THIS MORNING.
HEY, SCOTT.
>> Scott: THANKS VERY MUCH,
DARREN.
COMING UP IN JUST A FEW MINUTES
ON THE WEEKEND, RICHARD ALTER IS
AN AUTHOR NOW LIVING IN VERMONT.
HIS NOVELS HAVE A THEME OF
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS.
WE'LL BE HERE TO DISCUSS HIS
LATEST WORK AND GIVE HIS TAKE ON
GENDER ROLES IN SOCIETY AND THE
HOLLYWOOD SEXUAL HARASSMENT
SCANDALS.
ALSO A COMPANY IN NORRISVILLE IS
DOING SOMETHING VERY COOL FOR
ITS EMPLOYEES AS WE APPROACH THE
WINTER DRIVING SEASON.
ONE EMPLOYEE SAYS IT'S LIKE
FAMILY TAKING CARE OF FAMILY.
>>> PLUS, DAVE WILL BE HERE WITH
THE MAX ADVANTAGE FORECAST.
WE'LL BE WARMING UP, JUST VERY,
VERY SLOWLY.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT THE TOP OF THE
HOUR ON THE WEEKEND.
>> Darren: WE NEED THAT WARM-UP,
SCOTT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
COMING UP NEXT, IS IT FINE TO
DINE AT FOOD TRUCKS?
WCAX LOOKS AT HEALTH INSPECTIONS
AT THESE ROLLING RESTAURANTS.
>> Darren: FOOD TRUCKS ARE
SHOWING UP EVERYWHERE.
FAIRS, FESTIVALS, WEDDINGS,
LINING THE STREETS OF DOWNTOWN,
BUT HOW'S DO THESE MOBILE DINERS
FARE IN FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS?
JENNIFER COSTA DIGS INTO IT.
>> Jennifer: IT'S THE LUNCH RUSH
AT UVM.
>> I'VE GOT THIS.
>> Jennifer: EVEN IN NOVEMBER,
THE LINES ARE LONG.
THE CUSTOMERS ARE HUNGRY.
>> THAT'S YOURS.
>> AND A COKE.
>> Jennifer: AND PALATES ARE
DIVERSE.
>> THANK YOU.
>> BREAKFAST WAS BACON AND HOT
DOGS.
>> I'VE GOT A VERMONT
CHEESECAKE.
>> Jennifer: FROM CLASSIC EATS.
>> BACON EGG AND CHEESE ON AN
ENGLISH MUFFIN.
>> Jennifer: TO FANCY TREATS.
>> THEY'RE JUST PILLOWS OF JOY.
>> Jennifer: FOOD TRUCKS HAVE
COME A LONG WAY.
>> 35 YEARS, WE WERE THE FIRST
VENDOR UP HERE.
>> Jennifer: PAM AND HUSBAND
GEORGE PAVED THE WAY BACK IN
1982.
>> FIRST DAY WE CAME UP, WE HAD
CATERERS UP HERE COME WITH THE
POLICE AND EVERYTHING AND SAY,
YOU KNOW, THIS IS UVM PROPERTY,
YOU CAN'T BE HERE.
>> Jennifer: THEY HAD THE
VEPTING PERMIT -- VENDING PERMIT
AND WERE ABLE TO STAY.
NOW FOOD TRUCKS FIGHT FOR A
COVETED SPOT THIS THIS CITY
STREET.
>> YOU WANT TO LOOK AND SEE IF
THAT LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING I WANT
FOOD FROM.
>> Jennifer: SOLOMON IS A
NEWCOMER TO THE TRUCK, SERVING
GOURMET GRUB FROM HIS FANCY
TRUCK, HOPING AN INVESTMENT IN
STYLE OVERCOMES AN OLD STIGMA.
>> THE OLD PHRASE THAT WE WANT
TO ELIMINATE.
>> Jennifer: FOOD TRUCK ADDICTS
WE TALKED TO TO DIDN'T SEEM
PHASED BY THE STEREOTYPE.
>> THEY'RE CLEAN ENOUGH.
I'VE NEVER GOTTEN FOOD POISE
TONG FROM THEM.
>> Jennifer: WALK A THROUGH
BLOCKS IN UNIVERSITY PLACE AND
DINERS ARE MORE SKEPTICAL.
>> I WANT TO LOOK INSIDE AND SEE
WHAT'S GOING ON BACK THERE AND
SEE WHO'S WORKING THEM.
>> I WOULD BE QUESTIONING THE
CLEANLINESS AND THE QUALITY OF
THE FOOD AND IS IT SOMETHING
THAT'S GOING TO MAKE ME SICK.
>> THIS ONE IS A 96, THIS ONE AS
100.
>> Jennifer: TO SETTLE THE
DEBATE, WE DUG UP THE MOST
RECENT HEALTH INSPECTIONS FROM
28 POPULAR TRUCKS.
THAT SCORE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.
>> OH, ABSOLUTELY.
>> Jennifer: FOOD TRUCKS ARE
HELD TO THE STATEMENT STANDARDS
AS FULL SCALE RESTAURANTS.
DURING A DOZEN VISITS, ITEMS
LIKE COOKING AND COOLING
TEMPERATURES, HYGIENE, PESTS AND
PLUMBING ARE WEIGHTED MORE
HEAVILY.
THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO
CONTRIBUTE TO FOOD BORNE ILLNESS
AND HAVE TO BE FIXED ON THE
SPOTS.
TRUCKS THAT SCORE LESS THAN 70
ARE SHUT DOWN AND REINSPECTED
BEFORE THEY CAN REOPEN.
>> WE ALWAYS REMIND FOLKS THAT
IT IS JUST A SNAPSHOT IN TIME.
PEOPLE FOCUS ON THE NUMBER AND
NOT WHAT THE ACTUAL OBSERVATION
WAS.
>> Jennifer: SO HOW CLEAN ARE
THEY AND DO THEY DESERVE THE
DIRT I DID DINING REPUTATION?
>> THEY'RE KITCHEN IS RIGHT OUT
THERE, EVERYBODY CAN SEE.
>> Jennifer: TURNS OUT THESE
TRUCKS PERFORM PRETTY WELL.
OUR INVESTIGATION REVEALED AN
AVERAGE SCORE OF 95, COMPARED TO
86 FOR RESTAURANTS.
>> THEY LOOK AT EVERYTHING, THEY
WANT EVERYTHING PERFECT.
>> WE TRY TO GET TO THEM ONCE A
SEASON AT LEAST.
>> Jennifer: SO THESE ARE WHAT
THE INSPECTION REPORTS ARE --
BUT WE DISCOVERED THAT DOESN'T
HAPPEN.
MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF THE FOOD
TRUCK REPORTS WE GOT FROM THE
HEALTH DEPARTMENT ARE AT LEAST A
YEAR OLD.
THE DATA SAYS IT'S 2015.
DOES THAT MEAN THESE
ESTABLISHMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN
INSPECTED IN MORE THAN TWO
YEARS?
>> WE DON'T GET TO ALL OF THEM
AS OFTEN AS WE'D LIKE.
>> Jennifer: BUT SOME TRUCKS ARE
INSPECTED MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR.
>> ONLY TIME THIS SUMMER WE
DIDN'T GET A 100.
>> Jennifer: THAT HAPPENS WHEN
VENDORS ATTEND FAIRS AND
FESTIVALS, UNLIKE UNANNOUNCED
VISITS, THEY PLAN TO SEE THE
INSPECTORS AT THESE EVENTS.
>> THE TRUCKS ACROSS THE STATE
TEND TO BE CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
BECAUSE IF YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE
NOT GOING TO BE VERY SUCCESSFUL.
>> Jennifer: SUCCESS HAS ON THE
MENU FOR DECADES.
THEIR MOST RECENT SCORE, 99.
>> SALT AND PEPPER, TOO?
>> YES, PLEASE.
>> Jennifer: WITH THAT, THESE
FOOD TRUCK FINE NEARS TELL US
IT'S TIME TO HANG UP THEIR
APRONS.
>> WE ARE RETIRING AT THE END OF
THIS SEMESTER.
WE'VE DONE WELL AND, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE VERY THANKFUL.
>> THANK YOU.
>> Darren: JEN IS BACK NOW.
THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYING, OF
COURSE, THAT IT'S SHORT ON
RESOURCES.
ANY WAY TO QUANTIFY JUST HOW
SHORT THEY ARE ON THIS?
>> Jennifer: THESE NUMBERS ARE
STAGGERING.
THERE ARE NINE HEALTH INSPECTORS
FOR 6,000 DINING ESTABLISHMENTS
THROUGHOUT VERMONT, SO WE'RE
TALKING RESTAURANTS, FOOD CARTS,
FOOD TRUCKS, CATERING
FACILITIES, SCHOOL CAFETERIAS.
YOU NAME IT, THESE INSPECTORS
HAVE TO GO TO THEM AND I DID THE
MATH.
ROUGHLY THAT'S 667 DINING
FACILITIES PER INSPECTOR.
I MEAN, IF THEY TAKE NO DAYS OFF
IN A YEAR, THAT'S ABOUT TWO
INSPECTIONS A DAY.
>> Darren: THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE.
>> Jennifer: IT'S A LOT.
>> Darren: SO FULL DISCLOSURE.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE FOOD TRUCKS.
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM.
I LOVE -- I'M JUST A HUGE FAN,
SO I WAS PRETTY HAPPY TO SEE HOW
WELL THEY WERE SCORING ON THESE.
WHAT ABOUT THIS AVERAGE?
HOW DID YOU GET TO THAT?
>> Jennifer: SO WE JUST KIND OF
LOOKED AT THE MOST POPULAR FOOD
TRUCKS AND WE CAME UP WITH A
LIST OF ABOUT 30.
SOME OF THEM HAD TO BE
DISQUALIFIED.
IF YOU GO TO OUR WEB, YOU'LL
SNOW THAT YOU DON'T SEE LIKE
BZ'S, THE QUINTESSENTIAL FOOD
TRUCK, FOOD BUS IN VERMONT, BUT
THAT ONE WAS A CHANGE OF OWNER
INSPECTION WHEN WE REQUESTED IT
FROM THE STATE.
AND WE DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THAT WAS
FAIR TO COMPARE THAT TO A
ROUTINE INSPECTION.
THE DIFFERENCE BEING WHEN A
CHANGE OF OWNER INSPECTION
HAPPENS, THAT'S WHEN A NEW OWNER
COMES IN AND THEY MUST BE
INSPECTED BEFORE THEY CAN
OPERATE.
NOW, YOU COMPARE THAT TO A
HEALTH INSPECTOR SHOWING UP IN
THE MIDDLE OF A FOOD RUSH AND
SAYING I NEED TO INSPECT YOUR
TRUCK.
SO WE HAD TO THROW OUT A COUPLE
OF THOSE.
BUT THEN I KIND OF WANTED TO SEE
HOW THAT STACKED UP TO
RESTAURANTS.
AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS IN
THE MIDST OF REVAMPING THE FOOD
AND LODGING PROGRAM WEBSITE, SO
THE PUBLIC USED TO BE ABLE TO GO
ONLINE AND LOOK UP ANY FOOD
TRUCK, RESTAURANT THEY WANTED
TO, AND SEE THE SCORE.
SO NOW IN THIS REVAMP, YOU CAN'T
DO THAT WHILE THEY'RE
REORGANIZING THINGS.
SO I HAD TO GO IN AND PUT IN A
PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST AND
REQUEST THESE, SO OBVIOUSLY I
CAN'T REQUEST EVERY RESTAURANT
IN THE STATE OF VERMONT, GIVEN
THE VOLUME.
SO I BASICALLY WENT AROUND OUR
BUILDING AND I SAID, HEY YOU,
NAME A RESTAURANT.
FIRST ONE THAT COMES TO YOUR
MIND.
I MADE SURE THEY WERE
GEOGRAPHICALLY DIVERSE AND I HAD
THE SAME NUMBER AS FOOD TRUCKS
AND I ADDED THEM UP AND DIVIDED
THEM SO WE COULD GET A RANDOM
SAMPLING THAT WE STILL FELT WAS
ACCURATE.
>> Darren: SO THEY'RE INSPECTED
THE SAME WAY THAT A RESTAURANT
IS INSPECTED, THESE FOOD TRUCKS.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE IN HOW
THEY'RE MAINTAINED, HOW THEY'RE,
YOU KNOW, KEPT CLEAN?
>> Jennifer: SO THERE'S REAL
DEBATE OVER THIS.
YOU TALK TO RESTAURANTS OR EVEN
SOME FOOD TRUCK OWNERS THAT
WORKED IN RESTAURANTS AND
RESTAURANTEURS WILL SAY WE HAVE
A MUCH LARGER SPACE TO KEEP
CLEAN, WE HAVE A BIGGER MENU, A
PREPARE FACE AND A DISHWASHING
SPACE AND AN ACTUAL COOK SPACE,
SO GIVEN ALL THAT SURFACE AREA,
WE HAVE A LOT MORE TO KEEP TRACK
OF.
AND FOOD TRUCKS ARE SMALLER, SO
THEY SHOULD SCORE BETTER.
FOOD TRUCKS WILL TELL YOU,
LISTEN, ALL OF OUR STUFF IS
BOLTED DOWN, SCREWED IN SO ANY
TIME WE WANT TO CLEAN NOOKS AND
CRANNIES, UNLIKE A RESTAURANT
WHERE YOU CAN FULL A PREP TABLE
OVER AND CLEAN BEHIND THAT, WE
HAVE TO UNSCREW, UNBOLT, MOVE
AROUND, AND ALSO SOLOMON WHO YOU
MET IN THAT STORY, HE MENTIONED
WHEN HE FIRST GOT INTO THIS, HE
WAS DRIVING HIS FOOD TRUCK AND
REALIZED, OH, NO I HAVE TO GET
RID OF THE FRY-LATOR BECAUSE
THIS IS MOVING, SO THERE'S A LOT
OF WORK THAT GOES INTO THE FOOD
TRUCKS.
>> Darren: JENNIFER COSTA,
THANKS SO MUCH AND THANKS FOR
MAKING ME HAPPY AS I HEAD LUNCH
LATER TODAY.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
TAKE IT EASY, EVERYBODY.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT RIGHT
HERE ON CHANNEL 3.
THE WEEKEND CREW STANDING BY.
TAKE CARE.
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