YCQM - Miro Weinberger - Jan. 29, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Miro Weinberger - Jan. 29, 2012

January 29, 2012 -- Miro Weinberger, Democrat for Burlington Mayor, joins Bridget Barry Caswell and Kyle Midura to discuss his run for mayor of Burlington.

Good morning .I'm Bridget Barry Caswell. Welcome to You Can Quote Me. And I'm Kyle Midura

>> GOOD MORNING. I'M BRIDGET BARRY CASWELL.

>> AND I'M KYLE MIDURA.

>> FIRST UP THIS MORNING, THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE, MIRO WEINBERGER. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US.

>> CAN YOU OUTLINE SOME OF THE BIGGEST PLANKS IN YOUR PLATFORM?

>> SURE, KYLE. THE OVERARCHING THEME OF MY CAMPAIGN IS WE NEED A FRESH START. THAT'S WHAT I'VE HEARD FROM EVERY QUARTER OF THE CITY, WHEN I'VE BEEN OUT THERE HAVING THOUSANDS OF CONVERSATIONS. IT'S REALLY EVERY CONSTITUENCY, WHETHER IT'S UNION LEADERS OR BUSINESSPEOPLE OR PROPERTY OWNERS, MAYORS, THERE IS A BROAD SENSE THAT THE CITIES THAT HAS LOST ITS SENSE OF DIRECTION AND NEEDS SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT, A MAYOR WHO IS GOING TO WORK HARD TO PUT THE CITY'S FINANCES IN ORDERS, REBUILD TRUST, AND TURN THIS THING AROUND. I THINK I'VE GOT THE BACKGROUND TO MAKE GOOD ON THAT. I'M COMING FROM THE OUTSIDE, NOT PART OF THE PROBLEMS OF THE LAST SIX YEARS SO. FAR PEOPLE HAVE RESPONDED TO THAT MESSAGE.

>> PEOPLE FEEL LIKE ANYTHING BUT BOB KISS, BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY. HOW DO YOU CREATE THAT? DO YOU HAVE SPECIFIC PLANS?

>> I DO. I CAME OUT WITH THE NEW ERA OF LEADERSHIP AGENDA. EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT WANTING TO RESTORE TRUST. I WANTED TO PUT IN CONCRETE TERMS, WHAT WILL THAT LOOK LIKE. IT'S A LONG PLAN, IT'S ON MY WEBSITE, AND I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO CHECK IT OUT. THE MAIN POINTS ARE THAT I'M GOING TO WORK HARD TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE IN BURLINGTON, IN TRADITIONAL WAYS LIKE FRONT-PORCH FORUMS, BUT ALSO USING SOCIAL MEDIA, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. IT'S BEEN AN INCREDIBLY POWERFUL TOOL IN MY CAMPAIGN. I CAN'T BELIEVE WHEN I'M KNOCKING ON DOORS, PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT THEY JUST SAW ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE. I HAVE AN OPEN-DOOR POLICY WITH THE CITY COUNCIL. ANY CITY COUNSELOR WHO WANTS TO COME IN AND TALK TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING, PRETTY MUCH ANYTIME, I'M THERE TO TALK TO. THAT'S BEEN A REAL CAUSE OF MANY OF THE PROBLEMS, IS THE BREAKDOWN OF TRUST BETWEEN THE COUNCIL AND THE MAYOR, AND THE LACK OF COMMUNICATION. I'M GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. I'M GOING TO CONTINUE MY PRACTICE OF HAVING PUBLIC COFFEES. I DO THAT DURING THE TWO DAYS A WEEK NOW, IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY, THE NEW NORTH END, INVITING WHOEVER WANTS TO COME IN AND TALK ABOUT THE CITY'S BUSINESS TO DO SO. USUALLY FIVE OR SEVEN PEOPLE UP, AND WE HAVE A MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION ABOUT WHERE THE CITY'S HEADED. I WANT TO HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU GUYS. I'VE TRIED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT AS A CANDIDATE, HOW IT'S IMPORTANT TO STEP IN FRONT OF THE TV CAMERAS, IN FRONT OF THE FREE PRESS, AND ANSWER TOUGH QUESTIONS ON MY PRIORITIES AND PLANS. I'VE TRIED TO DO THAT THROUGHOUT THE CAMPAIGN, GOING BACK TO SEPTEMBER. I'VE COMMITTED TO DO THAT AS MAYOR AS WELL. EVERY TWO WEEKS WE'LL HAVE SOME SORT OF PRESS CONFERENCE TO FACE YOUR SCRUTINY, BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE IMPORTANT COMMUNICATORS TO THE PUBLIC AS WELL. SO I COULD KEEP GOING. WE'RE GOING TO BRING IN YOUTH INTO THE CITY HALL, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A MAYORAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM, AND ON AND ON. I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL PLAN ON THE WEBSITE.

>> THE CITY IS FACING A WHOLE HOST OF FINANCIAL ISSUES. FIRST AND FOREMOST, BURLINGTON TELECOM. WHAT'S YOUR APPROACH? WILL WE PAY BACK, WILL YOU, WILL THE CITY PAY BACK TAXPAYERS? AND WHAT ABOUT CITYBANK?

>> WE DO FACE A RANGE OF FINANCIAL ISSUES, AND IT'S ONE OF THE SKILLS I BELIEVE I HAVE TO OFFER THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON IS A BACKGROUND OF HAVING WORKED IN FINANCE AND HAVING PUT TOGETHER COMPLICATED PUBLIC/ PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO GET THINGS DONE. WE'RE IN A TOUGH PLACE WITH BURLINGTON TELECOM, AND THERE SHOULD BE NO ILLUSIONS ABOUT THAT. IT'S VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT THE $17 MILLION WAS SPENT, IN MY MIND, SPECULATING ON THE FUTURE OF A TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AS OPPOSED TO BEING INVESTED IN OUR SCHOOLS AND ROADS AND FIGHTING POVERTY. IT WILL BE TOUGH TO GET THAT MONEY BACK. I AM HOPE THAFL A MAYOR WHO IS FOLK -- HOPEFUL THAT A MAYOR WHO IS SKILLED -- IT'S GOING TO BE A COMPLICATEED NEGOTIATION. IT'S GOING TO INVOLVE ONE OR MORE NEW PARTIES IN AND BRINGING IN NEW CAPITAL, IT'S GOING TO BE INVOLVING NEGOTIATION WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, WHO IS A PLAYER IN THIS, IN THAT THEY -- THE LICENSE THAT BURLINGTON TELECOM OPERATES UNDER, I'M INVOLVED WITH CITY CAPITAL, AND I'M PLEASED TO SEE THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME OPENNESS, JUST THE NEWS YESTERDAY THAT THEY ARE OPEN TO SOME DISCUSSIONS. I THINK THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAYOR LEADING THAT PROCESS WELL OR POORLY MAY BE QUITE DRAMATIC, AND I EXPECT IT'S LIKELY -- IT WOULD BE SURPRISING TO ME IF IT WAS RESOLVED BEFORE ELECTION DAY, AND I WOULD WORK HARD TO FIND A WAY FOR THAT $17 MILLION TO BE REPAID OVER TIME. IT'S GOING TO TAKE CREATIVITY AND FOCUS.

>> IT'S GOING TO BE IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN THE INFRASTRUCTURE AROUND BURLINGTON TELECOM. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

>> IT'S A GOOD THING THAT WE HAVE TWO CABLE COMPANIES IN TOWN THAT WE HAVE. I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO THE ERA WHEN COMCAST WAS A MONOPOLY IN BURLINGTON AND THEY WERE ABLE TO CHARGE HIGHER PRICES AND GIVE POORER SERVICE AS A RESULT OF THAT. I THINK IT'S BEEN FAIRLY WELL DOCUMENTED THAT HAVING THE COMPETITION BETWEEN BT AND COMCAST HAS BEEN A GOOD THING FOR CONSUMERS. IT WOULD BE VERY UNFORTUNATE -- THE WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME, I BELIEVE, IS THAT THE $17 MILLION IS GONE, AND THE SYSTEM IS GONE, AND THAT MAYBE EVEN THERE IS ADDITIONAL LIABILITY. THE BEST OUTCOME IS CONTINUING SERVICE, CREATING A STRUCTURE WHERE -- A RESTRUCTURE WHERE BURLINGTON TELECOM CAN REPAY THE $17 MILLION OVER TIME, AND A RESOLUTION OF THIS CLOUD THAT HAS BEEN HANGING OVER US FOR YEARS.

>> CURT WRIGHT HAS CALLED FOR BOLD IDEAS, LIKE SELLING BURLINGTON ELECTRIC. NO?

>> I THINK SELLING BURLINGTON ELECTRIC IS A BAD IDEA ON SEVERAL FRONTS, LIKE TO PAY OFF THE BURLINGTON TELECOM $33 MILLION THAT, YOU KNOW, CITY CAPITAL INVESTED INTO THE SYSTEM. I DON'T BELIEVE THE TAXPAYERS OF BURLINGTON OWE THAT MONEY, AND I WAS QUITE SURPRISED WHEN HE SUGGESTED IT WOULD BE MORALLY WRONG NOT TO PAY THAT MONEY BACK. I THINK THE MORAL WRONG WOULD BE IF WE HAD TO TAKE MORE MONEY OUT OF THE POCKETS OF OUR SENIORS OR SMALL-BUSINESS PEOPLE AND USE THAT MONEY TO BAIL OUT ONE OF THE LARGEST BANKS IN THE WORLD. THAT -- I THINK THERE IS A REAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN US ON OUR POSITIONS THERE. SEPARATELY, I ALSO WOULD BE VERY RELUCTANT TO SELL B. D. FOR ANY PURPOSE T. HAS BEEN A -- PURPOSE. IT HAS BEEN A KEY ASSET, AND I THINK IT'S A PUBLIC ASSET THAT A GREAT MAJORITY OF OUR CITIZENS VALUE VERY HIGHLY, AND WHILE I WAS THE ONLY DEMOCRAT THAT WAS NOT WILLING TO COMPLETELY TAKE OFF THE TABLE OF IDEA OF SELLING IT, BECAUSE I THINK THAT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE IN THE FACE OF TOUGH FINANCIAL DECISIONS DOWN THE ROAD, IT'S MY PLAN Z, AND IT'S CURT'S PLAN A. HE HAS NO NUMBERS TO BACK UP THE PLAN. HE SUGGESTS THAT SOME PEOPLE IN TOWN TELL HIM MAYBE IT'S WORTH A HUNDRED MILLION. I DON'T THINK THAT'S REAL ANALYSIS, REAL SUBSTANCE, AND HE HAS NOT RESPONDED TO THE POINTS THAT I MADE AND MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA HAVE MADE, WHICH IS THERE ARE REGULATORY HURD TOLLS TRY TO SELL OFF B. D., AND IT'S NOT CLEAR THE CITY CAN POCKET THAT MONEY. IT'S NOT -- I STAND BY: TO DATE, IT'S A HALF-BAKED PLAN, AND IT'S THE ONLY PLAN WE'VE HEARD FROM CURT, WHICH SURPRISED ME. IT STANDS IN REAL CONTRAST TO MY CAMPAIGN, WHICH HAS COME OUT WITH A FIVE-POINT PLAN TO PUT OUR FINANCES IN ORDER, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND LIVABILITY PLAN, A PLAN FOR HOW I AS MAYOR WOULD BE MORE ACTIVE AND ENGAGED IN SUPPORTING OUR SCHOOLS THAN MAYORS RECENTLY, A PLAN TO SAVE CENTENNIAL FIELD, WHICH IS IMPORTANT IN ITS OWN RIGHT AND JOB CREATION. WE'RE TRYING TO RUN A VERY SUBSTANTIVE, ISSUE-ORIENTED CAMPAIGN.

>> SPEAKING OF FINANCIALS, LET'S STICK TO THAT. HOW ABOUT THE PENSION FUND? HOW DO YOU SEE RESOLVING THAT ISSUE?

>> HERE'S WHAT I SAID ABOUT THE PENSION FUND. I THINK THAT IT IS CRITICAL THAT BURLINGTON NOT BECOME A CITY LIKE MANY OF THE COMMUNITIES IN THIS COUNTRY THAT RENEGES ON ITS COMMITMENT TO ITS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES. WE'RE NOT CLOSE TO DOING THAT NOW, BUT WE DO HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM. THE NEW AUDIT, THE NEW REPORT IS JUST OUT THAT SAYS WE HAVE A $55 MILLION SHORTFALL IN THE RETIREMENT FUND, UP FROM $48 MILLION A YEAR AGO AND UP FROM A SURPLUS JUST OVER A DECADE AGO. THAT IS NOT A GOOD TREND, AND IT'S ONE THAT CONCERNS ME CONSIDERABLY. $55 MILLION IN THIS COMMUNITY IS A LOT OF MONEY. WHAT I'VE SAID IS, IN THE FIRST MONTHS OF BEING MAYOR, I'M GOING TO HAVE A SUMMIT ON THIS ISSUE, AND I'M GOING TO GET ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS TO THE TABLE, AND WE'RE GOING TO FIND A SOLUTION THAT HONORS OUR COMMITMENT TO THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, THAT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY NEGLECT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS THAT THEY HAVE, THAT DOES NOT PUT THE BURDEN OF SOLVING THIS ON ANY ONE OF THE CONSTITUENCIES AND STAKEHOLDERS, BUT DOES FIND A WAY FOR US TO MAKE GOOD ON THIS PROMISE THAT HAS BEEN MADE. I THINK THE PARTIES THAT WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THAT ARE NOT JUST PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AND THE PROPERTY I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK TO OUR INSTITUTIONS AND OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY AS WELL, WHICH ARE ENTITIES THAT BENEFIT CONSIDERABLY FROM HAVING STRONG AND EFFECTIVE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN THIS CITY. SO IT'S NOT AN EASY SOLUTION AHEAD OF US, BUT I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THOSE CHALLENGES WHERE BEFORE WE HAVE SOME TIME TO ADDRESS IT, IT ISN'T AN IMMEDIATE OVERNIGHT CHALLENGE, AND IT'S ONE WHERE, WITH SOME LEADERSHIP FROM THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, WE CAN TACKLE THESE BIG PROBLEMS.

>> WE NEED TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK. WE WILL CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION MOMENTARILY.

>> WE ARE DISCUSSING BURLINGTON WITH MAYORAL CANDIDATE MIRO WEINBERGER. LET'S TALK ABOUT SCHOOLS. DO YOU SUPPORT THE 14% INCREASE IN THE SCHOOL BUDGET?

>> IT'S A 14% PER THOUSAND, IT'S ABOUT A 10.5% INCREASE, BUT EVEN THAT IS NOT TOTALLY A FAIR WAY TO CHARACTERIZE IT, IN THAT A PERCENTAGE OF THAT IS A COST SHIFT FROM THE CITY SIDE, AN ACCIDENT OF HISTORY, A MISTAKE OF HISTORY. THE CITY HAS BEEN CARRYING ON ITS BOOKS SIGNIFICANT COSTS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE SCHOOL'S BOOKS THE WHOLE TIME. THE WAY TO THINK OF THIS IS MORE OF A 7% TAX INCREASE, AND THE CITY-SIDE TAXES WILL BE GOING DOWN IN PROPORTION TO WHAT'S GOING UP ON THE SCHOOL SIDE. I AM LOOKING AT IT VERY CAREFULLY, I'M GOING TO TAKE A POSITION THIS COMING WEEK. ONE THING PEOPLE WILL LEARN ABOUT ME AS MAYOR IS I WILL BE A DECISIVE LEADER, BUT ALSO A PRUDENT AND CAREFUL LEADER THAT TAKES THE TIME THAT'S NECESSARY TO MAKE MAJOR -- MAYOR DECISIONS. I HAVE BEEN MEETING WITH THE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT AND MEMBER PS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD AND MAKING SURE I UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE. I'M BASICALLY THERE, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE A COUPLE MORE DAYS BEFORE I COME OUT ABOUT IT.

>> YOU HAVE MADE SCHOOLS A PLATFORM. YOU HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT DECREASING CLASSROOM SIZE DOWN TO 15 STUDENTS IN A CLASSROOM, THERE IS TALK ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND OUTFITTING iPADS AND LAPTOPS TO HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS T. IS A BIG PART OF YOUR PLATFORM. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THINGS LIKE THAT, ON CLASSROOM SIZE AND TECHNOLOGY?

>> WELL, I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT MY PLATFORM ON EDUCATION HAS BEEN. THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT SCHOOLS EARLY IN THE CAMPAIGN, ALL THE CAMPAIGNS CANDIDATES ARE TALKING ABOUT IT. WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE ROLE FOR MAYOR IN A SYSTEM LIKE OURS WHERE MOST OF THE FORMAL AUTHORITY IS NOT THE MAYOR'S? WHEN WE SAY I HAVE AN EDUCATION, A SCHOOLS PLATFORM, I HAVE SAID THREE THINGS: I WILL USE THE BULLY PULPIT, IF YOU WILL, OF THE MAYOR'S OFFICE BEING THE ONLY CITY-WIDE ELECTED POSITION TO BRING ATTENTION TO PROBLEMS, CHALLENGES, AND SUCCESSES IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM. I'LL TALK ABOUT THE GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS WORKED IN COMMUNITIES WHERE A PRINCIPAL, MAYOR OF PORTLAND, OREGON, RELOCATED TO HIS OFFICE TO A SCHOOL FOR A WEEK AND HOW THE MEETINGS WENT THERE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL OFFICIALS, AND HAD TIME WITH THE KIDS AND BROUGHT ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS GOING ON, IN THAT CASE IN AN INNER CITY SCHOOL. I THINK THAT WOULD BE FUN AND ILLUMINATING TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR IN BURLINGTON. THAT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE OF BRINGING THE ATTENTION TO THE CHALLENGE. IN THAT ROLE, I WILL TELL YOU THAT I AM SUPPORTIVE OF ADDITIONAL TECHNOLOGY OUR CLASSROOMS. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD THAT OUR KIDS ARE ENTERING THAT, IF IT'S THOUGHTFULLY DONE AND INTEGRATED INTO A THOUGHTFUL CURRICULUM, THAT HAVING COMPUTERS IN THE CLASSROOM IS JUST A TINY, TINY PART OF THE OVERALL BUDGE THEAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, I'M BASICALLY SUPPORTIVE OF THAT. I THINK IT'S ALSO AN EQUITY ISSUE. IT'S A WAY OF LEVELING THE EDUCATION PLAYING FIELD AND GIVING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES WHO OTHERWISE WHO WOULD NOT OTHERWISE HAVE ACCESS TO COMPUTERS TO BE GAINING IMPORTANT MODERN SCHOOLS AND SKILLS. ANOTHER RULE IS AROUND CAPITAL PROJECT PLANNING. IF YOU LOOK BACK A FEW YEARS, WE HAD A LACK OF COORDINATION BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE MAYOR'S OFFICE AROUND A LARGE CAPITAL UNDERTAKING THAT THE SCHOOLS WERE WANTING TO TAKE, AND IT WASN'T GOOD FOR ANYTHING, THAT THERE WASN'T GREATER COORDINATION THERE, THAT THAT PLAN WENT OFF THE TRACKS. I THINK WE'VE GOT TO DO MORE TO WORK TOGETHER, AND BY WORKING TOGETHER, WE'LL FIND SOME EFFICIENCIES AND SAVINGS THAT PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT, PROBABLY BEING THERE FOR YEARS, BUT I'LL MAKE A REAL CONCERTED SYSTEMATIC EFFORT INTO PURSUING THIS.

>> LET'S TALK DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION. WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE DOWNTOWN AREA MORE AFFORDABLE, LIVABLE, BUT ALSO GET MORE BUSINESS IN?

>> WELL, THOSE SOUND LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS, BUT I THINK THEY'RE QUITE RELATED, IN SOME SENSE. I DO BELIEVE WE SHOULD CREATE MORE HOUSING OPTIONS IN THE DOWNTOWN. IF YOU LOOK AROUND THE COUNTRY, YOU SEE THAT ONE OF THE REALLY POSITIVE TRENDS THAT'S GONE ON OUT THERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES, PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN AUTHENTIC, WALKABLE PLACES LIKE BURLINGTON IS, AND YET WE'VE SEEN VERY LITTLE OF THAT TREND HAPPENING IN BURLINGTON SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO BUILD ANY NEW HOUSING IN THE DOWNTOWN. I THINK THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY, AND I THINK IT'S A NICE COINCIDENCE THAT IT'S HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME AS THE MAYOR'S RACE. THERE IS TIME FOR YOUR VIEWERS TO GET OUT AND ENGAGE IN THIS. THIS IS AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY TO COME TO A NEW CONSENSUS WHAT THE DOWNTOWN WILL LOOK LIKE, PHYSICALLY. I EXPECT THAT CONSENSUS TO BE PRETTY SIMILAR TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW, BUT TO SEE MORE OF THE BUILDINGS THAT WE -- SOME OF THE BUILDINGS THAT WE LOVE IN OUR HISTORIC BUILDINGS. THERE ARE MANY OPPORTUNITIES, MANY LOTS THAT ARE SURFACE PARKING LOTS OR UNDERUTILIZED SITES WHERE WE HAVE THREE- AND FOUR-STORY BUILDINGS, AND THAT WOULD CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE DOWNTOWN, ALSO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES TO MOVE INTO DOWNTOWN. I THINK A LOT OF POSITIVE THINGS WOULD FLOW FROM THAT. FIRST AND FOREMOST, THERE WOULD BE JOB CREATION. SECONDLY, THE COST OF HOUSING WOULD COME DOWN WITH SOME ADDITIONAL SUPPLY. THIRD, WE HAVE NOT HAD A PROPERTY-TAX BASE THAT HAS GROWN ANYWHERE NEAR EVEN LIKE THE RATE OF INFLATION, AND THIS -- HAVING SOME GROWTH THAT IS WITHIN BURLINGTON'S CURRENT CHARACTER AND BURLINGTON'S VALUES OR BURLINGTON'S SENSE OF WHAT IT WANTS TO BE, I THINK, WOULD ALLOW US TO ADDRESS SOME OF OUR SERIOUS CHALLENGES BY BRINGING IN MORE RESOURCES INSTEAD OF MORE CUTS OR TAXES.

>> AND YOU MENTIONED THAT A TIFF DISTRICT MIGHT HELP. SOME ARGUE THAT WOULD INCREASE GENTRIFICATION AND INCREASE COSTS. HOW WOULD YOU INSTITUTE A TIFF DISTRICT?

>> THAT'S A TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT, AND IT'S WHAT PEOPLE USE TO INSENT AND INSERT PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT. WHAT'S COMING UP FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON TO WEIGH IN ON, ON MAY 6TH, IN THE MAYORAL AND OTHER ISSUES, ON WHETHER THE MAYOR'S OFFICE WILL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO USE THAT TIF DISTRICT. THE STATE HAS SAID WE CAN, AND THE VOTERS GET TO DECIDE IF THEY'RE COMFORTABLE WITH THE MAYOR HAVING THAT AUTHORITY. USING THAT AUTHORITY INVOLVES ACTUALLY TAKING ON SOME ADDITIONAL DEBT, AND YOU PAY FOR THAT DEBT -- THE IDEA IS YOU PAY FOR THAT DEBT BY NEW TAXES FROM FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. EXCUSE ME. SO TO GET BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL QUESTION, HOW DO YOU DO THAT DEVELOPMENT IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T GENTRIFY? WE HAVE SOME RULES FOR THAT BUILT INTO THE WAY OUR ZONING ORDINANCE AND THEN ANY NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT DOES REQUIRE A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF IT TO BE INCLUSIVE, AFFORDABLE. THAT'S A WAY TO ENSURE THAT ANYTHING NEW BEING BUILT HAS MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES WITHIN IT. ALSO, IN OUR CASE, MAYBE NOT ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY, BUT HAVING NEW HOUSING DOWNTOWN WOULD, I BELIEVE, WILL LOWER THE COST OF HOUSING THROUGHOUT THE CITY, BECAUSE I THINK WE HAVE A SUPPLY PROBLEM. WE HAVE TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LIVE HERE AND NOT ENOUGH PLACES. IN SOME SENSE, IT WILL BE THE OPPOSITE OF GENTRIFICATION. IT WILL MAKE THINGS MORE AFFORDABLE.

>> QUALITY OF LIFE. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT, IT'S IN THE PROCESS OF HIRING A NEW PRESIDENT. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF A NEW PRESIDENT?

>> INTERESTING QUESTION. I THINK IT'S AN INTERESTING AND EXCITING TIME IN THE CITY'S HISTORY THAT WE HAVE A NEW MAYOR, A NEW PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY, AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A NEW HEAD OF THE HOSPITAL. AND THAT, I THINK, REALLY DOES GIVE BURLINGTON NOT JUST A FRESH START IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE. A REAL CHANCE TO CRAFT SOME NEW RELATIONSHIPS AND STRONG RELATIONSHIPS, MAYBE AVOID SOME OF THE TENSIONS OF THE PAST. I CERTAINLY HOPE AND EXPECT THAT THE NEW PRESIDENT OF UVM WILL UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RELATIONSHIP, LEADERSHIP OF BURLINGTON, AND BE WILLING TO INVEST THE TIME TO KEEP THAT RELATIONSHIP STRONG. I HOPE THE PERSON COMING IN WILL HAVE THE SENSE OF OPTIMISM THAT I DO, ABOUT WHAT THE CITY AND UVM CAN DO TOGETHER TO HELP EACH OTHER. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, UP FOR RENEWAL IN 2013, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE UVM COMMIT TO STUDENT HOUSING BEING BUILT ON CAMPUS, OR NEAR CAMPUS, AT A RATE THAT EXCEEDS THE RATE OF GROWTH OF THE STUDENT BODY, WHICH -- I THINK THERE IS ACTUALLY A SENSE, A POSSIBILITY OF MAKING REAL PROGRESS HERE. AS I UNDERSTAND, THE STUDENT BODY HAS PEAKED AT UVM NOW, SO ANY HOUSING WILL TAKE PRESSURE OFF THE NEIGHBORHOODS AND MAYBE REDUCETHE TENSIONS BETWEEN STUDENTS AND COLLEGE.

>> SHAM BLAIN -- SHAM PLAIN COLLEGE IS GROWING BY -- CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE IS GROWING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS.

>> I AM A NEIGHBOR. I LIVE ON THE SAME STREET. I THINK I SPEAK FOR MOST PEOPLE IN TOWN IN THINKING THAT WHEN THEY HAVE -- AS THEY'VE GROWN, THEY'VE GROWN WITH A REAL ATTENTION TO QUALITY IN TERMS OF THEIR DESIGNS, AND THE CAMPUS, I THINK, IS A REMARKABLY NICE CAMPUS IN MANY WAYS. THEY'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR WITH THE CITY, AS I UNDERSTAND, IN TERMS OF WHAT THEIR GROWTH PLANS ARE FOR THE STUDENT BODY, AND IT -- THEY HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THEY WILL NOT EXCEED ABOUT 2,000 STUDENTS, AND THEY'VE MADE IT CLEAR THEY WOULD LIKE TO HOUSE AS MANY OF THOSE STUDENTS AS POSSIBLE IN THE STUDENT HOUSING, AS OPPOSED TO JUST RUNNING OFF ON THE PRIVATE MARKET, AND THERE ARE COLLABORATIONS THAT ARE POSSIBLE, POTENTIAL CITY-OWNED PARCELS THAT ARE UNDERUTILIZED THAT COULD BE POTENTIALLY -- THAT LAKE CHAM PLAIN COLLEGE COULD BE INTERESTED IN. TO BUILD STUDENT HOUSING TO REDUCE TENSIONS IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS.

>> WITH THREE CANDIDATES IN THE RACE AND 40% OF THE VOTE NEEDED IN ORDER TO SECURE A WIN, HOW DO YOU MOVE FORWARD, HOW DO YOU TRY TO ATTRACT THE PROGRESSIVE VOTERS WITH NO PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE IN THE MIX?

>> I AM RUNNING AS A DEMOCRAT. I WAS RAISED AS A DEMOCRAT, WORKED FOR GOVERNOR SHUMLIN BEFORE HE WAS GOVERNOR. I TRIED TO BE CLEAR THROUGHOUT THAT I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR PROGRESSIVE VOTERS AND THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY. I BELIEVE THEY DESERVE REAL CREDIT FOR A LOT OF THE PROGRESS THAT BURLINGTON HAS SEEN OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS. AND I HAVE BEEN CRITICAL OF MAYOR KISS, I THINK THE LAST SIX YEARS HAVE BEEN PROBLEMATIC, BUT I HAVE ALWAYS TRIED TO SEPARATE THOSE CRITICISMS FROM THE PROGRESSIVE LEGACY. I HAVE, YOU KNOW, BEEN SPENDING QUITE A BIT OF TIME HAVING HOUSE PARTIES, STUMPING IN PARTS OF THE CITY THAT ARE -- WHERE THERE ARE MANY PROGRESSIVE VOTERS, AND I THINK I'M HAVING SOME SUCCESS, AND I BELIEVE ON ELECTION DAY MY COALITION WILL INCLUDE MANY PROGRESSIVE VOTERS. I THINK THEY SEE SOMETHING IN MY BACKGROUND, HAVING BEEN IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND THE POSITIONS I'VE TAKEN ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL THAT IS SPEAKING TO THEM. I INTEND TO BE A MAYOR FOR THE WHOLE CITY. I THINK THAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IN PAST YEARS, IS HOW MUCH DIVISION IS THERE IS BETWEEN THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PART OF THE CITY AND THE NORTHERN PART OF THE CITY, NEVER -- I'M GOING TO WORK HARD TO REDUCE THAT SENSE OF SEPARATENESS. I THINK MY BACKGROUND AS A BUSINESSMAN, SOMEONE WHO HAS FOCUSED ON PUTTING FINANCES IN ORDER, MAY WELL APPEAL IN THE WAY THAT THE SIDES HAVE STRUGGLED IN THE PAST.

>> WE ARE OUT OF TIME. THAT WENT BY VERY QUICKLY. THANK YOU, MIRO WEINBERGER, AND THANK YOU KYLE. THAT'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME". WE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK WITH ANOTHER EDITION.

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    Burlington School budget one step closer to re-vote

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:09 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:09:20 GMT
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
  • Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:01:18 GMT
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
  • Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:31:24 GMT
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:29:39 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
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