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YCQM - Kurt Wright - Feb. 5, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Kurt Wright - Feb. 5, 2012

February 5, 2012 -- Kurt Wright, Republican for Burlington Mayor, joins Kristin Carlson and Kyle Midura to discuss his run for mayor of Burlington.

              >> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

 

              I'M KRISTIN CARLSON.

 

              >> AND I'M KYLE MIDURA.

 

              TODAY, THE BURLINGTON'S MAYOR'S

 

              RACE.

 

              >> THIS WEEK OUR NEWSMAKER IS

 

              REPUBLICAN KURT WRIGHT.

 

              >> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

 

              >> LET'S START WITH THE EASY AND

 

              OBVIOUS QUESTION.

 

              CAN YOU OUTLINE THE BIG {OFT}

 

              PLANKS IN YOUR PLATFORM FOR US?

 

              >> CERTAINLY.

 

              WE HAVE SOME REALLY BIG

 

              FINANCIAL PROBLEMS IN

 

              BURLINGTON.

 

              $17 MILLION HOLE AS A RESULT OF

 

              BURLINGTON TELECOM, PROBLEMS

 

              WITH THE PENSION SYSTEM, WE'VE

 

              GOT TO REPAIR THE BIKE PATH, AND

 

              SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS, AND

 

              SO WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT IN A

 

              VERY SERIOUS WAY.

 

              I THINK WE NEED TO START WITH

 

              EVALUATING ALL OUR ASSETS.

 

              I MENTIONED B. E.D., AND --

 

 

 

 

              >> THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT HAD COME

 

              OUT.

 

              >> I USE THE WORDS "CONSIDER"

 

              AND "INVESTIGATE".

 

              I THINK EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE

 

              ON THE TABLE.

 

              IT'S NOT THAT DIFFERENT THAN ONE

 

              OF MY OPPONENTS, MR. WINE

 

              {BRERG}ER, WHO -- WEINBERGER WHO

 

              WOULDN'T TAKE IT OFF THE TABLE.

 

              HE SAID IT WOULD BE HIS PLAN Z

 

              AND MY PLAN A.

 

              WE'RE ALL GOING TO LOOK FOR

 

              EFFICIENCIES IN CITY GOVERNMENT,

 

              WE'RE GOING TO DO A

 

              TOP-TO-BOTTOM REVIEW OF ANY

 

              SITUATION IN CITY GOVERNMENT AND

 

              LOOK FOR EFFICIENCIES IN ORDER

 

              TO SAVE MONEY.

 

              I WILL DO THAT AND SO WILL THE

 

              OTHER CANDIDATES, BUT THAT'S THE

 

              EXISTING BUDGET.

 

              WE NEED TO FIND SAVINGS IF WE

 

              CAN.

 

              THAT'S A GOAL THAT WE ALL HAVE.

 

              BUT THAT WON'T TOUCH THE $17

 

 

 

 

              MILLION SHORTFALL OR THE $5

 

              MILLION IN THE PENSION UNFUNDED

 

              OBLIGATION, THAT'S NOT GOING TO

 

              FIX THE BIKE PATH, AND ALL THE

 

              OTHER ISSUES THAT WE HAVE.

 

              SO I THINK THAT WE NEED TO

 

              CERTAINLY I'M GOING TO LOOK FOR

 

              EVERY WAY TO DEAL WITH THIS

 

              WITHOUT GOING DOWN THE PATH OF

 

              SELLING B. E.D., BUT IF WE HAVE

 

              TO, I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO

 

              VOTERS THAT IT WOULD BE A

 

              TWO-STEP PROCESS.

 

              VOTERS WOULD FIRST GET AN

 

              ADVISORY QUESTION WHERE THEY

 

              WOULD TELL US IN THE

 

              ADMINISTRATION WHETHER THEY

 

              WANTED US TO EVEN EXPLORE IT.

 

              IF THEY DIDN'T, WE WOULD NEVER

 

              GO ANY FURTHER WITH IT.

 

              IF THEY VOTED THAT THEY WANTED

 

              US TO EXPLORE IT, I WOULD COME

 

              UP WITH A POTENTIAL DEAL AND

 

              COME BACK TO THEM, AND THEY

 

              WOULD GET A SECOND VOTE, AND WE

 

              WOULD BRING IT TO THEM ONLY IF

 

 

 

 

              THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL, A $100ON

 

              DOLLAR -- A $100 MILLION SALE

 

              PRICE.

 

              BUT WE WON'T IMMEDIATELY GO OUT

 

              AND THROW A "FOR SALE" SIGN ON

 

              IT.

 

              >> WILL YOU REGRET SAYING THAT?

 

              CAN YOU GO TO THE VOTERS TWO

 

              TIMES?

 

              >> I DON'T THINK SO.

 

              I MET WITH CHARLIE SMITH AND

 

              OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD OF

 

              FINANCE, AND CHARLIE BECAME MY

 

              CO-CHAIR LATER ON, AND WE TALKED

 

              ABOUT THAT, AND WE FIRST WERE

 

              NOT SURE HOW WE WOULD DO THAT,

 

              BUT WOULD REQUIRE A TWO-STEP

 

              PROCESS.

 

              I DON'T REGRET IT AT ALL.

 

              WE NEED TO BE THINKING OUTSIDE

 

              THE BOX.

 

              WE NEED TO BE LOOKING AT BIG

 

              IDEAS, AND THINGS HAVE TO BE ON

 

              THE TABLE THAT WE MIGHT NOT WANT

 

              ON THE TABLE.

 

              AND I THINK IT HELPS TO FOCUS ON

 

 

 

 

              THE ISSUES THAT BURLINGTON HAS.

 

              WE CAN'T CONTINUE THE CITY OF

 

              BURLINGTON CAN'T -- WE HAVE A

 

              GREAT CITY, BEAUTIFUL LAKE WITH

 

              A BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN AND A BIKE

 

              PATH -- THOUGH WE HAVE TO FIX IT

 

              -- AND A LOT OF GOOD THINGS, BUT

 

              WE HAVE DEVELOPED SOME SERIOUS

 

              FINANCIAL PROBLEMS THAT WE CAN'T

 

              IGNORE, AND WE CAN'T CONTINUE

 

              WITH THE DOWNGRADING IN OUR

 

              CREDIT RATING THAT.

 

              GOTS TO BE RESTORED.

 

              >> THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES

 

              THAT NEED MONEY.

 

              YOU MENTION THE BIKE PATH AND

 

              THE FINANCIAL STRAITS WE'RE IN.

 

              HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DETERMINE

 

              WHAT TAKES PRIORITY?

 

              >> IN TERMS OF FINANCIAL ISSUES?

 

              >> YEAH, FOR INSTANCE, WE'VE

 

              RECENTLY HEARD THE BIKE PATH

 

              COULD COST $12 TO $17 MILLION TO

 

              REPAIR.

 

              WE'RE ALREADY IN FINANCIAL

 

              STRAITS.

 

 

 

 

              WE TALKED EARLIER ABOUT THE

 

              SCHOOL BUDGET AND THE 10%

 

              INCREASE IN TAXES THAT YOU'RE

 

              AGAINST.

 

              HOW DO YOU DRAW THOSE LINES AND

 

              DETERMINE WHERE BURLINGTON CAN

 

              AFFORD SOME OF THE LUXURIES

 

              WE'VE ENJOYED AND WHERE WE MIGHT

 

              NEED TO CUT BACK?

 

              >> IN MY MIND, THERE IS NO

 

              QUESTION WE HAVE TO FIX THE BIKE

 

              PATH.

 

              THE BIKE PATH IS A GREAT

 

              ECONOMIC TOOL, SO TO SPEAK, FOR

 

              BURLINGTON, AND THE WHOLE

 

              REGION.

 

              IT BRINGS IN A LOT OF MONEY TO

 

              THIS AREA EVERY YEAR.

 

              I THINK IT'S IN THE AREA OF A

 

              COUPLE MILLION BUCKS IT

 

              GENERATES, WITH THE MARATHON AND

 

              ALL THE OTHER EVENTS.

 

              IT'S ONE OF THE JEWELS OF OUR

 

              CITY.

 

              I HOPE TO CREATE THE BURLINGTON

 

              BIKE PATH TASK FORCE, WHICH I

 

 

 

 

              NOW SERVE ON.

 

              THE PRICE TAG RIGHT NOW IS $12

 

              MILLION, CUTTING OUT SOME OF THE

 

              BELLS AND WHISTLES THAT ARE IN

 

              THERE, IT STARTED OUT AT 16 OR

 

              17 MILLION, BUT WE'RE GOING TO

 

              TRY TO RACHET THAT NUMBER DOWN

 

              THROUGH PRIVATE CONTRIBUTIONS

 

              AND TIF MONEY.

 

              >> TAX INCREMENT FINANCING.

 

              >> THAT'S RIGHT.

 

              >> WE'LL TRY TO REDUCE THAT

 

              NUMBER AS LOW AS POSSIBLE.

 

              WE MAY HAVE TO GO TO VOTERS NEXT

 

              NOVEMBER POSSIBLY AND THE BIKE

 

              PATH TASK FORCE IS WORKING ON

 

              THAT, BUT THAT IS ABSOLUTELY

 

              ESSENTIAL THAT WE DON'T LET IT

 

              CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE.

 

              WE CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN.

 

              IT'S TOO VITAL TO THE CITY OF

 

              BURLINGTON.

 

              ON THE SCHOOL TAX ISSUE, I'M

 

              COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT THE

 

              SCHOOLS NEED AN INCREASE.

 

              THERE IS AN INCREASE IN

 

 

 

 

              RETIREMENT AND AN INCREASE IN

 

              ENROLLMENT.

 

              AN INCREASE IS NEEDED.

 

              THINK THIS IS TOO BIG, IT'S A

 

              DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE, I HAVE

 

              HEARD ALL ACROSS THE CITY IS

 

              IT'S TOO BIG, MY GUT INSTINCT IS

 

              THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A

 

              TOUGH TIME PASSING THAT WITH THE

 

              TOUGH ECONOMY AND THE FINANCIAL

 

              ISSUES OF THE CITY.

 

              >> YOU OUTLINE THE PROBLEMS, THE

 

              PENSION, B.T., BIKE PATH, $75 TO

 

              $100 MILLION.

 

              THAT'S DOUBLE WHAT THE DEFICIT

 

              WAS FOR THE STATE BUDGET, THE

 

              SHORTFALL FOR THE STATE BUDGET.

 

              HOW DO YOU MAKE UP FOR THAT?

 

              YOU MENTION MAYBE GOING TO

 

              VOTERS FOR THE BIKE PATH.

 

              IS THAT THE PATH NOW?

 

              HOW DO YOU TRIM OR CHANGE YOUR

 

              INCREASES?

 

              >> THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE TO BE

 

              EVALUATING ALL OF OUR ASSETS AND

 

              LOOKING AT EVERYTHING.

 

 

 

 

              EVERYTHING'S GOT TO BE ON THE

 

              TABLE.

 

              REMEMBER THAT THE PENSION SYSTEM

 

              IS A VERY SERIOUS ONE.

 

              WE DON'T HAVE TO JUMP IN AND SAY

 

              IMMEDIATELY WE'RE GOING TO HAVE

 

              TO DO THIS TO FIX THE PENSION

 

              SYSTEM, BECAUSE WHILE IT'S A

 

              SERIOUS SITUATION, AND YOU CAN'T

 

              KICK DOWN THAT -- KICK THAT CAN

 

              DOWN THE ROAD, IT IS A 30-YEAR

 

              SITUATION.

 

              THE PENSION SYSTEM, BEING UNDER

 

              FUNDED, WHAT IT MEANS TO

 

              TAXPAYERS IS SOMEONE MIGHT

 

              THINK, WELL, IF I'M NOT EMPLOYED

 

              WITH THE CITY, WHAT DO I CARE?

 

              WELL, THE BACKDROP FOR THE

 

              SYSTEM, IF YOU DON'T GET CHANGES

 

              IN THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

 

              SYSTEM, WHERE WE HAVE BEEN

 

              MAKING CHANGES, BUT IF YOU DON'T

 

              MAKE CHANGES, THE TAXPAYERS PICK

 

              UP THE BURDEN.

 

              WE HAVE TO PICK UP $4 MILLION

 

              EVERY YEAR P. WHAT COULD THE

 

 

 

 

              CITY OF BURLINGTON DO IF WE

 

              DIDN'T HAVE TO SPEND 4.5 MILLION

 

              DOLLARS EVERY YEAR ON THE

 

              PENSION SYSTEM FROM TAXPAYER

 

              MONEY?

 

              THAT'S THE SERIOUSNESS OF IT.

 

              IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT OUR ASSETS.

 

              WE WON'T SELL ALL OF OUR ASSETS,

 

              LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT, BUT

 

              THAT NEEDS TO BE IN THE MATRIX

 

              AS A POSSIBILITY, IF ISSUES GET

 

              WORSE AND WE CAN'T TAKE CARE OF

 

              THEM SOME OTHER WAY.

 

              WE ALSO NEED TO BRING GOOD

 

              DEVELOPMENT TO THE CITY.

 

              I'LL BE WORKING VERY HARD TO

 

              MAKE SURE THAT WE DEVELOP ON

 

              MAIN STREET GATEWAY ENTRANCE

 

              INTO THE CITY, WHERE WE HAVE THE

 

              VACANT HOTEL THERE.

 

              IT WASN'T THAT ATTRACTIVE WHEN

 

              IT WAS OPERATING, AND IT'S NOT A

 

              GOOD GATEWAY NOW.

 

              WE NEED TO LOOK AT MEMORIAL

 

              AUDITORIUM AS WELL.

 

              WE LOSE MONEY THERE EVERY YEAR,

 

 

 

 

              AND WE NEED TO DO SO MUCH MORE

 

              ON THE WATERFRONT.

 

              WE NEED TO BUILD MORE HOUSING,

 

              PARTICULARLY IN THE DOWNTOWN

 

              AREA, OF ALL KINDS, AFFORDABLE

 

              HOUSING, HOUSING FOR SENIORS,

 

              BUT I ONE THING THE PART OF THE

 

              MARKET WE'RE ESPECIALLY MISSING

 

              IS MARKET-PRICED HOUSING.

 

              LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, DEALER.COM ON

 

              PINE STREET, WHAT A GREAT

 

              BUSINESS THAT IS, AND IT'S

 

              GROWING, WE WANT THEM TO STAY

 

              HERE AND GROW HERE IF WE CAN,

 

              BUT THEY HAVE PARKING ISSUES.

 

              I MEAN, THIS IS YOUNG

 

              PROFESSIONALS MAKING GOOD

 

              SALARIES, $65, $70,000 A YEAR.

 

              WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF WE HAD

 

              MORE MARKET-PRICED HOUSING RIGHT

 

              DOWNTOWN WHERE THEY COULD LIVE,

 

              IT WOULD HELP OUR ENTIRE

 

              DOWNTOWN, AND PROBABLY HELP THE

 

              PARKING ISSUE.

 

              >> THE DEALER.COM PEOPLE ARE

 

              MAKING $70,000 A YEAR CANNOT

 

 

 

 

              AFFORD A HOME IN BURLINGTON?

 

              >> THERE IS A LACK OF HOUSING

 

              THAT IS IN THE RIGHT MARKET,

 

              YES.

 

              WE HAVE HIGH-PRICED

 

              CONDOMINIUMS, AND THAT'S OKAY,

 

              THAT WORKS, AND WE WANT SOME OF

 

              THAT, TOO.

 

              WE HAVE A LOT OF AFFORDABLE

 

              HOUSING, WE NEED TO ALWAYS WORK

 

              ON THAT, BUT WE'RE MISSING THAT,

 

              YEAH, THE MODERATE MARKET-PRICED

 

              HOUSING, AND THAT'S SOMETHING

 

              THAT I THINK WE'RE LACKING AND

 

              NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF.

 

              AND BTTV, AT CITY HALL, IS GOING

 

              TO IDENTIFY IN THE SPRING SPOTS

 

              THAT ARE RIGHT FOR DEVELOPMENT

 

              AND REDEVELOPMENT, PARTICULARLY

 

              IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA.

 

              I THINK THAT THERE -- AND THERE

 

              WILL BE CHANGES THAT WE'LL NEED

 

              TO MAKE TO ORDINANCES TO MAKE

 

              SOME OF THESE THINGS HAPPEN.

 

              I THINK IT'S AN EXCITING

 

              PROCESS, AND I'M EAGER TO WORK

 

 

 

 

              TO MAKE THESE THINGS HAPPEN.

 

              >> THERE WERE A LOT OF BIG AND

 

              SMALL PROPOSALS.

 

              WHEN WHAT WERE SOME YOU LIKED

 

              THE MOST AND SOME YOU DIDN'T

 

              AGREE ABOUT?

 

              >> I'M NOT SURE ABOUT OPENING UP

 

              THE ROAD ON THE WATERFRONT, THE

 

              ONE-WAY ROAD.

 

              I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THAT IDEA.

 

              THERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS, BUT

 

              I DO LIKE THE IDEA -- THEY

 

              TALKED ABOUT WAS A DEVELOPMENT

 

              ON THE GATEWAY ENTRANCE INTO THE

 

              CITY, AND THEY TALKED ABOUT

 

              DOING A LOT MORE THINGS ON THE

 

              WATERFRONT, WHICH I'M VERY

 

              EXCITED ABOUT, I ALSO LIKE THE

 

              IDEA POTENTIALLY -- THE DEVIL IS

 

              ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS, AS THEY

 

              SAY -- BUT I LIKE THE IDEA OF

 

              ADDING FLOORS ONTO SOME OF THE

 

              DOWNTOWN BUILDINGS.

 

              I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THAT YET, BUT

 

              I THINK THAT'S WORTH EXPLORING

 

              IN TERMS OF STUDENTS.

 

 

 

 

              SO I THINK THAT'S AN INTERESTING

 

              IDEA.

 

              BUT WE NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT

 

              IT, WE NEED TO FLESH SOME OF

 

              THOSE DETAILS OUT, BUT THERE ARE

 

              SOME REALLY INTERESTING IDEAS

 

              THERE, AND I THINK IT'S -- I'M

 

              VERY EAGER TO HEAR WHAT THEY

 

              FINALLY COME OUT WITH AND WHAT

 

              THE PROPOSALS ARE AND

 

              RECOMMENDATIONS ARE IN THE

 

              SPRING.

 

              ONE GENTLEMAN STOOD UP AND SAID

 

              -- AND I THOUGHT THIS WAS ALSO

 

              INTERESTING -- "BEFORE WE TALK

 

              ABOUT WHAT COULD BE, LET'S TALK

 

              ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE."

 

              IN OTHER WORDS, SOME OF THESE

 

              IDEAS ARE GREAT IDEAS, SOME ARE

 

              VERY GRANDIOSE IDEAS, SOME ARE

 

              GOING TO TAKE A GOOD DEAL OF

 

              TIME.

 

              AND THAT'S OKAY.

 

              WE NEED TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE.

 

              BUT THERE ARE ALSO THINGS IN THE

 

              PRESENT THAT WE NEED TO DO, AND

 

 

 

 

              WE NEED TO MOVE ON MORE QUICKLY.

 

              THE BIKE PATH BEING ONE OF THEM,

 

              WHAT THE GENTLEMAN MENTIONSED

 

              MONDAY EVENING.

 

              THAT'S {OOPS} SOMETHING YOU

 

              CAN'T IGNORE.

 

              IT'S DETERIORATING NOW, AND WE

 

              NEED TO DEAL WITH.

 

              LET'S MOVE ON PROJECTS THAT WE

 

              CAN MOVE ON QUICKER, AND THEN

 

              LOOK AT THAT LONG-RANGE VISION

 

              ALSO.

 

              >> LET'S TALK ABOUT NUMBERS.

 

              CITY COUNCIL REJECTED MAYOR BOB

 

              KISS'S PROPOSAL FOR A TAX

 

              INCREASE.

 

              HE SAID WITHOUT IT, THEY WILL

 

              LOSE POSITIONS PERHAPS IN THE

 

              SAFETY SECTOR.

 

              HOW DO YOU SOLVE THAT PROBLEM?

 

              >> WELL, THE COUNCIL REJECTED

 

              PUTTING IT ON THE BALLOT, AND I

 

              THINK THAT WAS WISE THAT THAT

 

              WAS DONE THAT WAY.

 

              WE DON'T HAVE A COMPLETE

 

              FINANCIAL PICTURE YET, {OOPS} SO

 

 

 

 

              WE DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE

 

              VOTERS WITHOUT A COMPLETE

 

              FINANCIAL OUTLOOK FOR VOTERS,

 

              AND PLUS WE HAVE A NEW

 

              ADMINISTRATION COMING INTO PLACE

 

              AFTER MARCH 6TH.

 

              SO I TALK TO PEOPLE IN THE

 

              POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE FIRE

 

              DEPARTMENT, I TALKED TO BOTH

 

              CHIEFS, I TALKED TO PEOPLE IN

 

              BOTH DEPARTMENTS, AS I SAID, AND

 

              THEY UNDERSTAND WHY WE WOULD

 

              WAIT.

 

              LET THE NEW MAYOR HAVE TIME TO

 

              GO THROUGH THE BUDGE WET A

 

              FINE-TOOTH COMB, EVERY

 

              DEPARTMENT, SEE IF THERE ARE

 

              SAVINGS -- LAST YEAR WHEN THERE

 

              WAS AN INCREASE THAT WENT DOWN

 

              ACROSS THE CITY, THAT WAS

 

              SOMEWHERE IN THE VICINITY OF A

 

              MILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS THAT

 

              WAS GOING TO BE RAISED, WE FOUND

 

              OUT AFTER IT WAS REJECTED THAT

 

              WE DIDN'T NECESSARILY NEED ALL

 

              THAT MONEY.

 

 

 

 

              ABOUT HALF OF IT WAS REPLACED

 

              RIGHT AWAY BY BETTER PROJECTED

 

              REVENUES.

 

              SO IT'S -- WE CERTAINLY WANT TO

 

              KNOW THAT FIRST.

 

              LET'S SEE IF THE REVENUES COME

 

              IN BETTER, AND THEN WE CAN FILL

 

              THAT HOLE THAT WAY, OR WITH

 

              SAVINGS AND EFFICIENCIES THAT

 

              THE NEW MAYOR CAN FIND.

 

              I HAVE COMMITTED THAT IF {OOPS}

 

              WE AREN'T ABLE TO FIND THOSE

 

              EFFICIENCIES, IDENTIFY THOSE

 

              QUICKLY, THAT I WILL FIND THAT

 

              OUT QUICKLY, AND I'LL PUT A

 

              SPECIAL ELECTION -- CALL FOR A

 

              SPECIAL ELECTION, AND WE'LL PUT

 

              THAT TWO-CENT INCREASE FOR FIRE

 

              AND POLICE BACK ON THE BALLOT,

 

              AND IF WE HAVE TO DO THAT --

 

              THAT WOULD BE THE LAST RESORT,

 

              BUT IF WE HAVE TO, I WILL

 

              CAMPAIGN VIGOROUSLY ACROSS THE

 

              CITY TO GET THAT PASSED.

 

              WE'RE NOT GOING TO LEAVE FIRE

 

              AND POLICE IN A POSITION WHERE

 

 

 

 

              YOU HAVE TO SLASH OUR PUBLIC

 

              SAFETY SERVICES.

 

              >> WE'LL CONTINUE OUR DISCUSSION

 

              WITH KURT WRIGHT.

 

              THERE IS A LOT MORE TO GET TO.

 

              WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

 

              B.T. WANDA HINES HINES WANDA

 

              HINES.

 

              >> WELCOME BACK TO "YOU CAN

 

              QUOTE ME".

 

              LAST WEEK WE HEARD FROM MIRO

 

              WEINBERGER.

 

              TODAY WE'RE SPEAKING TO KURT

 

              WRIGHT.

 

              WE'RE ALSO REACHING OUT TO WANDA

 

              HINES TO GET HER POSITIONS.

 

              >> LET'S START OFF WITH SOME OF

 

              THE ISSUES THAT YOU'RE TACKLING,

 

              SPECIFICALLY THE BUDGET

 

              ADJUSTMENT ACT.

 

              YOU WERE TAKEN TO TASK FOR

 

              VOTING "NO" ON A $12 MILLION

 

              INCREASE THAT WOULD HAVE PAID

 

              FOR RECUPERATING FROM IRENE AND

 

              THE SPRING FLOODING.

 

              HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO SOME OF

 

 

 

 

              THOSE?

 

              >> I'LL BE HAPPY TO RESPOND.

 

              FIRST I WANT TO MENTION, WE

 

              TALKED ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY.

 

              I WANT TO SAY HOW PLEASED I WAS

 

              TO GET THE BURLINGTON POLICE

 

              ENDORSEMENT.

 

              I DON'T WANT TO NEGLECT TO

 

              MENTION HOW PROUD AND HONORED I

 

              AM TO HAVE MET WITH THEM.

 

              THEY DID IT JUST BASED ON

 

              LEADERSHIP AND EXPERIENCE, NOT

 

              IN DIFFERENCES IN ISSUES THAT

 

              THEY HAD, BUT THEY BELIEVE I'M

 

              THE RIGHT PERSON AT THIS TIME TO

 

              LEAD THE CITY INFORMED.

 

              I'M HONORED AND PROUD OF THAT

 

              ENDORSEMENT.

 

              THERE IS NO FINER POLICE

 

              DEPARTMENT, I THINK, IN THE

 

              COUNTRY, AND IT'S SECOND TO

 

              NONE.

 

              ON THAT ISSUE, LET ME JUST SAY

 

              THIS:  WHEN LEGISLATORS CAST

 

              VOTES A LOT OF TIMES ON THE

 

              FIRST READING OF A BILL, AND

 

 

 

 

              THEY CHANGE ON THE FINAL PASSAGE

 

              OF THE BILL -- THAT {BHIL} WAS

 

              GOING TO BE PASSED OVER

 

              OVERWHELMINGLY.

 

              YOU'RE ABLE TO CAST A VOTE TO

 

              EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT A BILL,

 

              KNOWING THERE IS FINAL PASSAGE

 

              OF IT COMING, AND MY CONCERN WAS

 

              ABOUT THE DIFFERENT POSITIONS

 

              THAT WERE BEING ADDED IN BUDGET

 

              ADJUSTMENT, WHICH IS VERY

 

              UNUSUAL.

 

              A REALLY SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF

 

              POSITIONS WERE ADDED.

 

              ULTIMATELY I VOTED IN FAVOR OF

 

              THE BILL BECAUSE OF THE OTHER

 

              GOOD THINGS IN THE BILL:

 

              DISASTER RELIEF AND THINGS FOR

 

              THE CITY OF BURLINGTON.

 

              I COULDN'T VOTE "NO" ON THAT.

 

              MY VOTE "YES" ON FINAL PASSAGE

 

              WAS ALREADY THERE ON RECORD, AND

 

              OUT CAME A PRESS RELEASE FROM

 

              BOTH THE STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

 

              AND MY OPPONENT AFTER THAT BILL

 

              WAS ALREADY RECORDED, ATTACKING

 

 

 

 

              ME FOR THE "NO" VOTE AND SAYING

 

              THAT ALL I DO IS CAST PARTISAN

 

              VOTES AT MONTPELIER, AND THAT

 

              WAS A WASHINGTON-STYLE ATTACK.

 

              I HEARD FROM MANY RESIDENTS

 

              ACROSS THE CITY, SOME OF WHOM

 

              ARE UNDECIDED IN THIS RACE, WHO

 

              TOLD ME THIS IS THE TYPE OF

 

              THING THAT'S GOING TO PUSH THEM

 

              AWAY FROM MY OPPONENT

 

              MR. WEINBERGER AND TOWARD ME.

 

              >> IT IS SORT OF RARE TO HAVE

 

              SOMEONE VOTE "NO" AND THE NEXT

 

              DAY VOTE "YES" WHEN THE FACTS

 

              HAVEN'T CHANGED.

 

              THAT'S A REAL THING.

 

              DOES YOUR CONSIDERATION IN

 

              RUNNING FOR MAYOR COME INTO PLAY

 

              AT ALL?

 

              >> NO.

 

              PATTY WAS SITTING NEXT TO ME,

 

              AND I SAID, "TOMORROW, PATTY,

 

              THE CORRECT VOTE FOR ME IS "YES"

 

              BECAUSE OF THINGS IN BURLINGTON

 

              AND THE OVERALL GOOD OF THE

 

              BILL," AND SHE IS VERIFY THAT,

 

 

 

 

              SO I SAID, "TOMORROW ON FINAL

 

              PASSAGE, I'LL BE VOTING YES."

 

              IF YOU GO BACK AND LOOK, YOU'LL

 

              SEE LEGISLATORS VOTED ONE WAY ON

 

              FIRST READING.

 

              THERE WAS AN AMENDMENT THAT

 

              IMPROVED THE BILL THAT I

 

              CONSIDERED, AND IT WAS PASSED

 

              UNANIMOUSLY.

 

              THE BILL WAS APPROVED ALSO.

 

              BUT, AGAIN, MOST PEOPLE DON'T

 

              PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE OTHER

 

              VOTES, THOSE OTHER CHANGES THAT

 

              HAPPEN, BECAUSE OF MAYORAL

 

              POLITICS.

 

              THAT'S WHY PEOPLE ARE PAYING SO

 

              MUCH ATTENTION TO THAT.

 

              AND I KNOW PEOPLE ARE PAYING

 

              ATTENTION.

 

              BUT THE REALITY THAT I HEARD

 

              FROM PEOPLE IS THEY DIDN'T LIKE

 

              THIS WASHINGTON-STYLE ATTACK,

 

              WHERE YOU CAST A VOTE AND THERE

 

              IS AN ATTACK LAUNCHED.

 

              YOU MIGHT ATTACK THE ISSUE,

 

              THAT'S ONE THING, BUT TRY TO

 

 

 

 

              PORTRAY THAT I AM THIS PARTISAN

 

              REPUBLICAN WHO CAST NOTHING BUT

 

              PARTISAN VOTES, MOST PEOPLE KNOW

 

              THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

 

              I'M AN INDEPENDENT-MINED

 

              REPUBLICAN WHO HAS NOT -- MINDED

 

              REPUBLICAN WHO HAS NOT GONE

 

              ALONG WITH THE PARTY ON MANY

 

              ISSUES, LIKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

 

              I THINK PEOPLE CAN GET TURNED

 

              OFF TO THAT KIND OF THING THERE.

 

              WAS A FUNDRAISER IN WASHINGTON,

 

              D.C., AND THERE IS A WASHINGTON

 

              CONSULTANT HELPING HIM.

 

              WE'RE NOT GETTING MONEY FROM OUT

 

              OF STATE.

 

              THIS IS A BURLINGTON RACE, NOT A

 

              WASHINGTON, D.C. RACE, WE DON'T

 

              WANT WASHINGTON STYLE POLITICS

 

              IN THIS RACE.

 

              >> THERE WAS A FUNDRAISER, AND A

 

              LOT OF THEM WERE VERMONTERS WHO

 

              WERE IN D.C., SENATOR LEAHY IS

 

              VERY FIRMLY BEHIND MIRO

 

              WEINBERGER.

 

              DO YOU THINK THAT'S GOING TO

 

 

 

 

              INFLUENCE THE RACE?

 

              >> NO, I DON'T.

 

              WHEN WE HAD THE REPEAL I.R. V.

 

              CAMPAIGN A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO,

 

              EVERY SINGLE BIG PLAYER IN

 

              WASHINGTON FROM GOVERNOR DEAN

 

              AND GOVERNOR LEAHY AND SENATOR

 

              SANDERS -- EVERYONE CAME OUT AND

 

              ASKED VOTERS TO OPPOSE IT, BUT

 

              PEOPLE DID WHAT THEY WANTED

 

              BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE

 

              SYSTEM.

 

              THIS VOTE IS GOING TO BE DECIDED

 

              BY LOCAL ISSUES, ABOUT WHO IS

 

              THE BEST PERSON TO LEAD

 

              BURLINGTON FORWARD, WHO HAS THE

 

              LEADERSHIP SKILLS, WHO HAS

 

              DEMONSTRATED THAT, WHO IS GOING

 

              TO BRING REAL CHANGE TO

 

              BURLINGTON, BRING IN NEW,

 

              DYNAMIC PEOPLE, BUT ALSO WHO

 

              KNOWS HOW CITY GOVERNMENT WORKS,

 

              WHO HAS LED THE CITY, WHO HAS

 

              LED VOTERS.

 

              IT'S EXTREMELY CRITICAL THAT THE

 

              NEXT MAJOR -- MAYOR NOT ONLY

 

 

 

 

              KNOW -- MAKE THE CHANGES THAT

 

              ARE NECESSARY BUT ALSO KNOW CITY

 

              GOVERNMENT, KNOW THE PEOPLE OF

 

              CITY GOVERNMENT, AND KNOW THE

 

              PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON.

 

              IF WE DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE A

 

              SPECIAL ELECTION FOR A TAX

 

              INCREASE FOR POLICE AND FIRE,

 

              THAT WOULD BE A -- WE WOULD DO

 

              THAT IF WE HAD TO DO IT.

 

              IF WE DO, THE VOTERS HAVE TO BE

 

              PERSUADED ON THE RIGHT DIRECTION

 

              TO GO.

 

              IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE NEXT

 

              MAYOR HAS THE EXPERIENCE OF

 

              DOING IT.

 

              I'VE DONE THAT.

 

              I'VE HAD TO LEAD THE CITY, AS

 

              PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL, I'VE

 

              HAD TO LEAD US FORWARD ON THE

 

              MOST COMPLEX ISSUES IN THE

 

              ZONING SITUATION WHICH WAS

 

              PARALYZING CITY GOVERNMENT, AND

 

              IN A CRITICAL MOVE FORWARD THAT

 

              THE NEXT MAYOR HAVE THAT TYPE OF

 

              LEADERSHIP AND EXPERIENCE.

 

 

 

 

              SO I THINK THAT THAT'S WHAT'S

 

              GOING TO DECIDE THIS RACE.

 

              IT'S NOT GOING TO BE -- I'M NOT

 

              GOING TO GET HUGE ENDORSEMENTS

 

              LIKE THAT.

 

              I'M GOING TO GET ENDORSEMENTS

 

              FROM RANK AND FILE DEMOCRATS AND

 

              INDEPENDENCE AND SOME

 

              PROGRESSIVES IN THE CITY.

 

              >> WITH THREE CANDIDATES, HOW

 

              IMPORTANT IS IT TO {KROT} THOSE

 

              -- TO CROSS THOSE PARTY LINES?

 

              >> I THINK THAT WHAT I'M DOING

 

              REACHING OUT TO PARTISANS --

 

              PEOPLE NOT PARTISANS {OOR}

 

              ACROSS THE CITY IS DOING GREAT.

 

              WE'RE GOING TO DO ANOTHER AD,

 

              DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENCE.

 

              THEY'RE NOT ALL NAMES LIKE

 

              UNITED STATES SENATORS AND

 

              CONGRESSMEN, AND ET CETERA, BUT

 

              THEY ARE AVERAGE CITIZENS WHO

 

              ARE DEMOCRATS, WHO ARE -- I MET

 

              WITH A GROUP OF CITIZENS THE

 

              OTHER NIGHT, AND A NUMBER OF

 

              THEM CAME UP TO ME AND TOLD ME

 

 

 

 

              IN THEIR HOME -- AND CAME UP TO

 

              ME AND TOLD ME "I HAVE NEVER,

 

              EVER VOTED FOR A REPUBLICAN IN

 

              MY LIFE, AND MAYBE THIS WILL BE

 

              THE ONLY ONE, BUT I'M VOTING FOR

 

              YOU THIS YEAR, BECAUSE I THINK

 

              IT'S TIME, AND YOU'RE THE RIGHT

 

              PERSON FOR THE JOB."

 

              >> YOU SERVED ON THE CITY

 

              COUNCIL WHEN A LOT OF THESE

 

              PROBLEMS DEVELOPED AT B.T. AND

 

              THE PENSION FUND.

 

              MAYOR BOB KISS HAS TAKEN A LOT

 

              OF THE BLAME.

 

              DO YOU THINK HE IS BECOMING TOO

 

              MUCH OF A SCAPEGOAT, AND DO YOU

 

              NEED TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF SOME

 

              OF THE PROBLEMS, BEING ON THE

 

              CITY COUNCIL?

 

              >> KRISTIN, WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS

 

              THAT YOU ARE IN THE ARENA,

 

              WORKING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS AND

 

              MAKE BURLINGTON A BETTER PLACE.

 

              I'VE BEEN IN THE ARENA, AND

 

              BEING IN THE ARENA ALSO MEANS

 

              THAT YOU GROW, EVOLVE, AND BE

 

 

 

 

              ACCOUNTABLE AND ADMIT MISTAKES.

 

              I'VE SAID PUBLICLY BEFORE AND I

 

              DON'T MIND SAYING IT AGAIN, THE

 

              COUNCIL AND ME DO A BETTER JOB

 

              AND IDENTIFYING THIS PROBLEM AND

 

              CONNECT THE DOTS?

 

              YES.

 

              BUT THE CITY {KOUNS} {SIL} A

 

              PART-TIME CITY COUNCIL WORKING

 

              FOR VIRTUALLY NOTHING, AND TO

 

              ASK THE COUNCIL TO HAVE FIGURED

 

              THIS OUT AND BLAME IT ON US

 

              WHEN, CLEARLY, MAYOR KISS --

 

              THERE'S A CLEAR PATTERN.

 

              >> YOU ALMOST SAID MAYOR

 

              FAVREELL?

 

              >> I DID ALMOST.

 

              HE DID NOT SHARE ALL THE

 

              INFORMATION WITH US.

 

              WE HAD A MAYOR'S RACE GOING ON

 

              WHEN THIS WAS ALL UNFOLDING, AND

 

              NOT ONLY WERE MILLIONS OF {OOPS}

 

              DOLLARS OF TASK -- TAX PAYER

 

              MONEY LOST, BUT IT AFFECTED THE

 

              LAST ELECTION.

 

              THIS WAS GOING ON WHILE I WAS

 

 

 

 

              RUNNING FOR MAYOR, WHILE

 

              DEMOCRAT ANDY WAS RUNNING FOR

 

              MAYOR, AND ANDY HAS A VERY KEEN

 

              KNOWLEDGE OF THE

 

              TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY, HE

 

              HAS REPRESENTED CLIENTS IN THE

 

              TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY, AND

 

              HE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT.

 

              I'VE TALKED TO HIM NUMEROUS

 

              TIMES ABOUT THIS.

 

              OUR MEMORY IS EXACTLY THE SAME,

 

              THAT INFORMATION WASN'T SHARED,

 

              BUT COULD WE HAVE DONE A BETTER

 

              JOB?

 

              SURE.

 

              BUT I THINK THAT WE NEED TO

 

              GOING FORWARD, WE NEED TO LOOK

 

              FORWARD, WE NEED TO BE FINDING

 

              SOLUTIONS.

 

              WE CAN LOOK BACKWARD, AND

 

              CERTAINLY THAT'S PART OF IT, BUT

 

              REALLY, THIS CAMPAIGN IS LOOKING

 

              FORWARD TO AND FINDING SOLUTIONS

 

              TO THESE PROBLEMS.

 

              >> WITH LESS THAN A MINUTE, ONE

 

              OF THE THINGS WE'RE HEARING IS

 

 

 

 

              PROPERTY CRIME, INCREASE IN

 

              BURGLARIES IN THE CITY.

 

              WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO STOP

 

              THAT?

 

              A LOT OF DRUG-DRIVEN CRIME.

 

              >> YOU'RE RIGHT, KRISTIN, THERE

 

              ARE PROBLEMS IN THE CITY,

 

              BURLINGTON IS BASICALLY A SAFE

 

              CITY, BUT WE HAVE A COUPLE OF

 

              PROBLEMS, AND THAT'S BREAK-INS,

 

              DRUGS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND

 

              CONTINUED ISSUE OF DOMESTIC

 

              VIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST

 

              WOMEN.

 

              THOSE ARE ISSUES THAT WE NEED TO

 

              REALLY FOCUS ON.

 

              ONE OF THE THINGS IS TO MAKE

 

              SURE WE DO A BETTER JOB WITH

 

              INCREASED COMMUNITY POLICING,

 

              ESPECIALLY IN THE OLD NORTH END.

 

              I'M GOING TO WORK WITH THE

 

              CHIEF, I THINK WE HAVE A

 

              FANTASTIC POLICE DEPARTMENT.

 

              CAN WE DO A BETTER JOB OF THAT?

 

              YES, AND I WILL CERTAINLY WORK

 

              CLOSELY TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO

 

 

 

 

              A BETTER JOB OF COMMUNITY

 

              POLICING.

 

              >> I THINK WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE

 

              IT THERE.

 

              THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KURT

 

              WRIGHT, THE REPUBLICAN RUNNING

 

              FOR MAYOR.

 

              WE HEARD FROM MIRO WEINBERGER

 

              LAST WEEK.

 

              GO TO WCAX TO CATCH THAT EPISODE

 

              OF "YOU CAN QUOTE ME", AND NEXT

 

              WEEK WE'LL HEAR FROM WANDA

 

              HINES.

 

              HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYONE.

 

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