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YCQM - Miro Weinberger - March 11, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Miro Weinberger - March 11, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

March 11, 2012 -- Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington Mayor-elect, joins Kristin Carlson of WCAX and Andy Bromage of Seven Days to discuss the city and his plans.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M KRISTIN CARLSON. THE BIG NEWS IS THAT BURLINGTON HAS A NEW MAYOR ELECT. MIRO WEINBERGER WON WITH ABOUT 58% OF THE VOTE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> AND ANDY BROMAGE FROM "SEVEN DAYS", THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU. MIRO, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT THE RACE WOULD BE CLOSER. DID THIS SURPRISE YOU OR DID IT MIRROR YOUR INTERNAL VOTE-COUNTING IN THE CAMPAIGN?

>> ANDY, WE DID HAVE A SENSE GOING INTO THE FINAL DAYS THAT THE MESSAGE OF A FRESH START WAS RESONATING, THAT WE WERE DOING WELL THROUGHOUT THE CITY. THAT HAD BEEN MY SENSE WHEN I WAS OUT THERE KNOCKING ON DOORS FOR WEEKS. WE WERE GETTING A SENSE OF IT IN THE THOUSANDS OF INTERNAL PHONE CALLS THAT WE WERE MAKING, AND WE DID HAVE SOME INTERNAL NUMBERS THAT SUGGESTED WE WERE HEADED FOR A SIGNIFICANT WIN. OF COURSE, YOU NEVER KNOW WHETHER TO TRUST THEM UNTIL THE VOTES COME IN. WE WERE HOPEFUL BUT, YOU KNOW, AND CONFIDENT, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL THE RESULTS START TO ROLL IN.

>> KURT CONCEDED THIS RACE VERY EARLY. WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAD WON?

>> WE KNEW JUST MOMENTS -- A FEW MOMENTS BEFORE KURT WRIGHT CONCEDED. HE CERTAINLY WAS VERY GENEROUS AND GRACIOUS AND CONSEED QUICKLY. THE -- YOU KNOW, WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY THE WAY IT WORKS OUT THERE, PEOPLE WERE FEEDING THROUGH THE BALLOTS ALL DAY, INCLUDING ALL THE SB ABSENTEE BALLOTS HAD BEEN FED THROUGH THE MACHINE, AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS AS SOON AS IT WAS 7:00, THEY PUNCHED A FEW BUTTONS ON THE MACHINE, AND THEY WERE ABLE TO GET TOTALS, AND THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT MARGIN, THOSE TOTALS WERE TWEETED AROUND OR TEXTED OVER TO US, AND IT WAS WHEN WARD 7 CAME THROUGH, KURT SAID, AND IT WAS CLEAR TO US, THE FACT THAT WE KEPT IT AS CLOSE AS WE DID IN THE NEW NORTH END MEANT WE WERE HEADED FOR A GOOD NIGHT.

>> YOU'VE HAD A FEW DAYS TO CELEBRATE. BUT THE WORK STARTS NOW. BURLINGTON TELECOM -- HOW DO YOU MAKE UP THAT $17 MILLION?

>> WELL, KRISTIN, HERE'S -- THE PROBLEM WITH BURLINGTON TELECOM, WHICH I'VE SAID MANY TIMES ON THE TRAIL, IS UNFORTUNATELY THE NEXT MAYOR DOESN'T FULLY CONTROL THE FUTURE WITH REGARD TO BURLINGTON TELECOM. WE ARE IN THIS FEDERAL LAWSUIT, AND THERE ARE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE NEGOTIATED AND SORTED OUT. MY PRIORITIES WILL BE TO PROTECT THE TAXPAYER FROM ADDITIONAL LIABILITY, TO PRESERVE -- TO ENSURE THAT SERVICE CONTINUES, THAT THERE IS NO DISCONTINUATION OF SERVICE, TO TRY TO CREATE A STRUCTURE WHERE THE $17 MILLION CAN BE REPAID, SLOWLY, OVER TIME, WHEN, AFTER A LAWSUIT IS HOPEFULLY SETTLED. THAT IS MY PRIORITY GOING INTO THIS NEGOTIATION, AND THAT IS WHAT I'M ATTEMPTING TO DO WHEN WE SIT DOWN AND TRY TO PUT TOGETHER A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN ONE OR TWO OR MORE PARTIES COMING IN, THE ORGANIZATION THAT REGULATES THE LICENSE, AND TRY TO SETTLE WITH CITY CAPITAL, WHICH HAS INVESTED MILLIONS.

>> DO YOU THINK BT IS WORTH SAVING, GIVEN THE RISKS?

>> I GUESS IT DEPENDS WHAT THE RISKS ARE. I'M NOT WILLING TO PUT ADDITIONAL MONEY IN. I DO THINK IT'S WORTH TRYING TO FIGHT TO SAVE THE SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN BUILT AND DOES EXIST AND IS A COMPETITOR TO COMCAST. I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE DAYS WHEN WE HAD ONE CABLE MON OPLEY THAT -- MONOPOLY THAT CHARGES HIGH PRICES.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS A MAYOR DOES IS LOOK AT DEPARTMENT HEADS. WILL YOU REPLACE ALL THE DEPARTMENT HEADS?

>> NO, I WON'T, I'VE BEEN CLEAR ABOUT THAT, I'M NOT JUST GOING TO INDISCRIMINATELY CLEAN HOUSE. I DO EXPECT TO MAKE SOME CHANGES, PEOPLE VOTED FOR A FRESH START AND EXPECT THAT, BUT MANY DEPARTMENT HEADS WHO HAVE PROVIDED IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE TO THIS COMMUNITY FOR A LONG TIME, THEY'RE DOING A GOOD JOB, AND I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE CHANGE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING CHANGE.

>> YOUR MESSAGE WAS A FRESH START, AND BUT IF YOU'RE JUST GOING TO TWEAK A FEW DEPARTMENT HEADS, HOW IS THAT A FRESH START?

>> WELL, KRISTIN, THERE IS -- I WILL SAY THIS: AGAIN, I'M NOT JUST GOING TO CLEAN HOUSE. I DO INTEND TO BRING A NEW CULTURE AND A NEW FOCUS ON RESULTS, ON ANNAL ITICS, ON ACCOUNTABILITY, AND ANYBODY WHO DOES STAY IN YEARS AHEAD WILL NEED TO SIGN UP FOR THAT, THEY'LL NEED TO BE ON BOARD WITH WORKING WITH ADMINISTRATION -- I TAKE SERIOUSLY THAT THE MAYOR IS ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE, AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE MAYOR'S OFFICE BE ABLE TO ANSWER TO THE PEOPLE, AND ANY DEPARTMENT THAT STAYS, I THINK, WILL NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGE, AND IF THEY'RE GOING TO STAY, WE'RE GOING TO EXPECT SOME CHANGES.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE TRANSITION FOR A SECOND. WHO IS ON YOUR TRANSITION TEAM, AND WHAT DO THEY NEED TO GET DONE BEFORE THEY'RE SWORN IN?

>> WELL, IT'S EXCITING TO BE IN THE TRANSITION PHASE. A FEW MONTHS AGO WHEN HOWARD DEAN ENDORSED MY CANDIDACY AND GOT INVOLVED, ONE THING HE SAID TO ME WAS THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN THIS SITUATION WHEN THE TIME BETWEEN MARCH 6TH AND INAUGURATION ON APRIL 2ND IS SO SHORT, AND THE BUDGET IS JUST WEEKS AFTER THAT, THAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO BEGIN SOME TRANSITION PLANNING, AND I -- I DIDN'T -- I WAS NOT VERY INVOLVED IN THAT, I DMEKD A FEW TIMES, BUT WE DID HAVE SOME THOUGHT GOING ON THROUGHOUT THE RECENT WEEKS, AND SO WE ARE NOW MOVING TO IMPLEMENT A PLAN. I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT ALL FOUR MEMBERS OF THE CAMPAIGN STAFF ARE ON BOARD WITH STICKING AROUND THROUGH THIS TRANSITION PERIOD AND HELPING OUT, WE'RE ALL TAKING A FEW DAYS OFF, BUT ONCE WE GET THAT BEHIND US NEXT WEEK, THIS COMING WEEK, WE WILL BE CONTINUING TO WORK AND MOVE FORWARD, AND THEY ARE THE KEY MEMBERS OF THAT TRANSITION TEAM AT THIS POINT. WE'LL HAVE KEY ANNOUNCEMENTS IN COMING DAYS AND WILL ANNOUNCE THINGS SOON.

>> WHAT DOES THE TEAM NEED TO GET FROM CITY HALL AS IT PREPARES TO TAKE OFFICE, AND HAS CITY HALL BEEN FORTHCOMING WITH INFORMATION?

>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION, AND I WILL JUST ADD ON TO MY STATEMENT A MOMENT AGO. IN ADDITION, WE'VE HAD THIS BUDGET TEAM THAT'S BEEN IN PLACE FOR A NUMBER OF WEEKS NOW, EIGHT, NOW NINE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE -- THAT SPAN THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM AND HAVE BEEN GIVING INPUT INTO THE CAMPAIGN AND ON THE BUDGET AND ARE WORKING ON THE BUDGET, AND I'M HAPPY TO SAY MAYOR KISS HAS DIRECTED A C.A. O. TO SUBMIT INFORMATION TO THE TRANSITION TEAM, AND WE'RE STARTING TO DIG INTO THAT. BEYOND THAT, MAYOR KISS -- HE CALLED ME MOMENTS AFTER THE RESULTS CAME IN, VERY GENEROUSLY AND GRACIOUSLY AND OFFERED HIS HELP, AND WE'RE GOING TO SIT DOWN IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS WELL AND CONTINUE THAT PROCESS OF SHARING INFORMATION.

>> YOU DID NOT GET AN ENDORSEMENT FROM THE POLICE UNION. THEY WENT WITH KURT WRIGHT. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO REACH OUT TO THE BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT?

>> WELL, I'M HAPPY TO SAY ONE OF THE FIRST EMAILS I GOT WAS FROM JOHN FEDERICO, THE HEAD OF THE POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, AND HE REACHED OUT TO OFFER HIS HELP, AND I CERTAINLY -- I SAID IT WEEKS AGO WHEN THEY DID ENDORSE KURT -- I INTEND TO -- OF COURSE, WHO THEY ENDORSE DURING AN ELECTION DOESN'T MATTER. THEY ARE KEY, AND POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS AND EVERY OTHER PUBLIC EMPLOYEE TO KNOW THAT THE MAYOR'S OFFICE CARES ABOUT THEM AND THAT WE'RE ALL MEMBERS OF THE SAME TEAM, AND THAT I WANT TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE DURING THE TOP TO BOTTOM REVIEW I WILL BE DOING, I'VE ALREADY GOTTEN IDEAS FROM PEOPLE AT ALL LEVELS OF THE CITY ORGANIZATION, AND WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE CAMPAIGN IS PAST, WE'RE COMING TOGETHER AS A CITY, AS FAR AS EMPLOYEES, AND PEOPLE ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM.

>> I UNDERSTAND THEY DIDN'T ENDORSE YOU BECAUSE OF EXPERIENCE. YOU DO COME AT THIS WITH NO EXPERIENCE, WHICH WAS AN ASSET ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO OVERCOME THAT?

>> WELL, I NEVER REALLY AGREED WITH THAT IDEA. I HAD WORKED IN DIFFERENT ROLES IN GOVERNMENT AND IN CAMPAIGNS, REALLY QUITE A FEW DIFFERENT ROLES, FOR U.S. SENATORS, A SHORT STINT WITH U.S. HUD AS A POLICY FELLOW, THE HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, AND CERTAINLY HAVE SERVED ON MANY -- I'VE BEEN ON CONGRESSMAN WELCH'S BUSINESS ADVISORY, AND MY NON-PROFIT SPECIFIC ROLES, HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF WATERFRONT ISSUES, HAVING SERVED ON THE ECO BOARD, AND MY TIME ON THE TURNING POINT CENTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AN ADDICTION RECOVERY GROUP. THAT SAID, THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN ELECTED OFFICE, I HAVE NOT RUN AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THE CITY OF BURLINGTON BEFORE, AND I'M VERY AWARE OF THAT, AND I'M GOING TO BE FILLING MY ADMINISTRATION WITH PEOPLE WITH COMPLEMENTARY SKILLS AND BACKGROUNDS, TO FILL IN THE GAPS IN MY EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE.

>> WHEN YOU TAKE OFFICE, YOU'RE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH A CITY COUNCIL THAT HAS ONE MORE PROGRESSIVE THAN IT HAS HAD, AND TWO REPUBLICANS. HOW MUCH COOPERATION OR RESISTANCE DO YOU EXPECT TO GET FROM THE COUNCIL FOR YOUR AGENDA?

>> WELL, I THINK IF PEOPLE LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF HAD WEEK'S ELECTION, THERE ARE SOME INTERESTING THINGS THERE. NEARLY 60% OF THE CITY DID VOTE FOR CHANGE AND A FRESH START, AND I WOULD IMAGINE AND EXPECT THAT THAT'S SIGNIFICANT. I THINK THERE'S SOME CLEAR, YOU KNOW -- I THINK THERE IS A CLEAR MANDATE FOR SOME CHANGE, AND I EXPECT THE CITY COUNCIL IS AWARE OF THAT AND AGREES WITH THAT. IN ADDITION, IF YOU LOOK, FOR EXAMPLE, IN WARDS TWO AND THREE, YOU SEE THAT, CLEARLY, MANY PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR PROGRESSIVE CITY COUNSELORS ALSO VOTED FOR THE MIRO CAMPAIGN, AND I THINK THAT'S A CONFIRMATION OF SOMETHING I'VE STATED FOR A LONG TIME, THAT MY CAMPAIGN -- I AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND THIS CAMPAIGN WAS IN LINE WITH PROGRESSIVE VALUES AND IN LINE WITH MANY -- MUCH OF THE PROGRESS OF THE LAST 30 YEARS. SO I DO EXPECT -- AND THERE ARE SIMILAR THINGS ABOUT THE NEW NORTH END. I DID NOT WIN IN THE NEW NORTH END, BUT WE DID VERY WELL OUT THERE, AND I THINK THAT'S A SIGN THAT THERE'S A LOT OF AGREEMENT AND CONFIDENCE IN THE NEW NORTH END. PEOPLE WHO VOTED VOTED FOR PERHAPS A REPUBLICAN CITY COUNCIL AND ALSO VOTED FOR ME. I INTEND TO BE A MAYOR FOR THE WHOLE CITY, NORTH AND SOUTH, RIGHT AND LEFT, AND THAT'S THE BENEFIT OF HAVING A CLEAR, DECISIVE VICTORY, IT'S CLEAR -- I EXPECT TO BE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY COUNSELORS ON MANY ISSUES, EARLY ON, AT LEAST.

>> ONE ISSUE IS A POTENTIAL TAX INCREASE THAT COULD BE NECESSARY TO BALANCE THE BUDGET. HOW LONG BEFORE YOU'LL KNOW IF SUCH AN INCREASE WOULD REMAIN NECESSARY?

>> I REMAIN OPTIMISTIC THAT THAT WON'T BE NECESSARY. WE THOUGHT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO FULLY COMMIT TO THAT DURING THE ELECTION PERIOD IN THAT THERE WAS A VERY LIMITED AMOUNT OF INFORMATION THAT HAD BEEN RELEASED FROM THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION TO THE CANDIDATES. MAYOR KISS MADE A DECISION NOT TO RELEASE INFORMATION BEYOND THE THREE-PAGE MEMO, SO WE'RE JUST NOW GETTING THE DRAFTS OF THE 2013 BUDGET INFORMATION TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF REALLY EVALUATING THAT DIRECTLY, IN DETAIL. MY UNDERSTANDING IS, YOU KNOW, I THINK IN ANTICIPATION THAT A NEW ADMINISTRATION WILL BE COMING IN AND DOING ITS OWN REVIEW. VERY LITTLE OF THE THINGS THAT TYPICALLY HAPPEN DURING THE BUDGET PROCESS HAVE NOT HAPPENED AT THIS POINT IN THE YEAR, SO THERE IS REAL WORK TO BE DONE BEFORE WE CAN MAKE A DECISION ON THAT. I REMAIN CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO FIND A WAY TO AVOID A TAX INCREASE AND AVOID CUTS TO ESSENTIAL FIRE AND POLICE SERVICES.

>> A BRIEF BREAK, AND WE'LL

>> WELCOME BACK. WE CONTINUE TO TALK WITH MIRO WEINBERGER, A DEMOCRAT WHO JUST WON TO BECOME MAYOR OF BURLINGTON. I'M SURE IT'S JUST SINKING IN.

>> YES. IT'S BEEN AN EXCITING FEW DAYS. IT'S QUITE WONDERFUL HOW THE CITY HAS RESPONDED. IT STARTED RIGHT AWAY. WE WERE WALKING UP AS A GROUP, AND GATHERING TO SEE THE RETURNS COME IN, MY FAMILY AND A FEW OTHER CLOSE FRIENDS, WE WALKED UP MAIN STREET TO GO TO THAT PARTY, AND PEOPLE WERE -- CARS DRIVING BY WERE HONKING ON THE STREETS. I THINK THERE IS A SENSE IN THE CITY THAT THIS IS A -- IT'S GOOD TO HAVE THIS ELECTION FINISHED, AND I APPRECIATE THE CONFIDENCE AND WELL WISHES I RECEIVED FROM MANY, MANY PEOPLE IN THE LAST FEW DAYS.

>> IN YOUR BACKGROUND, YOU ARE A DEVELOPER. DO YOU THINK IT'S TIME THERE IS A HOTEL ON THE WATERFRONT?

>> HERE'S WHAT I'M CLEAR ABOUT. I THINK THAT SECTION OF THE WATERFRONT BETWEEN ECHO AND THE FERRY DOCKS THAT IS INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS -- IT'S GOING TO BE A FOCUS OF MINE TO CHANGE THAT, TO RECLAIM THE WATERFRONT FROM THAT INDUSTRIAL HISTORY. THE PRIVATE LANDOWNER, WHO OWN THAT PROPERTY, ARE HERE TO DO THAT AS WELL, AND HAVE BEEN, WHAT I UNDERSTAND HAS BEEN LACKING, FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE IN RECENT YEARS, HAS BEEN A WILLING PARTNER IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE. I'M EXCITED ABOUT EXTENDING THE PUBLIC SPACE, THE BOARDWALK, THE NUMBER OF BOAT SLIPS FOR BOTH MOTORIZED AND NON-MOTORIZED, SO MORE VISITORS CAN COME TO THE WATERFRONT BY BOAT EVERY WEEKEND. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD LIKE TO COME AND CANNOT GET INTO THE MARINA. AND CERTAINLY ADDING SOME MARINA FACILITIES LIKE SHOPS, RESTAURANTS, SHOWER FACILITIES, PERHAPS SOME KIND OF STORE SERVING BOATERS. YOU KNOW, I'M OPEN TO THE IDEA OF A HOTEL. IT'S -- MY UNDERSTANDING FROM THE PEOPLE IS IT'S NOT CRITICAL TO THEIR PLANS. WHAT MATTERS TO ME, I THINK WE HAVE TO GET INTO A PLAN EFFORTS TO MAKE A CLEAR DECISION ON THAT. I THINK THERE IS A LOT THAT CAN BE DONE SHORT OF A HOTEL, THAT THERE IS A BROAD CONSENSUS GOING FORWARD.

>> WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE CITY GROWING, THERE ISN'T TOO MUCH SPACE. THAT WOULD MEAN GROWING UP. IS THAT PART OF THE VISION?

>> WELL, THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF MISCONCEPTION. MANY PEOPLE SAY BURLINGTON IS KIND OF BUILT OUT. THE ZONING COMMISSION OFFERS A DIFFERENT OPINION THERE. 15, ALMOST 20ERS OF THE DOWNTOWN IS CURRENTLY A SURFACE PARKING LOT. IN ADDITION, THERE IS ANOTHER 20% OR SO OF THE DOWNTOWN THAT IS UNDERUTILIZED IN THE SENSE THAT -- RITE AID, THAT'S A SUBURBAN BUILDING AND A SURFACE PARKING LOT THAT HAS BEEN PUT IN THE URBAN GRID. THAT COULD BE -- THERE COULD BE PEOPLE LIVING THERE, THERE COULD BE ADDITIONAL SHOPS ON THE GROUND FLOOR.

>> HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE THAT?

>> WELL, YOU HAVE, IN PART, A DIFFERENT ZONING AND REGULATORY SYSTEM THAN WE HAVE NOW, AND THAT'S WHAT THIS PLAN WOULD BE ABOUT. THE PROBLEM IN OUR CURRENT ORDINANCE WHICH ADDS IS THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF UNCERTAINTY AND UNPREDICTABILITY WITHIN THE CURRENT ORDINANCE. ALMOST ANY DEVELOPMENT OF ANY SIGNIFICANT SIZE NEEDS TO GO THROUGH A CONDITIONAL USE REVIEW, A SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS MADE BY THE DRB AND THE COURT SYSTEM HAS TO WHETHER OR NOT SOMETHING CAN BE BUILT. I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR BUILDERS AS WELL AS NEIGHBORS TO HAVE GREATER CLARITY AND CERTAINTY AS TO WHAT IS OR ISN'T ALLOWED ON THESE PARCELLS, AND I THINK THAT CERTAINTY WOULD LEAD TO MORE HOUSING IN THE DOWNTOWN AND WOULD LEAD TO MORE JOBS DOWNTOWN AS WELL.

>> MIRO, HOW MUCH SHOULD AFFORDABLE HOUSING BE A PART OF THAT PICTURE? SHOULD WE BE LOOKING TO PUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING DOWNTOWN, SHOULD IT BE GOING TO OTHER PARTS OF THE CITY? WHAT'S YOUR PLAN?

>> AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS CERTAINLY PART OF THE ANSWER, AND IT'S THE PART WE HAVE PROBABLY DONE BEST AS A CITY IN RECENT DECADES, AND I COME FROM THAT BACKGROUND. MOST OF THE WORK I HAVE DONE HAS BEEN IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND I CERTAINLY CONTINUE THAT RELATIONSHIP TO THE CITY AND THE REALLY QUITE EXCELLENT NON-PROFIT HOUSING ORGANIZATIONS THAT WE HAVE IN THE CITY THAT CONTINUES TO DEVELOP AND BUILD AND MAINTAIN AFFORDABLE HOUSING. AS I SEE THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUE, THOUGH, IT'S NOT JUST -- THE KEY TO AFFORDABILITY IS TO DO MORE THAN JUST TO USE THE SUBSIDIES TO BUILD SUBSIDIZED AFFORDABLE HOUSING. THE WHOLE HOUSING MARKET IS INTERCONNECTED, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT HAVE THE LEAST MEANS IS THAT THERE IS NOT -- THERE IS A LACK OF HOUSING AT ALL INCOME LEVELS. ONE OF THE ADVOCATES OF THIS IS RITA MARKOLY, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR COT. SHE CAME OUT AS A STRONG SUPPORTER FOR THOSE 25 MODERATE INCOME UNITS HAD A DIRECT IMPACT ON THE CHILDREN SHE WAS TRYING TO SERVE IN HOMELESS SHELTERS. THE POINT OF MY HOUSING PLAN HAS BEEN TO KEEP DOING WELL WHAT WE DO CURRENTLY. THE SUBSIDIZED, AFFORDABLE AREA, BUT WE'RE ALSO GOING TO PUSH FOR ADDITIONAL STUDENT HOUSING ON OR NEAR THE CAMPUS, AND KEEP DISCUSSING THE REGULATORY GROUP TO ALLOW MARKET-RATE HOUSING.

>> WILL YOU STEP BACK NOW THAT YOU'RE MAYOR?

>> I'LL BE STEPPING AWAY FROM THE HARLAN GROUP IN TERMS OF ANY DAY TODAY MANAGERIAL ROLE. I WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE A MINORITY INTEREST IN THAT PROPERTY ON NORTH AVENUE, I EXPECT. I WILL NOT HAVE ANY -- WHERE THAT IS, IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES A CONFLICT QUITE UNLIKELY IS THAT THAT PROJECT REALLY HAS BEEN PERMANENT ALREADY. THAT PROJECT HAS BEEN IN THE PERMITTING PROCESS FOR YEARS AND YEARS, IT'S -- ALMOST ALL OF THE PERMITS AND APPROVALS THAT I NEEDED FROM THE CITY HAVE BEEN SECURED. SHOULD SOMEHOW THAT PROJECT COME IN ANYWAY -- INTERACT WITH THE MAYOR'S OFFICE I'LL RECUSE MYSELF.

>> WHEN WILL THE AIRPORT GET A NEW DIRECTOR?

>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. THAT'S A PRIORITY OF MINE TO FILL THAT POSITION QUICKLY.

>> WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG? WAS IT IN LIMBO WAITING FOR THE ELECTION?

>> IN A SENSE, IT WAS. I EXPECT YOU RECALL THERE WAS AN EFFORT TO FILL THAT POSITION WHEN BRIAN SEARLES LEFT. THAT PROCESS DID NOT GO WELL. THE MAYOR'S SELECTED CANDIDATE RAN INTO TROUBLE BEFORE HE WAS CONFIRMED BY THE CITY COUNCIL, AND IT WAS -- ONCE THE COMMISSION AND THE COUNTILE AND THE MAYOR HAD GONE THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE, AND THE DECISION WAS MADE, SINCE IT WAS CLEAR THE ELECTION WAS NOT THAT FAR OFF AT THAT POINT, IT HAPPENED OVER THE COURSE OF LAST SUMMER AND EARLY FALL, THE DECISION WAS MADE NOT TO FILL THAT POSITION WITH A PERMANENT DIRECTOR UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION. THERE IS AN INTERIM DIRECTOR WHO HAS BEEN DOING A GOOD JOB AND MOVING THE INSTITUTION FORWARD IN RECENT MONTHS. I THINK EVERYONE AGREES IT'S NOW TIME TO FILL THAT PERMANENT POSITION.

>> WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM MAYOR KISS.

>> WITH RESPECT TO THAT POSITION?

>> WITH RESPECT TO THAT POSITION.

>> WELL, I -- WELL, I MEAN, THERE WAS A NUMBER OF US THAT CAME OUT OF -- A NUMBER OF LESSONS THAT CAME OUT OF THAT. ONE, I THINK -- INTERESTING THING THAT MAYOR KISS DID WITH THAT POSITION AND OTHER POSITIONS WAS MAKE SURE HE TOOK INPUT FROM A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HIS APPOINTMENT, AND I THINK THAT WAS AN INTERESTING MODLE AND ONE THAT I WILL USE AT TIMES. THE -- WHERE THAT PROCESS STARTED TO GO OFF THE RAILS IS THERE WAS CONCERN ABOUT THAT CANDIDATE'S BACKGROUND, AND THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH DUE DILIGENCE DONE OUT OF THE MAYOR'S OFFICE. BASICALLY THERES WERE A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE PEOPLE INVOLVED TO DO A BACKGROUND CHECK, AND THAT WAS NOT DONE. I CERTAINLY WON'T MAKE THAT MISTAKE.

>> WHAT CHANGES, IF ANY, WOULD YOU BE LOOKING TO DO IN THE COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE, WHICH IS DE -- DEPENDENT ON FEDERAL FUNDING?

>> WELL, THERE ARE CHANGES COMING TO CEDO, WHETHER WE WANT IT OR NOT. THE FEDERAL CUTBACKS IN THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOC GRANT PROGRAM HAVE REALLY BEEN QUITE SIGNIFICANT, AND LAST YEAR'S BUDGET THERE WAS $800,000 COMING FROM THE FEDERAL BUDGET, $800,000 IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOC GRANTS COMING TO THE CITY, AND PART OF THAT WAS USED TO FUND PART OF CEDO. THAT HAS NOW BEEN REDUCED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET THERE WILL BE ONLY ABOUT $600,000, AND I MAY CONTINUE IT IN FUTURE YEARS. THE LESSON FROM THAT, AND SOMETHING I KNOW THE CURRENT MAYOR WAS ALREADY STARTING TO THINK ABOUT AND I INTEND TO FOCUS ON AS WELL IS FINDING A NEW WAY TO FUND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN THIS COMMUNITY. IT'S SOMEWHAT UNUSUAL THE WAY BURLINGTON HAS DONE IT IN THE PAST, USING THAT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOC GRANT MONEY, AND IT'S CLEAR IF WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MAKE THE INVESTMENTS IN SOCIAL SERVICES AND OTHER PRAMSZ AROUND TOWN THAT WE HAVE IN THE PAST, WE NEED TO FIND A NEW WAY TO FUND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THAT'S ONE FORCED CHANGE, WHETHER WE WANT IT OR NOT. BEYOND THAT -- AND I DON'T HAVE A FINAL ANSWER FOR YOU ON THIS YET. AGAIN, WE HAVE DONE A LITTLE BIT OF TRANSITIONAL PLANNING. IT WOULD BE PRESUM SHUUS TO DO TOO -- PRECEMENTUOUS TO DO TOO MUCH. WE'LL BE LOOKING AT WHAT RESTRUCTURING WILL NEED TO MAKE IT -- I'VE BEEN PRETTY CLEAR THAT I INTEND TO BE A MAYOR WHO GETS THINGS DONE, GET THESE PROJECTS COMPLETE, BUILT, AND LOOK BROADLY AT WHETHER THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL RESTRUCTURING THAT WOULD NEED TO HAPPEN THERE.

>> DO YOU THINK YOU WILL MAINTAIN CEDO AT THE CURRENT LEVEL?

>> THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE JOB CUT. BEYOND THAT, I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER FOR YOU.

>> WE'RE OUT OF TIME. MIRO WEINBERGER, AND ANDY BROMAGE WITH "SEVEN DAYS". IF PEOPLE HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, I'M SURE THE NEW MAYOR WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY. TAKE CARE.

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