Burlington mayor gives council ultimatum on police chief search

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 12:54 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:22 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger Monday gave Progressives on the City Council an ultimatum when it comes to filling the open spot for police chief.

Weinberger this month paused the search for a top cop after getting only 21 applications. The mayor has criticized the Progressive-leaning council for scaring candidates away and on Monday he offered them two options.

Option one is for the council to create the necessary conditions to attract top candidates. That includes boosting the salary for the position; working with an expert recruiter; creating a civilian recruiter position and resource recruitment officers; creating a civilian public information officer; and retaining the police chief’s leadership over officer discipline.

Option two, Weinberger says, is to consider two strong applicants. “My sense is either of these two candidates can make a good chief and I will move forward with that if the council doesn’t take the steps that are needed,” he said.

But Progressives say they don’t want to meet those demands and instead want to keep the search open. “The reason why I’m very frustrated is because we are collectively doing the city a disservice, in my opinion, by not progressing with the process of the search,” said Jane Stromberg/P-Ward 8.

The mayor says he’ll use his authority to make a hire if there is no action by the council by December 13th, although he added he prefers to have the full support of the council.

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