Burlington City Council tackles full agenda and community concerns

Burlington City Council tackles full agenda
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:15 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - On Monday, the Burlington City Council tackled a full agenda, as well as concerns from residents about safety.

After a string of recent shootings in Burlington, residents are calling on city councilors to examine safety within the city, specifically officer use of force.

“One of the reasons people feel compelled to do real deal de-escalation work, which mind you takes way longer than four minutes, is because we’re afraid BPD will find the crisis first,” said a Burlington resident named Jennifer.

However, councilors didn’t provide any response to their concerns. Instead, they moved on to their otherwise full agenda.

That included a resolution from the school board asking to put a $165 million bond for a new high school before voters in November.

“We needed a new high school 20 years ago and discovery of PCB toxins at the existing high school has clearly accelerated that need,” said Christopher Haessley, a Burlington resident and former Burlington School Board member.

After a lengthy executive session, councilors came to an agreement with the school board, ultimately deciding to put the question on the ballot.

If Burlingtonians vote in favor in November, the average homeowner will see a tax increase of about $800 annually.

“We’re going to need to commit together to avoid general borrowing until our target levels are back within our debt management policy,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.

Councilors also voted in favor of creating a cannabis control board. The group will establish guidelines for adult use of cannabis shops in the city.

Some health care providers attended to speak in favor of the measure.

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