Burlington City Council approves measure to ground F-35

Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT
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The Burlington City Council voted 11-1 Monday to approve a nonbinding measure urging Gov. Phil Scott to halt all F-35 training during the coronavirus pandemic.

Perri Freeman, P-Burlington City Council, sponsored the resolution and says her biggest concern is that more and more people are being exposed to the noise now that everyone is required to stay at home to combat the coronavirus. She says she's received a couple of dozen calls from concerned citizens who say they're distressed and anxious about the noise since the stay-at-home order began.

Freeman told WCAX News she revised the original resolution asking the governor to do two things: stop the F-35 flights and order the Guard to fully mobilize to deliver meals and medical equipment like ventilators during the crisis. The second request was later dropped from the resolution.

"People can have a variety of ideas around how the resources could be used at this time. I think that as a full council, it made sense for us to just focus the resolution as much as possible and then ask as much as possible so it was just very clear," Freeman said.

"Flying the F-35 is part of the Vermont Air National Guard's federal mission. We must continue training for readiness essential to respond to local and global defense. We will keep doing our jobs to help get Vermonters back to theirs," said Vermont National Guard Capt. Mikel Arcovitch.

Ali Dieng, I-Burlington City Council, was the only councilor to vote against the resolution.