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YCQM March 4, 2018

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 3, 2018 at 5:53 PM EST
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>> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS

"YOU CAN QUOTE ME.">> Darren: GOOD MORNING,

EVERYONE.

I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST YOU.

FEDERAL TAX CHANGES HITTING SOME

VERMONT FAMILIES HARD.

THE STATE'S TAX COMMISSIONER

JOINS ME IN JUST A BIT.

>>> ALSO, CAMPAIGN COUNTDOWN IN

THE BURLINGTON MAYOR'S RACE.

MEET THE CANDIDATES MAKING THEIR

FINAL PUSH BEFORE TOWN MEETING

DAY.

>>> AND PROGRESS REPORT ON THE

F-35, PLUS CONTROVERSY

SURROUNDING A BALLOT QUESTION

ABOUT THE FIGHTER JET.

THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS

MORNING.

VERMONTERS WILL GET TO SEE AND

HEAR AN F-35 FIGHTER JET SOME

TIME THIS YEAR.

THE GUARD SAYS IT'S BRINGING AT

LEAST ONE OR TWO HERE FOR

TRAINING PURPOSES AND TO SHOW

ITS MEMBERS THE PLANE THAT WILL

ARRIVE FULL-TIME IN 18 MONTHS.

WE'RE TOLD THE MEDIA WILL ALSO

GET A LOOK AT THE PLANE, SO

WE'LL SEE JUST HOW LOUD IT IS.

IT'S NOT CLEAR WHEN THAT DEMO

WILL HAPPEN YET, BUT SOME TIME

IN 2018.

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES AT THE

GUARD TO GET READY FOR THE 18

FIGHTER JETS THAT WILL BE BASED

AT THE BURLINGTON AIRPORT, A

DECISION THAT HAS SPARKED NEARLY

A DECADE OF DEBATE.

>> THE AIR FORCE MADE HER

DECISION AND AS YOU CAN SEE, WE

PUT A LOT OF EFFORTS TOWARDS

THAT DECISION, SO THE PROUD MEN

AND WOMEN OF THE VERMONT AIR

NATIONAL GUARD ARE GETTING READY

FOR THE F-35.

THE JET IS 18 MONTHS AWAY FROM

COMING HERE AND THAT'S OUR SOLE

FOCUS.

AND SO IN OUR MIND, WE ARE READY

FOR THE F-35 IN BURLINGTON,

VERMONT.

>> Darren: BUT OPPONENTS ARE NOT

GIVING UP THE FIGHT.

THEY PUSHED FOR A NONBINDING

QUESTION ON THE MARCH BALLOT,

QUESTIONING CANCELLATION OF F-35

BASING AT THE BURLINGTON

AIRPORT.

THEY GOT ENOUGH SIGNATURES TO

PUT IT TO A VOTE ON TOWN MEETING

DAY ON TUESDAY.

HERE'S HOW IT READS.

SHALL WE, THE VOTERS OF THE CITY

OF BURLINGTON, AS PART OF OUR

STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE MEN AND

WOMEN OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL

GUARD AND ESPECIALLY THEIR

MISSION TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS

OF VERMONT, ADVISE THE CITY

COUNCIL TO, ONE, REQUEST THE

CANCELLATION OF THE PLANNED

BASING OF THE F-35 AT BURLINGTON

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND TWO,

REQUEST INSTEAD, LOW-NOISE LEVEL

EQUIPMENT WITH A PROVEN HIGH

SAFETY RECORD APPROPRIATE FOR A

DENSELY POPULATED AREA?

MEMBERS OF THE VERMONT GUARD SAY

THE QUESTION COULD TRICK VOTERS.

>> WHAT IN THAT QUESTION

SPECIFICALLY DO YOU CHARACTERIZE

AS PERHAPS MISLEADING TO THE

VOTERS IN BURLINGTON?

WHAT IN THAT BALLOT QUESTION IS

MISLEADING AND DOES IT REALLY

MATTER IF THIS IS A NONBINDING

QUESTION?

>> OKAY.

GREAT QUESTION THERE.

THE FIRST THING IT SAYS IT'S IN

SUPPORT OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL

GUARD.

NO ONE HAS ASKED US WHETHER IT'S

SUPPORTING US OR NOT, SO FROM

THAT PERSPECTIVE, I THINK THAT'S

MISLEADING.

ALSO THINK THERE'S SOME

INACCURACIES, MAKING IT SOUND

LIKE -- AND WE TALKED ABOUT THIS

FEBRUARY 9th AT THE PRESS

CONFERENCE, YOU CAN PICK AND

CHOOSE WHATEVER AIRCRAFT YOU

WANT HERE ON ANY DAY.

THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS.

IT TAKES A NUMBER OF YEARS TO GO

THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND I'VE

SEEN IN THE PAPER THE C-130 AND

IT'S MENTIONED THAT THAT'S AN

ALTERNATIVE.

THE AIR FORCE IS ACTUALLY

LOOKING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER.

THERE'S A REPORT THEY PROVIDED

IN 2015 TO CONGRESS ABOUT HOW

THEY WANT TO REDUCE THE NUMBER

OF C-130s, SO IT'S NOT LIKE

THERE'S A BUNCH OF THEM OUT

THERE JUST WAITING FOR A PLACE

TO GO.

SO WE SEE THAT AS MISLEADING,

INACCURATE.

AS I SAID ON 9 FEBRUARY, COLONEL

HARDER ADDRESSED IT BEFORE THE

CITY COUNCIL IN JANUARY AND I'LL

GIVE HIM THE PODIUM IN JUST A

MINUTE IF HE WANTS TO REPEAT HIS

WORDS THEN.

THEN YOU ASK THE QUESTION, DOES

IT MATTER.

WELL, IT MATTERS TO THE VOTERS.

IF THEY'RE GOING TO SHOW

SUPPORT, WE SAY THAT IT'S

MISLEADING, IT'S INACCURATE, AND

TO US, A VOTE OF NOT IN SUPPORT

OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD.

>> Darren: CRITICS ALSO SAY THE

FIGHTER JET IS TOO LOUD, BUT THE

GUARD SAYS IT HAS A WAY TO

MITIGATE THAT, CHANGING ITS

FLIGHT PATH, ALTITUDE AND POWER

SETTING LIKE THEY DO WITH THE

F-16s AND THE GUARD WILL LIMIT

OPERATION DURING THE SUMMER

MONTHS BECAUSE WINDOWS ARE OPEN

AND PEOPLE ARE OUTSIDE.

>> THERE ARE MINOR DIFFERENCES

BETWEEN THE TWO AIRPLANES,

PARTICULARLY IN TONE AND PITCH.

BASICALLY THE SOUND CAN BE

MITIGATED BY THE WAY YOU FLY THE

AIRPLANE AND WE INTEND TO

CONTINUALLY MOVE FORWARD IN A

RESPONSIBLE WAY TO MITIGATE THE

NOISE TO THE MAX EXTENT WE

POSSIBLY CAN.

WE'VE DONE FOR IT YEARS AND

WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO IT IN THE

FUTURE.

>> WE REALIZE THAT OPERATING

FIGHTER AIRCRAFT, THERE'S AN

IMPACT, BUT WHAT I'M TRYING TO

SAY IS WE'RE ALWAYS GOING TO DO

THE BEST JOB WE CAN TO MITIGATE

IT THE BEST WAY WE CAN WITHIN

OUR OPERATION AND WE STILL HAVE

TO FLY JETS TO BE READY FOR

MISSION.

>> EVERYTHING I'VE HEARD AND

TALKED TO WITH PEOPLE, THEY'RE

NOT GOING TO NOTICE A

DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE AT THE

TWEEN THE F-35 AND THE F-16.

>> Darren: AND WHAT ABOUT

SAFETY?

OPPONENTS ARGUE THE F-35 DOES

NOT HAVE ENOUGH FLIGHT HOURS,

THAT IT HASN'T BEEN TESTED

ENOUGH, AND POINT TO NUMEROUS

REPORTS ABOUT PROBLEMS AND COST

OVERRUNS WITH THE PLANES.

SOME REPORTS HAVE THE PRICE TAG

OF EACH PLANE AT AROUND

$90 MILLION, BUT THE AIR GUARD

SAYS WHEN FIGHTER JETS LAND IN

VERMONT, ALL TESTING AND

TRAINING WILL BE DONE,

RENOVATIONS ON TEN BUILDINGS

WILL BE COMPLETE AT THE BASE AND

THE AIR GUARD'S MORE THAN 1100

MEMBERS WILL BE READY.

>> I'M NOT GOING TO GET IN AN

AIRPLANE THAT'S NOT SAFE TO FLY.

I MEAN, WHAT WE'VE JUST SHOWN IS

THAT AIRPLANE HAS BEEN FLYING

FOR 12 YEARS AND 120,000 HOURS

AND IT HAS NEVER CRASHED.

IMPERSONALLY NOT AWARE OF ANY --

I AM PERSONALLY NOT AWARE OF ANY

AIR FORCE AIRPLANE THAT CAN MAKE

THAT CLAIM, THAT IT HAS LASTED

THAT LONG WITHOUT CRASHING, SO

I'M VERY CONFIDENT IN THE SAFETY

RECORD OF THE F-35 AND LOOK

FORWARD TO ITS ARRIVAL.

>> Darren: BUT OPPONENTS SAY THE

F-35 SHOWS TOO DANGEROUS IN

STUDIES.

THEY SAY THAT IT'S NOT RIGHT FOR

DENSELY POPULATED AREAS, AND

THEY WORRY IT HASN'T, AGAIN,

BEEN TESTED ENOUGH, PUTTING

CHANCES OF CRASHING MUCH HIGHER.

HERE IS MY SITDOWN INTERVIEW

WITH JIMMY LEAS, AN OUTSPOKEN

CRITIC OF THE F-35.

ARE F PA OPPONENTS TRYING TO

MISLEAD VOTERS WITH THIS BALLOT

QUESTION?

>> Jimmy: ABSOLUTELY NOT.

WE SUPPORT THE GUARD AND WE WANT

THEM TO HAVE A MISSION IN

VERMONT.

WE JUST DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE

A MISSION THAT HARMS 6,600

PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE

NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND THE

AIRPORT.

AND THE BEST WAY TO HELP PROTECT

THOSE PEOPLE IS TO GET A MISSION

THAT DOESN'T HARM THEM.

IT'S THE MISSION OF THE AIR

GUARD, THEY PUT IT RIGHT ON THE

WEBSITE, THAT THEIR JOB, THEIR

MISSION IS TO PROTECT THE

CITIZENS OF VERMONT AND YOU

CAN'T PROTECT CITIZENS BY

HARMING THEM.

THIS PLANE, THE AIR FORCE, THE

BURLINGTON BOARD OF HEALTH, AND

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

ALL SAY THAT NOISE AT THIS LEVEL

IS HARMFUL, ESPECIALLY FOR

CHILDREN AND FOR THE ELDERLY.

SO WHY DON'T WE TAKE ADVANTAGE

OF THE FACT THAT THE AIR FORCE

HAS ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT THAT

WON'T HARM ANYONE?

20 OR MORE -- YOU KNOW, EVERY

STATE HAS AN AIR GUARD, SO AT

LEAST 20 OF THEM HAVE EQUIPMENT

THAT WOULDN'T HARM ANYONE.

IT'S NO NOISIER THAN ORDINARY

COMMERCIAL JETS.

THIS WOULD BE FINE.

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A BASE IN A

CITY -- AND THERE ARE THREE

CITIES INVOLVED HERE AND SEVERAL

TOWNS.

THERE'S 125,000 PEOPLE LIVING

WITHIN FIVE OR SIX MILES OF THE

AIRPORT.

WHY NOT GET EQUIPMENT THAT'S

COMPATIBLE WITH THE LOCATION IN

A CITY?

>> Darren: THIS IS NONBINDING,

SO WHAT'S THE POINT OF TRYING TO

GET A YES VOTE ON THIS?

>> Jimmy: OH, IT'S GOING TO HAVE

ENORMOUS POLITICAL EFFECT, JUST

AS ALL TOWN MEETING VOTES HAVE

IN VERMONT.

I THINK THE AIR FORCE WILL BE

VERY RESPONSIVE TO A VOTE BY THE

PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON.

BURLINGTON OWNS THE AIRPORT.

IF THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON SAY

THEY WANT ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT

FOR THE AIR GUARD THAT DOESN'T

HARM CHILDREN, THAT DOESN'T HARM

THE ELDERLY, I THINK THE AIR

FORCE, THE UNITED STATES AIR

FORCE IS GOING TO BE VERY QUICK

TO RESPOND AND I THINK THE

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN VERMONT

WILL BE QUICK TO RESPOND.

I DON'T THINK ANYONE REALLY

WANTS TO OPPOSE A CITIZEN BALLOT

ITEM IF WE VOTE FOR IT.

I THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE A

VERY LARGE VOTE IN FAVOR, A YES

VOTE.

IT SEEMS LIKE THE LEADERSHIP OF

THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD IS IN

DENIAL, BUT THAT'S WHY WE'RE

APPEALING TO THE MEN AND WOMEN

IN THE GUARD.

WE WANT THEM TO JOIN US IN

SPEAKING OUT AND IN VOTING FOR

ARTICLE 6 ON THE BURLINGTON

BALLOT TO GET EQUIPMENT THAT

EVERYONE AGREES IS GOING TO BE

SAFE FOR THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

THE F-16 IS ITSELF TOO NOISY TO

BE IN A CITY LOCATION.

WE'VE ALREADY HAD 200 HOMES

DEMOLISHED BECAUSE OF F-16

NOISE.

THAT'S 200 HOMES TOO MANY.

WHAT LIMITS JOBS IN CHITTENDEN

COUNTY IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING,

AND YOU CAN'T PUT -- NOW WITH

THE F-35 -- 3,000 HOMES IN A

NOISE ZONE THAT'S GOING TO MAKE

THOSE HOMES VERY UNDESIRABLE.

NO MORE HOMES ARE GOING TO BE

DEMOLISHED.

THEY'RE ALL GOING TO BE IN AN

UNFAVORABLE AND UNWANTED NOISE

ZONE.

THIS ISN'T GOOD FOR JOBS, IT

ISN'T GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY, IT

ISN'T GOOD FOR CHILDREN, IT

ISN'T GOOD FOR ADULTS WHO HAVE

HEART PROBLEMS.

THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS TO

VOTE TO CANCEL THE F-35, VOTE TO

REQUEST OTHER EQUIPMENT LIKE

OTHER STATE AIR GUARDS ALREADY

HAVE, THAT'S REALLY POSITIVE FOR

THE LOCATION IN A CITY

ENVIRONMENT.

>> Darren: HAVE YOU HEARD ONE OF

THESE YOURSELF IN PERSON?

>> Jimmy: NO, I HAVE NOT, BUT I

HAVE HEARD THE F-16 AND THAT IS

LOUD ENOUGH.

>> Darren: THE GUARD ARGUES

REQUESTING ANOTHER PLANE INSTEAD

OF THE F-35 IS NOT AN OPTION,

SAYING, QUOTE, IT'S SIMPLY NOT

HOW IT WORKS.

AND THE GUARD IS HOW GETTING

SUPPORT FROM BUSINESS LEADERS IN

VERMONT.

THE GREATER BURLINGTON

INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION JUST

RELEASED A NEW STUDY ON THE

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE VERMONT

NATIONAL GUARD AND THE PRESIDENT

OF THAT ORGANIZATION, FRANK

CIOFFI, JOINS ME NOW.

GOOD MORNING TO YOU.

>> Cioffi: GOOD MORNING, DARREN.

>> Darren: DID THEY DO THE

ECONOMIC STUDY IN RESPONSE TO

THE BALLOT QUESTION?

>> Cioffi: ACTUALLY, WE DIDN'T.

WE WANTED TO UPDATE OUR 2012

STUDY WE DID OF THE AIR GUARD

AND WHEN WE FIRST COMMENCED THE

PROJECT, WE WANTED TO LOOK AT

THE ARMY GUARD AS WELL.

AND THEN WHEN WE HEARD ABOUT

THIS BALLOT ITEM, WE ACCELERATED

OUR CONTRACT WITH ART WOLFE TO

GET IT DONE AS QUICKLY AS WE

DID.

SO YOU CAN SEE OUR POLITICAL

TIMING WAS NOT GOOD BECAUSE IT

JUST CAME OUT.

WE JUST RELEASED IT YESTERDAY.

SO --

>> Darren: WHAT'S THE BIG

TAKEAWAY?

>> Cioffi: THE BIG TAKEAWAY IS

THERE ARE, BETWEEN THE ARMY

GUARD AND THE AIR GUARD, THERE

ARE 3,600 JOBS THERE AT THE ARMY

AND AIR GUARD, AND THE PAYROLLS

BETWEEN BOTH OF THEM ARE

$148 MILLION A YEAR.

THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURES THAT

THE AIR GUARD WILL BE DOING IN

THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS

WILL BE $100 MILLION IN ADDITION

TO THAT ANNUAL PAYROLL, AND THE

ARMY GUARD HAS ASKED FOR CAPITAL

EXPENDITURES OF $230 MILLION AS

WELL.

WE LOOK AT THIS BASE -- WE DO

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE

REGION AND UNFORTUNATELY IN

VERMONT, OUR FIRST JOB IS TO TRY

TO RETAIN THE EMPLOYERS THAT WE

HAVE, TO RETAIN THE JOBS THAT WE

HAVE, SO THIS IS ABOUT RETENTION

OF 1100 AIR GUARD JOBS.

THAT'S FIRST AND FOREMOST.

AND THE BENEFITS THAT ACCOMPANY

THEM, THE PAYROLL, THE CAPITAL

EXPENDITURES.

THE NEXT TAKEAWAY IS, IT

VERIFIED WHAT WE HAD COME UP

WITH IN 2013, THAT THE GUARD

PAYS FOR THE FIRE EMERGENCY AND

RESCUE SERVICES FOR THE AIRPORT

AND THE AIRPORT PAYS A DOLLAR A

YEAR FOR THAT.

THE ACTUAL COST OF IT IS ABOUT

$2.6 MILLION A YEAR.

SO IF THEY DID NOT PROVIDE THAT,

IF THEY WEREN'T THERE AND THEY

DIDN'T PROVIDE IT, THEN THE

AIRPORT WOULD HAVE TO COME UP

WITH $2.6 MILLION A YEAR IN

OPERATIONAL FUNDS AS PART OF

THEIR OPERATING BUDGET, AND THE

MONEY IS NOT THERE.

AND LASTLY, WE -- THIS JUST

VERIFIES THE FACT THAT THE F-35,

THE BASING OF THE F-35, WE

REALLY FEEL WOULD SECURE THE

PRESENCE OF THE GUARD HERE FOR

ANOTHER FOUR DECADES.

SO WE'VE HAD FIGHTER JETS HERE,

THE F-16 HAS BEEN FLYING HERE

FOR ALMOST A COUPLE DECADES,

ANYWAY, AND THAT PLANE HAS HAD A

40-YEAR LIFE SPAN.

SO WE EXPECT THE F-35 WILL HAVE

A SIMILAR LIFE SPAN.

>> Darren: YOU HEARD JIMMY LEAS,

AN OUTSPOKEN OPPONENT OF THE

F-35, SAYING THAT THIS IS GOING

TO BE BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, SO

CLEARLY, YOUR STUDY IS IN

DISAGREEMENT.

>> Cioffi: YEAH, WE NEED THIS,

WE NEED THESE JOBS.

THE AIRPORT NEEDS THE SERVICES,

AND THE ECONOMIC INDUCEMENT THAT

THIS INVESTMENT MAKES IN OUR

REGION AND THE STATE OF VERMONT

IS VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT.

>> Darren: DID YOU EVER GET AN

INDICATION FROM THE AIR FORCE

THAT THE BASE WOULD BE GOING

AWAY IF NOT FOR THE F-35?

BECAUSE OPPONENTS HAVE BEEN

ARGUING FOR ABOUT A DECADE NOW

THAT THAT JUST SIMPLY WOULDN'T

HAPPEN.

>> Cioffi: THAT SHIP HAS SAILED.

THE GOVERNMENT WENT THROUGH A

PRETTY EXTENSIVE FIVE-PLUS-YEAR

PROCESS ANALYZING WHERE THEY

WERE GOING TO BASE THE F-35.

BURLINGTON WAS IN COMPETITION

WITH FIVE OTHER SITES.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE WAS CHOSEN

AS THE FULL-TIME AIR FORCE BASE

AND BURLINGTON VERMONT AIR GUARD

WAS CHOSEN AS A GUARD BASE.

THEY THEN WENT THROUGH THE

FEDERAL PERMITTING PROCESS AND

THAT PROCESS IS OVER.

THE OPPONENTS HAVE CHALLENGED

THIS EVERY STEP ALONG THE WAY,

THEY TRIED TO BRING IT INTO THE

VERMONT PERMIT PROCESS.

THEY TRIED IT ADMINISTRATIVELY

AND WERE DENIED.

THEY TRIED THIS IS STATE COURT

SYSTEM AND LOST THERE.

THEY TOOK IT TO THE VERMONT

SUPREME COURT AND THEY LOST

THERE UNANIMOUSLY.

THEY THEN CHALLENGED THE FEDERAL

PERMITTING AND JUDGE CRAWFORD

HEARD IN U.S. FEDERAL COURT IN

RUTLAND, HE DENIED THEIR APPEAL.

THINK APPEALED TO THE SECOND

CIRCUIT COURT IN NEW YORK.

THEY WERE DENIED THERE.

THEY ASKED THE SECOND CIRCUIT

COURT TO RECONSIDER THAT APPEAL

AND THEY WERE DENIED YET AGAIN.

SO THE LEGAL PROCESS IS

BASICALLY OVER.

THE AIR GUARD IS, AS YOU'VE

HEARD, IS INVESTING RIGHT NOW

$38 MILLION IN PREPARATION FOR

THE F-35 TO BE HERE.

GUARD PILOTS ARE TRAINING,

MAINTENANCE CREWS ARE TRAINING.

THE BASING IS IN PROCESS.

>> Darren: FRANK CIOFFI, THANK

YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>>> STILL AHEAD, STOPPING A BIG

TAX HIKE.

A LOOK AT THE PLAN BY THE STATE.

AND NEXT, CANDIDATE PROFILES IN

THE RACE FOR BURLINGTON MAYOR.

>> Darren: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN

SIX YEARS, THE SPIRITED RACE FOR

BURLINGTON MAYOR.

INCUMBENT MIRO WEINBERGER IS

FACING TWO CANDIDATES WHO SAY

HE'S LOST TOUCH WITH AVERAGE

RESIDENTS.

ONE OF THOSE CANDIDATES IS

CARINA DRISCOLL.

SHE IS RUNNING AS AN

INDEPENDENT, BUT WAS ENDORSED BY

THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY.

SHE'S 43 AND WAS ONE OF THE

FOUNTAINERS OF THE VERMONT

WOODWORKING SCHOOL.

SHE'S A GRADUATE OF MONTANA

STATE AND MAY BE BEST KNOWN AS

THE STEPDAUGHTER OF SENATOR

BERNIE SANDERS.

SHE TALKED WITH IKEMAN DAVID

ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN.

>> Driscoll: I'M INVESTED IN THE

CITY AND I KNOW HOW TO BRING

PEOPLE TOGETHER AND I KNOW HOW

TO LEAD REAL CHANGE.

>> Reporter: A NATIVE OF

BURLINGTON, CARINA DRISCOLL IS A

BUSINESS OWNER WHO ALSO SERVED

ON THE SCHOOL BOARD, CITY

COUNCIL, AND SERVE IN THE STATE

LEGISLATURE.

IF ELECTED, SHE'D BE

BURLINGTON'S FIRST FEMALE MAYOR.

>> Driscoll: I ENTERED THE

CAMPAIGN BECAUSE I FELT STRONGLY

THAT WE WERE PUTTING PRIVATE

INTERESTS FIRST IN THE CITY AND

NOT THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE.

>> Reporter: SHE DID NOT ALWAYS

OPPOSE INCUMBENT DEMOCRAT MIRO

WEINBERGER.

SHE SPENT A YEAR ON HIS

TRANSITION TEAM WHEN HE WAS

FIRST ELECTED.

>> Driscoll: I STOPPED WORKING

FOR THE MAYOR BECAUSE IT WAS

CLEAR TO ME HIS PRIORITIES WERE

NOT THE SAME AS MINE.

>> Reporter: SHE SAYS HER

PRIORITIES INCLUDE DEVELOPING

MORE MIXED USE AFFORDABLE

HOUSING IN THE CITY.

SHE FEARS CURRENT RESIDENTS ARE

BEING FORGOTTEN WITH RECENT

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS THAT FOCUS

ON ACCOMMODATING NEW PEOPLE

MOVING HERE.

>> Driscoll: WE NEED TO BE

NEGOTIATING HARDER TO MAKE SURE

WE'RE ADDING UNITS PEOPLE CAN

AFFORD.

>> Reporter: SHE'S CAMPAIGNING

ON CREATING MORE COMMUNE

ENGAGEMENT WHILE MEETING THE

NEEDS OF SENIORS, YOUNG FAMILIES

AND THE NEW AMERICAN COMMUNITY

THAT CALLS BURLINGTON HOME.

>> Driscoll: MY PRIORITIES LIE

WITH MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE OF

ALL BACKGROUNDS AND CONSTITUENCY

GROUPS ARE ENGAGED IN ALL OF OUR

CONVERSATIONS TO BE THAT VIBRANT

CITY WE CLAIM TO BE.

>> Reporter: DRISCOLL POINTS TO

VALUABLE LESSON SHE LEARN FROM

HER MOTHER AND HER STEPDAD

BERNIE SANDERS.

>> Driscoll: ONE IS FOLLOWING

THEIR FOOTSTEPS AND ANOTHER IS

WALKING MY OWN PATH.

>> Reporter: IF HER PATH IS AS

THE NEW MAYOR OF BURLINGTON,

THAT'S FOR PEOPLE TO DECIDE ON

TOWN MEETING DAY ON TUESDAY.

>> Darren: BURLINGTON'S

INCUMBENT MAYOR IS ASKING QUEEN

CITY VOTERS FOR THREE MORE YEARS

IN OFFICE WHEN THEY GO TO THE

POLLS ON TUESDAY.

MIRO WEINBERGER AS DEMOCRAT, 48

YEARS OLD.

BEFORE BECOMING MAYOR, HE WAS A

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER.

HE HAS DEGREES FROM BOTH YALE

AND HARVARD.

HE'S SEEKING HIS THIRD

THREE-YEAR TERM IN OFFICE.

IKE TALKED WITH THE MAYOR ABOUT

HIS QUEST FOR RE-ELECTION.

>> OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS,

WE'VE COME SO FAR AS A CITY.

>> Reporter: MAYOR MIRO

WEINBERGER WAS FIRST ELECTED

MAYOR OF BURLINGTON IN 2012.

IF YOU ASK HIM, THE CITY IS IN A

MUCH BETTER MACE THAN IT WAS

WHEN HE FIRST TOOK OFFICE.

>> Weinberger: WE ARE IN A MUCH

BETTER PLACE TODAY.

>> Reporter: THE NATIVE

VERMONTER SAYS HE'S PROUD OF

GETTING THE CITY'S CREDIT RATING

BACK TO AN A, ALONG WITH

RESOLVING THE BURLINGTON TELECOM

SCANDAL AND MAKING PROGRESS ON

THE HOUSING SHORTAGE.

>> Weinberger: WE'VE PRESERVED

OR CREATED MORE THAN 300

PERMANENT AFFORDABLE HOMES FOR

LOW INCOME FAMILIES AND SENIORS.

WE HAVE MANY HUNDREDS MORE ON

TAP FOR THE FUTURE.

>> Reporter: WEINBERGER HOPES TO

CONTINUE OTHER PROJECTS HE

ALREADY STARTED, LIKE A VOTER

APPROVED PLAN TO IMPROVE

SIDEWALKS, STREETS AND WATER

LINES.

>> Weinberger: WE WILL CONTINUE

TO IMPLEMENT THAT ON MY WATCH

OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS.

>> Reporter: HE IS WANTS TO

FINISH OTHER PROJECTS HE

STARTING LIKE IMPROVING THE

CITY'S PARKS AND BIKE PATHS AND

BECOMING A NET-ZERO ENERGY CITY.

>> Weinberger: IN THE LAST THREE

YEARS, WE WERE THE FIRST CITY IN

THE COUNTRY TO SOURCE 100% OF

ITS ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE

SOURCES.

WE'RE DOUBLING DOWN ON THAT AND

WE'LL CONTINUE TO BE A LEADER ON

THE ENVIRONMENT OVER THE NEXT

THREE YEARS.

>> Reporter: HIS CRITICS SAY HE

WAS FAVORED BIG DEVELOPMENT

PROJECTS, LIKE THE REDEVELOPMENT

OF THE TOWN CENTER MALL OVER THE

NEEDS OF THE AVERAGE CITIZENS.

THE MAYOR DEFENDS THOSE PROJECTS

AS CRITICAL TO THE CITY'S

ECONOMIC HEALTH.

>> Weinberger: REFLECTING ON

WHERE WE WERE VERSUS WHERE WE

ARE NOW, WE WERE ON THE CUSP OF

HAVING HUNDREDS OF OUR JOBS

LEAVING THE DOWNTOWN.

>> Reporter: WEINBERGER ASKS FOR

THREE MORE YEARS, BUT IT'S UP TO

THE PEOPLE OF BURLINGTON TO

DECIDE ON TUESDAY.

>> Darren: THERE'S A THIRD

CANDIDATE IN THE RACE.

WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO LINE UP AN

INTERVIEW WITH HIM FOR THESE

PROFILE PIECES, BUT AFTER

NUMEROUS EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS

TO HIM AND HIS CAMPAIGN, THEY

HAVE NOT MADE THE CANDIDATE

AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW.

AND TUNE IN TO CHANNEL 3 NEWS AT

6:00 TOMORROW NIGHT, EXPERT

ANALYSIS ON THE RACE.

THE NIGHT BEFORE VOTERS HEAD TO

THE POLLS.

>>> UP NEXT IN THIS BROADCAST, A

LOOK AT THE STATE'S PLAN TO DEAL

WITH A BIG TAX HIKE ON

VERMONTERS.

>> Darren: A PLAN TO SAVE

VERMONTERS $30 MILLION A YEAR BY

REFORMING THE STATE'S INCOME

TAX.

WITHOUT IT, VERMONTERS WOULD

FACE A BIG TAX HIKE BECAUSE OF

THE NEW FEDERAL TAX LAW.

POLITICAL REPORTER NEAL GOSWAMI

EXPLAINS WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.

>> Neal: STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE

FEDERAL TAX BILL WILL MEAN ABOUT

HALF OF VERMONT TAXPAYERS WILL

PAY $42 MILLION MORE IN INCOME

TAXES.

THE OTHER HALF OF VERMONTERS

WOULD SEE A $12 MILLION SAVINGS.

>> IF WE DO NOTHING, THE NET

IMPACT AS $30 MILLION INCREASE

ON VERMONTERS.

>> Neal: THAT'S BECAUSE V STATE

INCOME TAX IS LINKED TO THE

FEDERAL SYSTEM.

THE SCOTT ADMINISTRATION WANTS

TO DECOUPLE IT.

TAX COMMISSIONER KAJ SAMSON SAYS

HIS TEAM HAS DISSECTED THE

FEDERAL LAW'S IMPACT ON VERMONT

SINCE IT WAS SIGN.

>> Samson: FIRST UP WAS

UNDERSTAND WHAT THE IMPACT IS

AND NEXT STEP IS WHAT ARE WE

GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.

>> Neal: UNDER THE PLAN, THE

STATE WOULD SWITCH FROM USING

TAXABLE INCOME TO ADJUSTED GROSS

INCOME.

THAT WOULD GROW THE TAX BASE,

BUT RATES IN ALL FIVE INCOME

BRACKETS WOULD DROP.

>> Samson: IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT

WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO

RESPOND IN VERMONT.

>> Neal: THAT RESPONSE INCLUDES

ADDING A $4,000 EXEMPTION FOR

EACH DEPENDENT AND STATE-LEVEL

DEDUCTIONS OF 6,000 FOR SINGLE

FILERS, 12,000 FOR COUPLES, AND

9,000 FOR HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS.

A NEW 5% TAX CREDIT FOR

CHARITABLE GIVING WOULD ALSO BE

CREATED, TO ENCOURAGE VERMONTERS

TO CONTINUE DONATING.

THE TOTAL PACKAGE IS AIMED AT

KEEPING TAXES LEVELED.

HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRWOMAN

JANET ANSELL SAYS THE PLAN

APPEARS TO BE IN LINE WITH WHAT

LAWMAKERS WANT TO DO.

>> AS A CONCEPT, I LIKE THE IDEA

OF MOVING FURTHER UP AND DOING

ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME, MAKING IT

SIMPLER.

>> Neal: SENATE FINANCE

COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN ANN

CUMMINGS AGREES.

SHE SAYS THE STATE PLAN APPEARS

TO KEEP VERMONTERS' TAXES FROM

RISING.

>> I THINK THAT'S A GOOD THING

AND WE'LL DO THAT.

>> Neal: REPORTING IN

MONTPELIER, NEAL GOSWAMI,

CHANNEL 3 NEWS.

>> Darren: AND TAX COMMISSIONER

KAJ SAMSON JOINS ME NOW.

GOOD MORNING TO YOU.

>> Samson: GOOD MORNING.

>> Darren: WHAT SPECIFICALLY IN

THE FEDERAL TAX BILL PUT VERMONT

IN THIS SITUATION?

>> Samson: WE'RE ONE OF SEVEN OR

EIGHT STATES TIED TO FEDERAL

DEFINITIONS.

THE ONE THAT'S MOST RELEVANT ARE

THE STANDARD DEDUCTION AND

PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS.

THE PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS WENT TO

ZERO, SO THE MORE FOLKS IN YOUR

FAMILY, THE MORE YOU MAY SEE AN

INCREASE IN VERMONT TAX BECAUSE

THAT DEDUCTION HAS GONE TO ZERO.

>> Darren: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

SWITCH AND WHERE WE'RE IN THIS

PROCESS.

WE'RE GOING FROM WHAT TO WHAT?

EXPLAIN TO FOLKS WHAT IT MEANS.

>> Samson: WE TOOK THE

OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT OUR TAX

SYSTEM, WHICH IS PRETTY COMPLEX

FOR A SMALL STATE, AND SAYING

HOW CAN WE HOLE VERMONTERS

HARMLESS FROM THIS 30 MILLION

ACCIDENTAL TAX HIKE AND CAN WE

ALSO USE AN OPPORTUNITY TO

SIMPLIFY THE SYSTEM.

WHAT WE'VE DONE IS DEFINE IN

VERMONT LAW, OR ATTEMPT TO

DEFINE THE VALUE OF THESE

DEDUCTIONS AND BE MORE CLOSELY

TIED TO FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS

INCOME.

THE RESULT THAT IS WE CAN ALSO

LOWER RATES A LITTLE BIT, BUT

KEEP TAX LIABILITIES ABOUT THE

SAME.

>> Darren: AND WHERE ARE WE IN

THIS PROCESS?

IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN?

>> Samson: IT LOOKS LIKE THE

LEGISLATURE AND THE MAJORITY IN

THE HOUSE AT LEAST IS IN FAVOR

OF THE CONCEPT WE'VE PUT

FORWARD.

JUST THIS MORNING, THEY PASSED

OUT H-911 WHICH INCORPORATES

MOST OF THE CHANGES THAT WE

ASKED FOR AND VERY BROADLY, IT

LOOKS TO BE WHAT THE GOVERNOR'S

PLAN WAS ABOUT.

WE HAVE SOME THINGS WE'RE

ANALYZING THERE TO MAKE SURE

THAT THE ADMINISTRATION CAN GO

ALONG WITH THAT.

OF CONCERN IS THAT IT'S BEEN

PAIRED WITH EDUCATION FINANCE

REFORM AND NEW INCOME TAX TO

EDUCATION, SO THAT'S SOMETHING

THAT WE REALLY ARE GOING TO NEED

TO LOOK CLOSER AT AND WILL

PROBABLY BE WANTING TO SPLIT

THAT FROM THE INCOME TAX REFORM,

WHICH IS A HOLD HARMLESS PACKAGE

AND THE EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM

IS A WHOLE OTHER TOPIC THAT I

THINK NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH

SEPARATELY.

>> Darren: AND WHAT ARE THE

CHANCES OF THOSE BEING SEPARATED

AND GETTING SOMETHING OUT SO

THAT TAXES DON'T GO UP?

>> Samson: I'M HORRIBLE AT

POLITICAL PROGNOSTICATION.

I HAVE NO IDEA.

WE'RE GOING TO WORK HARD FOR IT.

I THINK EVERYONE IS IN AGREEMENT

THAT WE DON'T WANT AN ACCIDENTAL

TAX HIKE ON VERMONT FAMILIES,

AND IT IS FOCUSED ON FAMILIES,

SO I THINK IF WE CAN SUCCEED IF

GETTING TOES REFORMS PASSED,

THERE HAS TO BE MORE DISCUSSION

AND DEBATE ON THE EDUCATION

FINANCING PIECE.

>> Darren: YOU MENTIONED THAT

JUST A HANDFUL OF STATES

CURRENTLY HAVE VERMONT'S

PROCESS.

IS THAT BECAUSE OF FEDERAL TAX

LAW OR WHY SO FEW?

>> Samson: I THINK A LOT OF

STATES, BECAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL

THINGS HAPPENING, YOU KNOW, KIND

OF TRICKLING DOWN TO THE STATE

SYSTEM WHEN YOU'RE REALLY TIED

SO CLOSELY TO THE FEDERAL, A LOT

OF STATES OVER THE YEARS HAVE

MOVED TO DEFINING THEIR OWN

DEDUCTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS AND

BEING MORE CLOSELY TIED TO A

NUMBER HIGHER UP ON THE FEDERAL

1040.

THOSE STATES ARE NOT SWEATING IT

RIGHT NOW AS FAR AS THE IMPACT

FROM FEDERAL CHANGES.

VERMONT CAN JOIN 20 OR 30 OTHER

STATES THAT WE'LL BE IN A SYSTEM

THAT MORE CLOSELY DEFINES YOUR

OWN VALUES IN VERMONT LAW RATHER

THAN RELYING ON THE FEDERAL

SYSTEM.

>> Darren: COMMISSIONER, THANK

YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.

THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT RIGHT

HERE ON CHANNEL 3.

HAVE A GOOD DAY.

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