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I can guarantee not one person in the Vermont National Guard has ever or will ever do anything to protect me or millions of other Americans. Nor the Delaware National Guard or Iowa National Guard. It's an appalling waste of money at the state level, the people employed enjoy the fun they have getting to drive and fly expensive toys for free while we pay them. I'm sorry Mr. Zuckerman felt the need to apologize, I don't think his remarks were nearly harsh enough.
No state guard did anything to protect anyone when this nation was attacked, yet everyone is supposed to remain silent and complacent while billions of dollars are spent on National Guards who spend money on fancy ads announcing how lucky we are to have them to protect us from the bogey men. A colossal waste of money and resources while our children are drowning in student loans, our bridges, roads and sidewalks crumble, and our health care system is a worldwide joke. But sure, keep believing Vermont's National Guard will save us in the event aliens attack.
I don't expect to agree with everything that this administration does, but it is a sad statement to hire people and allow them to relocate some place beside Burlington. The person who lives in Shelburne and claimed financial hardship because they spent too much money on their home? If someone spends too much money on home improvements then let them get a job any place but Burlington city government. Their financial acumen and common sense is obviously lacking. The guy commuting from New Hampshire? The excuses have gone beyond the realm of reason.
Excuses are given and accepted as if Burlington voters are complete morons, that is what I find most offensive. Having the ability to exempt is a good idea but it has been badly abused. It has been hard to support Mr. Obeng when he expects us all to accept his flimsy excuses. We have all gone to schools with classmates whose parents were principals and/or administrators. This is extremely common and completely non-problematic for the students or parents.
And this school board member was elected presumably with his voters knowing his positions. As much as I find them distasteful, if he can fight against the teacher's union, I support him. The teachers demands are completely out of control and voters need anyone who can help keep the teachers from bankrupting Burlington's taxpayers.
Beth Brodie, sincerest apologies and I am happy to issue a retraction and correction: One of Burlington's top teachers did not earn $109,000, she only earned $93,000 last year.
Mark Lade, spreading disinformation does not help your cause. The average teacher salary over $71,000/year is a fact that has been widely reported and fact checked and is undisputed by the teachers, their union, and the school board. That the top-tier teachers in Burlington earn over $100,000 again is a fact that has been widely reported and is undisputed. It is unfortunate that there are people like you who think simply stating untruths will gain traction among a uninformed segment of the population.
Still, the vast majority of people appreciate good reporters and facts. Teachers and their supporters like you cannot hide from the facts, which is why so many voters are fed up and have put an end to overly generous support. The school board is thankfully standing its ground and there is a large segment of the community who have their backs! Teachers earn vastly more than most of us and taxpayers are done coping with their endless greed!
Busting the teacher's union doesn't sound wrong to me, as a lifelong liberal and union supporter I have been driven to despise the teacher's union. I don't live in Burlington but I do live in Chittenden county and it seems to me Burlington has been very generous to the teachers over the years. The union will never stop asking for more, never say thank you, that's very generous and now we'll relax for a few years and enjoy our extraordinary salaries and benefits. It would be a lot easier for the school board to knuckle under to union demands and ignore the financial pain they cause to the community. These school board members are heroes! You could offer to pay teachers $200,000 with 24 weeks of vacation and retiring on half their salaries and next year the union would be saying that's not enough. Many Chittenden county school boards could take a lesson from Burlington's school board!