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Town Meeting Day

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Colston's Write-in Bid Wins Him a Winooski City Council Seat

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 6:03 PM

Hal Colston and Kristine Lott - PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
  • Photo Illustration
  • Hal Colston and Kristine Lott
It's rare for a write-in candidate to win a seat on the Winooski City Council. But Hal Colston did just that on Tuesday.

"It was just kind of, wow," Colston said Wednesday. "It just ... reinforced for me that this is my time to step in and serve.”

The nonprofit exec got into the campaign in early February, after the deadline to get on the ballot had passed. He distributed stickers, posters and postcards to help people vote for him. When 537 people did, Colston claimed one of two council seats that were up for grabs.

Kristine Lott, who was listed on the ballot, won the other seat. She was the top vote-getter, with 607 ballots.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Burlington Voters Approve Anti-F-35 Ballot Initiative

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Burlington voters on Tuesday approved a ballot initiative meant to prevent the basing of F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport.

The advisory vote, which passed 6,482 to 5,237 in a preliminary tally, asks the Burlington City Council to request that federal officials cancel the basing decision.

The fighter jets, scheduled to arrive in 2019 and replace the 18 F-16s currently at the airport, have been a source of controversy for years. The Vermont Air National Guard was the first reserve unit in the country scheduled to receive the next-generation fighter jets, despite vocal opposition from environmentalists and local residents concerned about noise.

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Weinberger Secures Third Term As Burlington Mayor

Posted By , and on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 8:20 PM

Mayor Miro Weinberger gives his victory speech Tuesday. - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger gives his victory speech Tuesday.
Updated March 7, 2018.

Incumbent Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger sailed to a third term Tuesday night, capturing about 48 percent of the vote to defeat Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure.

Weinberger, a Democrat, tallied 5,749 votes, compared to 4,155 for the Progressive-backed Driscoll and 1,910 for Culcleasure, an independent, according to unofficial election results provided by the city. Driscoll earned 35 percent of the vote, while Culcleasure picked up 16 percent.

The 11,884 voters far surpassed turnout in 2015, when 7,865 voters cast ballots, and 2012, when 10,129 people showed up at the polls.

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Herring Wins Barre Mayoral Race With Pledge to Follow Lauzon Legacy

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 8:01 PM

Sue Higby and Lucas Herring
  • Sue Higby and Lucas Herring
City Councilor Lucas Herring was elected Barre's mayor on Tuesday and will replace Mayor Thom Lauzon, who is leaving office after his controversial 12-year tenure.

Herring, a Lauzon ally, bested City Councilor Sue Higby 785-561, preliminary tallies showed.

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Happy Town Meeting Day 2018, Vermont! Here's What's Happening

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 7:04 PM

It's results time! We'll be live blogging results, news and more this evening. Polls close at 7 p.m., and we'll share updates right here as they come in. Got a question or something to share? Tweet at @sevendaysvt or weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Race to the Finish: Burlington Mayoral Candidates Make Final Pitches

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 8:56 PM

Mayor Miro Weinberger, Infinite Culcleasure and Carina Driscoll at the Seven Days mayoral forum in February - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger, Infinite Culcleasure and Carina Driscoll at the Seven Days mayoral forum in February
Burlington's mayoral candidates are making their final appeals to voters during the final sprint before Town Meeting Day.

The flurry of last-minute campaigning includes debates for Democratic incumbent Miro Weinberger and his independent challengers, Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure.

Seven Days checked in to see how the Queen City mayoral hopefuls are spending their final seven days as candidates.

Weinberger found himself leaps and bounds ahead of his competitors in fundraising after Sunday's campaign finance filing deadline; he had raised $107,000, compared to $47, 000 for Driscoll and $10,500 for Culcleasure. But the six-year incumbent said he's not taking any chances.

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F-35 Burlington Ballot Question Spurs Debate, Influx of Ad Spending

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Ben Cohen speaking out against the F-35s - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Ben Cohen speaking out against the F-35s
Activists for and against the basing of F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport are gearing up — and opening their wallets — ahead of election day.

Members of Save Our Skies gathered 3,000 signatures on a petition to get a measure about the jets on the ballot and have since spent an estimated $15,000 advocating for a "yes" vote, according to lead organizer Jimmy Leas.

The question asks whether voters will "advise the City Council to: 1) request the cancellation of the planned basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport, and 2) request instead low-noise-level equipment with a proven high safety record appropriate for a densely populated area."

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Weinberger Rakes in Campaign Cash, Holds Fundraising Lead

Posted By on Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 10:27 AM

The mayoral candidates - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • The mayoral candidates
Burlington mayoral candidate Carina Driscoll earned a $1,000 campaign donation from her stepfather, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but it wasn't enough to match Mayor Miro Weinberger's hefty war chest.

The two-term incumbent tallied $107,000 by Saturday's campaign finance filing deadline, more than double the $46,000 Driscoll raised. Infinite Culcleasure has $10,500 in his campaign coffers, including $5,500 amassed since the last filing deadline three weeks ago.

Weinberger, meanwhile, raked in $26,000 during that same time period, mostly in larger donations. With 10 days remaining until the March 6 election, he's on pace to come close to — or even surpass — his 2012 fundraising total of $118,000.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

At Endorsement Event, Weinberger Supporters Rebut Rival Driscoll

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 2:37 PM

Mayor Miro Weinberger (second from right) - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger (second from right)
The battle of the endorsements is on in the Burlington mayoral campaign.

Mayor Miro Weinberger on Monday trotted out a dozen supporters to sing his praises, including Burlington city councilors, legislators and union employees. The incumbent Democratic candidate also rehashed the list of endorsements he's tallied during his reelection campaign and announced another key backer: Republican Kurt Wright, a longtime city councilor, state representative and one of Weinberger's opponents in the 2012 mayoral race.

The laudatory press conference Monday appeared to be a direct response to independent candidate Carina Driscoll's announcement last week that the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees had voted to back her campaign. The union represents more than 200 city employees, some of whom later pushed back against Driscoll's assertion that the endorsement was unanimous.

"I was extremely concerned when I read Carina's announcement characterizing her union support as 'the unanimous endorsement of the city's workers,' a statement that, as you can see here, is patently untrue," said City Councilor Joan Shannon (D-South District), a Weinberger supporter. "If there's one position in this city that's more important than the mayor, it's the one of city workers, collectively."

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Union Members Dispute Claim of 'Unanimous' Driscoll Endorsement

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 12:03 PM

Karl LaBounty shakes hands with Carina Driscoll - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Karl LaBounty shakes hands with Carina Driscoll
Members of a Burlington city employees union are pushing back after their president declared a "unanimous endorsement" of Burlington mayoral candidate Carina Driscoll Wednesday.

Several members of the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees told Seven Days that they do not support Driscoll — and never knew about the endorsement vote.

"There was never an email, never a discussion, none of the union members voted," said Ted Miles, a Burlington code enforcement inspector who is a member of the AFSCME union. Miles, who said he'd cast his Town Meeting Day ballot for incumbent Mayor Miro Weinberger, also questioned the critiques that other union members had for the current administration.

"It was definitely not any kind of unanimous endorsement by any stretch of the imagination," Miles said.

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