John Franco | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

John Franco 
Member since Apr 1, 2015



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Re: “Developer: CityPlace Burlington Project Will Be Redesigned

We were repeatedly told in 2017 that the scale of the project was essential to generating sufiicient property tax revenues to make the TIF financing work. That will certainty be a factor in the feasibility of any redesign.

Also for the record we settled all outstanding litigation concerning the property within 3 months of filing the zoning appeal in April of 2017 so that the project could go forward. Six months later, with the complicity of the City, Don Sinex gutted it with amendments made behnd our backs by reducing the floor space onsite parking by almost 40%. Since then we have been fighting only to hold them to their word enforce the benefit of our our bargain which, among other things, allowed Sinex to proceed with the project demolition.

If that's anti development, then it's too damned bad.

63 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by John Franco on 07/19/2019 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Burlington Council Candidate’s Discrimination Charge Disputed

One of the differences between journalism and litigation is that in litigation there are no unnamed sources you get to confront and cross-examine your accusers. At least Stacy Graczyk had the decency to go on the record. Your other sources should either have the decency to do the same when making accusations like this, or shut up.

You want to know what racial discrimination looks like in the 21st Century? This is what it looks like. The stereotypical perceptions of white people saying that the black guy wasn't up for the job, and was getting special treatment, and that the bar was lowered as the previous commentator has said. Other anonymous accusations that we have received have included that he had "highly problematic interactions with female co-workers" (sounds like Blazing Saddles) with issue ranging from flirting to requests that non-Muslim women adhere to Muslim dress codes, disrespectful interactions with female employees about job responsibilities, and a failure to heed mentoring about his interactions with white women. Then there are the mundane claims including that he was playing video games on the office computer. Get out the axe handles!

Worst of all, it will be white people who will be the final arbiters of this. Put yourself in Abdullah's shoes and ask yourself how you would feel.

- John Franco

5 likes, 54 dislikes
Posted by John Franco on 02/28/2017 at 10:15 AM

Re: “At Caucus, Burlington Dems Back Progressive Council Prez Knodell

The Mayor is young and has yet to learn that an important attribute the position is humility, not arrogance.

I am a member of the "radical fringe" which opposes the Mayor's monstrosity on the marketplace and am helping the opponents in their legal and regulatory challenges. a founding member of the progressive movement in Burlington. I stated my hijacking of the Progressive Party back on halloween Night in 1980 when Bernie decided 1980 to run for Mayor against Gordon Paquette in the 1981election I served under both Mayor Sanders and Mayor Clavelle in the City Attorney's Office and then worked with Bernie in Washington during his first term in Congress.

But despite my deep disagreement with Jane on the BTC development issue, I am supporting her. She is along time friend, colleague, client, and committed Progressive.

Sorry Mr. Mayor. What I am is a longtime socialist and proud of it.

You will come to learn that trash talk usually does not end well.

- John Franco

144 likes, 46 dislikes
Posted by John Franco on 01/13/2017 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Big Fish: Sorrell Nets Corren, but Did He Catch the Wrong Guy?

I'm sorry, I don't believe in litigating my cases in the newspapers, but the record needs to be set straight here. There was no "mistake" here because there was no violation. There was no violation because there was no contribution by the Vermont Democratic Party.

Last year the Legislature amended the campaign finance act. One of its purposes for doing so is set out in the Legislative Findings that

"(10) Exempting certain activities of political parties from the definition of what constitutes a contribution is important so as to not overly burden collective political activity. These activities, such as using the assistance of volunteers, preparing party candidate listings, and hosting certain campaign events, are part of a party's traditional role in assisting candidates to run for office. Moreover these exemptions help protect the right to associate in a political party."

The statute now states: "As used in the chapter, `contribution' shall not include any of the following:

(E) the use of a political party's...computers and similar equipment" and..

(L) costs paid by a political party in connection with a campaign event at which there are three or more candidates present."

Twenty four candidates attended these events, including the Governor.

Given the amount of time spent by the AG's staff pouring over this, I will leave it to you to wonder whether this is a bad-faith prosecution, or a simple case of legal malpractice.

- John Franco
Attorney for Dean Corren

14 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by John Franco on 04/01/2015 at 10:17 PM

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