Paco DeFrancis | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Paco DeFrancis 
Member since May 4, 2016

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Recent Comments

Re: “South Burlington Council Wanted a Say in Burlington Zoning Change

Burton's HQ is not a great place for higher ground but nor is an abandoned movie theater off Williston Road. A large for-profit music venue should be downtown, limiting potential for DUI's as patrons can walk to other establishments after the show. The problem is a music venue will never be able to afford 15,000 square feet of real estate downtown. (Flynn is a non-profit and it's mission is programming/education; entertainment is not their business's primary division).

I can't believe the SB city council are fear-mongering invalid, unsubstantiated hypothetical safety concerns as a last-ditch effort to keep Higher Ground in South Burlington. No, they simply want to keep their hands on Higher Ground's substantial gross receipts tax revenue from ticket and alcohol sales. Councilor Emery can whine as she wants. We all see through that and know her only concern is the loss of tax revenue.

17 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 06/19/2019 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Mentally Ill or Criminal? Dismissals of Murder Cases Spark Firestorm

Sarah Georges response to the Governors inquiry has been immature and childish at best and a massive public safety risk at worst.

60 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 06/12/2019 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Gov. Scott Asks Attorney General to Review Dismissals of Insanity Cases

"Sarah George is an independently elected prosecutor and its her case, and its not my role to second-guess elected prosecutors who are litigating their cases." - TJ Donovan

TJ had no issue with "second-guessing" the Bennington County's State's Attorney's decision to litigate/not litigate cases in that jurisdiction regarding Kiah Morris's allegations.

TJ is trying score cheap political points by attempting to make Phil's letter appear as some type of unprecedented request. It is encouraging to see Chief del Pozo and Mayor Weinberger have the courage to disregard the mountain partisan pressure from fellow Democrats and question SA George's findings; TJ's actions indicate he doesn't possess that courage.

54 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 06/07/2019 at 1:49 PM

Re: “142-Room Hotel Proposed for Burlington YMCA Building

Wow, what a great project! I love the bullishness of these investors. A welcome respite from the indications a softening real estate/investment climate illustrated by Brookfield's (lack of) action.

These plans provide great compromise for all parties. The architect skillfully incorporates the older building into the new design, which will excite the preservationists. The 142 rooms should compete well in the marketplace and help Burlington claw back some of the business (and rooms tax revenue) we've lost to South Burlington.

No need for anyone drag out the permitting process; quick approval is a no-brainer.

29 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/07/2019 at 10:36 AM

Re: “Violence Caught on Camera Leads to Brutality Claims Against Burlington Cops

In the first video one can obviously tell Sgt. Bellavance barely touches Mr. Meli, who then falls to the ground due to his extraordinary level of alcohol impairment and inability to stand upright and not because of any of Bellavance's actions. Shame on Chief del Pozo for disciplining Sgt. Bellevance when clearly no violation occurred.

The arresting officers did nothing wrong. del Pozo needs to focus on preventing the enabling of this type of public drunken belligerence the same way he needs stop enabling opiate use which is become so pervasive in our City.

33 likes, 204 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/03/2019 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Burlington Council Hears Updates on Kilburn Case, Mall Development

I'm also interested in learning more about Jeff Glassberg and his role. If he's supposed to "guide this project to completion" then he should probably be fired for incompetence as he's been in that position for 10 months now and there has been zero quantifiable progress.

What the hell is the guy doing? Taxpayers are still paying for his "service." The Mayor will claim the developer is paying paying Glassberg's "consulting fees" but that claim is wildly misleading as the money is coming from TIF....which is still taxpayer money and could otherwise be used on nearby infrastructure like the City Hall Park renovation (which has spiraled in cost to 3x more than what the Mayor initially quoted 2-3 years ago).

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/02/2019 at 12:03 AM

Re: “Burlington Council Hears Updates on Kilburn Case, Mall Development

The CityPlace project and most downtown/ONE census blocks are in Opportunity Zones. Governor Scott designated 25 census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Incomes in Vermont are much lower than urban areas so a greater proportion of our census blocks qualified compared to other states.

Other Opportunity Zones include the entire City of Winooski, much of South Burlington (including the new Market Street development), west-side of Pine Street (down to Flynn Ave/Oakledge), Rutland, Vergennes, Barre, etc.

https://accd.vermont.gov/OpportunityZones

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/01/2019 at 10:23 AM

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