Paco DeFrancis | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Paco DeFrancis 
Member since May 4, 2016

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Updated on January 6, 2017 at 11:59 AM


Recent Comments

Re: “Amid Retail Pressures, Another Vermont General Store Prepares to Close

My hometown general store - Dan and Whit's - still doing very well in rural Norwich, VT which is also on the connecticut river. In a good market under good management village stores can still thrive, though $15/hr minimum wage may sink even the most resilient ones.

In addition to no sales tax, New Hampshire doesn't have the arduous Act 250 permitting process, which has allowed big box stores to sprout along West Lebanon floodplains like spring wheat.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 12/12/2018 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Marketplace Futures: How Burlington Aims to Reorganize 'Downtown'

Re: The Oracle: Redmond's salary

The salaries for the Marketplace Department appear quite modest. It's certainly not the cash cow for politically-connected individuals that BED is. The latest publicly available information shows that Redmond had a base salary of $80,145 in FY17. The second-highest paid employee made a mere $65k. All other staffers were below $50k. That was two years ago; assuming 3.5% COL raises Redmon would be making ~$86k now. I would not say he is overcompensated; unlike Darren Springer, Mike Kanarick and many other Weinberger appointees at BED. Funny that all of Miro's buddies end up in $140k+ positions at BED rather than jobs at BCA or Code Enforcement.…

Granted, these are City employees, so they're entitled to pensions and generally have much better healthcare plans for them and their families than they'd get in the private sector. Likewise, a $86k salary in the public sector is more in line with a $100k-$105k comp package from the private sector.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 12/03/2018 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Sanders Institute Brings Star Power to Burlington

Varoufakis? Are these people serious!?!

You can't run away from a sovereign debt crisis!

Here in Vermont, we can't run away from underfunded pension liabilities!

Veroufakis and the Greek government attempted to do just that. Let's learn from mistakes--not repeat them.

42 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/30/2018 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Number of Women Headed to Vermont Statehouse Drops by One

I don't want to be that guy, but the unfortunate reality in a state that's 96% White is your legislative body will be "At parity" --as Ruth Hardy put it--when there's only six minority legislators in the lower chamber and a mere 1.2 in the Senate.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/19/2018 at 5:43 PM

Re: “After 20 Years, Hardware Store to Open in Downtown Burlington

Who benefits? When new retail outlets open consumers and vendors benefit, while nearby hardware stores in SB and the NNE and outlets that sell substitute goods (perhaps City Market and Curtis Lumber) will be disadvantaged. Downtown service-sector employees will also benefit, as this store will add slack to the labor market and create new opportunities--ultimately driving up wages.

I'd add that Curtis doesn't really count as a hardware store. Its a building supplies store that caters to contractors with contractors' hours (closing at 3pm or whatever and not open Sunday)--whence its a substitute for a consumer-focused store like Ace or True Value. Ace serves a different niche and will provide a badly-needed service for downtown residents. Perhaps they can sell tackle and fishing licenses as well to compliment waterfront tourism.

The Mayor and his administration deserve praise for eliminating the bureaucratic red tape and regulatory hurdles that have prevented new hardware stores from opening the past. Aside from the convenience aspect, more competition is always great.

I will add though that Lowes on Shelburne Road looks like its 2.5mi from City Hall Park, a tad closer.

26 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/19/2018 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Scott, Zuckerman and Fellow Incumbents Dominate Vermont Public Media Poll

Under AG Donovan's leadership, Vermont prosecutors have been locking up low-level drug offenders rather than providing much-needed paths to treatment. Vote Janssen Willhoit for Attorney General for common-sense criminal justice reform!


11 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/22/2018 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Scott, Zuckerman and Fellow Incumbents Dominate Vermont Public Media Poll

"Download the full results" that is a very misleading statement that has been passed around by the media all morning.

That excel file is merely a SUMMARY of the survey results. What people are looking for is the 606-row dataset that is inclusive of all samples surveyed so that the public can interpret and analyze as they see fit.

I appreciate Vermont PBS for the survey--they are a very respectable media outlet--as polls are expensive and scarce (it appears WCAX is no longer incurring this cost under their new management, which had in the past been the only other robust poll each election cycle). But you can't claim an "open data" policy when you don't allow the public to view the actual dataset.

14 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/22/2018 at 12:13 PM

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