Burlington City Council Set to Debate Telecom Fixes | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Burlington City Council Set to Debate Telecom Fixes 

Published October 24, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.

Updated at 11:45 a.m., Monday

After a weeks-long sturm und drang over the use of $17 million in city cash to keep Burlington Telecom afloat for more than two years, the city council Monday night will debate at least two resolutions designed to shore up the finances, and public trust, of the fledgling utility.

One, sponsored by Councilor Clarence Davis (P-Ward 3), would: Create an ad hoc committee of at least five councilors to review BT's governance structure and recommend possible changes; charge the finance board with hiring an auditor to review BT's operations and finances, and have the administration present to the council by mid-November refinancing options and other investment strategies for BT.

This first resolution mirrors, in large part, the fixes Mayor Bob Kiss suggested to the council on Tuesday at a special council meeting.

A second resolution, sponsored by four Democrats — City Council President Bill Keogh (Ward 5) and councilors Ed Adrian (Ward 1), David Berezniak (Ward 2) and Nancy Kaplan (Ward 4) — would: Create an ad hoc committee of at least three councilors to prepare a request for proposals to hire an auditor to review BT's operations and finances, and create a separate an ad hoc committee of at least three councilors to prepare arequest for proposals to appraise BT's value.

Earlier this month, the city council approved a resolution to allow BT to possibly provide services outside the Queen City as a way to bring in needed cash to complete its network build out within the city. It also asked Mayor Bob Kiss to tell the council how much cash has been loaned to BT from the city's "cash pool". That finance report is due Nov. 16.

At a work session prior to the meeting, councilors will discuss the funding, and hiring, of staff to help the council sift through budget materials, and other information, provided by the administration.

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About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

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