Charles S | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Charles S 
Member since Jul 29, 2015



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Re: “Better Burg? Burlington's 'Development Mayor' Makes His Case for a Third Term

A five page unpaid ad for Miro's re-election? Proof of his popularity by saying all but one person the author interviewed supported Miro? How about, "Who didn't you talk with?" For one Kelley didn't talk with two Prog. candidates for City Council in March 2017. I'm one. Endorsed by CLC and the Progs, I ran on a platform that provided substantive criticism of each of the mayor's current development projects. Success is measured in the substantive debate that brought wider citizen participation and understanding of these projects. None were discussed at any length in Kelley's very long article, and others were missed entirely. Omitted was the mayor's resolute support for the demolition of 200 homes around BTV with scores more pending when the F-35 widens the <65dB envelop making hoses "unfit for human habitation." How's that for promoting broad spectrum housing opportunity? Nor did Kelley mention the $800,000 and sweatheart lease terms the mayor supported for developer friends constructing a private marina on city waterfront land, along with 25 parking slots and 169 boat slips, a development that could have earned Parks & Rec. money had they been allowed to extend their marina. And how about the C2 section of the expressway that will preclude adequate development of our manufacturing district with the jobs and taxes that will thus be lost. It is only lack of media attention to the wrong headedness of Weinberger's vision of Burlington that makes him a "contender":in 2018

12 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Charles S on 04/28/2017 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Ballot Battle Pits Weinberger Against Activists — Again

Thanks to Seven Days for their coverage of this crucial set of ballot items. Expecially as VPR seems to have ignored their responsibility to present a full and balanced presentation of these items. But I'd bring your attention, Sasha, to one item. You quote the mayor saying last year: ""What are we going to do about the fact that we have a real serious housing challenge?" Mayor Weinberger has in fact addressed the housing issue. His administration has abetted the destruction of about 200 owner occupied and modestly priced homes surrounding the City-owned airport. Why this destruction? Because the mayor has placed his chips--and our own--on making room for the military industrial complex which needs to base their problematic F-35 and current F-16 offensive war planes somewhere. The mayor feels that "somewhere" should be in the most densely populated county in the state. How's that for being a champion of more and affordable housing?

6 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Charles S on 11/03/2016 at 12:59 PM

Re: “City, Vermont Land Trust Close on Former Burlington College Land

The developer will be getting $2 million to cede space that will significantly be used as the legally required storm water mitigation area for the roofs, driveways, parking lots, and roads on the largest project in Burlington's history, immediately uphill from the "park" and the lake shore. On this "urban wild" will be permitted retaining ponds--likely fenced--a pumping station, piping, electric lines, and tree cutting to serve the developer. 1500 people will live on the project and use it as open recreational and gardening space. Surely a good, but one provided at the public expense to add retail value to a particular private developer's project. Yes, there will be 160 units of affordable housing under the IZ ordinance, but built on and by the nonprofit, Champlain Housing Trust, not the developer. Yet the developer will "earn" the IZ credits needed for this he needs for his C of O. Yes, the city retains a strip of green along the shore, connecting the Urban Reserve to public parcels to the north. But it is a narrow strip, neither an effective wildlife habitat nor a significant addition to the public parkland. And given lake setbacks and steep slope setbacks, much is un-developable to begin with.
All in all, the developer gets cash and a substantial addition to the utility and sale value of his property at public expense. And the public loses one of the last significant pieces of viewscape, wildlife habitat, and recreational land along the lake which for 100 years was exempt from any local property taxes. .But so as to create a public interest in the City's view.
This deal was packaged as a half-million dollar public cost. Now the mayor, with the connivance of the VLT, is doubling that. So it goes in Burlington.

Charles S. .

25 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Charles S on 02/19/2016 at 8:25 PM

Re: “Frustration Over Police Chief Search Prompts Calls for Change

For decades, British beat cops were unarmed, requiring them to know and bond with the community they served. Such a policy puts pressure on police walking a beat to have social work knowledge sufficient to deal with runaway kids, alcoholics and drug abusers, the homeless, victims of partner abuse, the mentally deranged, and the suicidal. Such public officials can help to knit together a community with intimate knowledge of its problems and the trust of its residents. Such a policy casts police/resident interaction on a more dignified, equal, and reasonable basis while interaction with an armed officer tends to be characterized by aggression, formality, and tension. Armed response teams remain in back-up status in such a system.
Let's have Burlington take the lead in demilitarizing the city police as well as campus police. Let them lay down their guns and acquire the training and personnel development that would make their jobs more interesting and rewarding. Does this require a different police chief? It might well require a more innovative police commission and college administrations..

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Charles S on 07/29/2015 at 9:41 PM

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