Chip Mason | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Chip Mason 
Member since Oct 25, 2017


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Re: “Burlington Democrats Endorse Incumbent Weinberger for Mayor

Charles,

1. As always, I would be happy to discuss your concerns and potential solutions beyond what is in our current ordinances.

2. I, too, supported the marina planned for the southern portion of the waterfront, but as you note, that was not advanced since it scored lower than other proposals. Jesse Bridges believes that his plan remained viable and may be advanced some day. In light of the City's other pressing needs (and the recently announcement by the School Board of a double digit increase in property taxes), I do not see the second marina moving forward soon.

3. The City of Burlington would not have been able to refinance $50M in BT debt. The term sheet floated by Raymond James required the full faith and credit of the City which would have required a change in state law and approval by the PSB. Additionally, BT was worth under $10M at that time. Borrowing at that level would have killed it.

4. There is nothing in the article you cited that demonstrates anything other than a proposal. Conversations about the future of memorial have not been front and center or active because of the attention focused upon City Center and BT. Thanks.

25 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Chip Mason on 01/08/2018 at 3:27 PM

Re: “Burlington Democrats Endorse Incumbent Weinberger for Mayor

Burlington has to move forward to be successful. Development is part of moving forward.

1. The parking lot was underutilized netting approximately $23,000/yr. Sale is for $500,000 and adds property to the grand list and generates rooms and meals tax revenue. The development results in 15 net new housing units, 76 hotel rooms, 95 parking spaces and a commercial space. Apart from the required Inclusionary Units the remainder will be at Section 8 rates. Finally, the sale of this lot is consistent with Plan BTV.

2. TIF funding for the marina was approved by the voters. The marina was part of the process that began in 2013 and was one of 50 proposals that went through multiple public hearings, open houses, council approval and ultimately public approval in 2014. The Marina will bring visitors to Burlington generating tax revenue. The marina will further advance the transformation of the northern waterfront.

3. BT was never owned by the City and was "sold" because of financial mismanagement and gross negligence of the Kiss Administration. A sale to the KBTL was not viable and would have resulted in costly litigation with CitiBank, a denial from Blue Water and likely denial by the PSB. The sale was forced because of settlements and agreements made to save BT.

4. There was never a decision to sell Memorial. Discussions with UVM were exploratory. The Administration has engaged a consultant to advance the discussion on Memorial. The charge to the consultant is to create an adaptive reuse plan for Memorial Auditorium to remain a publicly-owned public assembly space (engaging stakeholders and the general public to determine elements of the design and program); create conceptual plans, and present it to the Council for a November 2018 ballot item.

45 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Chip Mason on 01/08/2018 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Five Burlington City Councilors to Visit Ting Headquarters in Toronto

Tiki. I would welcome the opportunity to engage in a discussion about the legal and regulatory risks associated with KBTLs bid. The final revised bids were due today at 5. The council has not received them. They are being reviewed by the Citys advisors who will advise us whether their assessment of the risks have changed. This is not a junket. Ting is not paying for the flight, hotel or any expenses associated with the trip. We are scheduled to do a site visit and q&a with ting Friday am. Our visit follows the visit the Mayor and certain BTAB members made to both Ting and Schurz before our last vote. I understand that the visit was very informative and I am looking forward to getting a first hand look at issues relating to culture and customer service. The invitation was extended to all councilors and while I wish all could have attended, I respect that some have chosen not to take this oppportunity to visit. I also understand that a reporter from 7days will be attending as well to verify it is not a junket.

61 likes, 29 dislikes
Posted by Chip Mason on 10/25/2017 at 9:11 PM

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