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If you're looking for "I Spys," dating or LTRs, this is your scene.
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Bunch of bored, stay at home moms and glory days nostalgic dads. Rebel Alliance is an embarrassment. Trashing teachers and admin, voting down the budget, and slandering any opposition with personal, petty insults. SBHS is the best high school in VT and these mopes want to gut it top to bottom ... all for some silly mascot. I suggest they travel a bit outside their homogenous VT echo chamber ... or go visit Kiya, their gun-toting, tough guy leader, who doesn't even live in Vermont. A little perspective would go a long way with that group.
The developer could amend the current plans to meet all of this motley group's demands and they would STILL find a reason to oppose it. They're not looking for a developer, they're looking for a philanthropist. The very core of Burlington is rotting in front of their eyes and they're whining about a developer who wants to invest $200mm? In their eyes Burlington's future rests on the backs of farmers markets, homeless shelters, and good will, with city services paid for by magic. Burlington needs to evolve or its future will be dim indeed: anemic economic growth, aging and shrinking population, cost of living higher each year, etc etc. Unless this band of naive contrarians has a viable alternative to present other than vague scare mongering, they need to step aside. The voters have spoken.
VTPolicyAnalyst, Albert Petrarca ... Have you been to any of the hearings? Poems, mimes, talk of "bloodsucker capitalists" and "The Man" coming to rape our city and turn it into the next NYC. The developer could change plans TOMORROW to reduce height to comply with current regs and the opposition would STILL oppose the project. Their vision of downtown is one filled with homeless shelters, detox facilities, convaleascent homes, and bake sales ... all paid for and supported by some tax windfall that will materialize out of the kindness of peoples' hearts. This development isn't some miracle cure for all that ails Burlington, merely one step toward making Burlington more viable. Cities are like any living organism ... evolve or die.
The opposition to this project is looking for a philanthropist, not an investor. The idea that Burlington can survive on the backs of farmers markets, low income housing, and good will - all the while paying for social services - is just a fantasy. The opposition's argument of maintaining character is simply meant to elicit fear of the unknown without providing any measurable standard or viable alternative. The very core of Burlington downtown is an empty, antiquated relic that is rotting from the inside out, with retailers leaving week after week. The adjacent parking garage is a rusty, hulking eyesore. Burlington needs to evolve. One need only look at current data relative to population stagnation, lack of job creation, and shrinking tax base to see the current plan for Burlington, and the state as a whole, is not working. This is not a one and done solution but simply a thoughtful first step toward evolving.