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: “Burlington Gas Leak Forces Residents to Evacuate Apartment

@NorthOldEnder - Oh Yes, proof of the Mayor's "War on Poor People" because the pipe break occurred at a subsidized housing project! How dare the City put subsidized housing projects where gas pipes could break!

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 06/15/2018 at 10:18 AM

Re: “What's New This Summer at 16 Burlington Waterfront Spots?

I'm very pleased to hear that DPW will finally be charging for parking at the skatepark lot.

Free parking--like free lunch--is never a good idea for Cities to provide. If a fee is not charged the resource will also be wasted and abused, particularly from non-taxpaying out-of-towners (I've even seen many NY and QC license plates at that lot).Taxpayers already paid for our award-winning bike path that out-of-towners use for free; allowing them to park for free too is just mind-boggling. Thank you Chapin Spencer for leadership on this important issue.

Parking (ie, short-term personal property storage) is a consumer good and Cities should charge the market-price for that good, not give away for free, which creates a taxpayer-funded glut of supply. Subsidized (and worse- free) parking badly discourages bicycling and public transport.

11 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 06/07/2018 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Lunderville to Leave Burlington Electric, Serve as CEDO Director

Wow, what terrific news! As a Burlingtonian I am humbled that a man of Lunderville's caliber and experience will be serving this post. Lunderville has down amazing work for Vermonters in the Douglas and Scott administrations and in this position could put Burlington on a path for GROWTH!

Kudos to Mayor Weinberger for putting the well being of residents and taxpayers ahead of partisan politics. I hope Senator Ashe and Speaker Johnson see what REAL leadership looks like and stop their attempts at shutting down our state government.

18 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/24/2018 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott Digs In on School Funding Plan

The bloat is our 8.6 student/teacher ratios and 5.15 student/educator (including para, excluding special ed) ratios. The bloat is not in salaries or benefits. It is in headcount. Our schools are fat on staff.

School boards have no incentive to downsize and reduce their headcounts (due to a variety of factors such as how both homestead and non-res property taxes are calculated and income sensitivity provisions).

What we have is a tragedy of the commons. School boards will never act in a responsible manner the same way individual countries will not be able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions without multilateral agreements like the Paris Accord. We can not expect districts to act on their own and reduce the pressure they are imposing on the Education Fund. The only solution is for the to state enact strict financial controls on the education fund and clawback $58m from those "voter approved" budgets. Sure, the voters approved them, but the state can not afford them and it would be fiscally irresponsible to give the school boards they money they have asked for.

19 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/11/2018 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott Digs In on School Funding Plan

"Massive teacher strikes are forcing states to adequately fund their schools"

Key word- Adequately. Vermont schools are BEYOND "adequately funded." The strikes A_Trout is referring to are taking place in Oklahoma and Arizona, where they spend $7,566 per pupil. Here in Vermont we spend over 3x that at $23,557. The unions in those states are calling for 20% increase in spending over the next 3 years; that still won't put them in spitting distance of $24k.* Under Gov Scott's proposal our school spending would still be well north of Massachusetts.

I agree 100% that we need to adequately fund our schools. Unfortunately that is not the case presently. Adequate doesn't mean bloated.

*Per pupil basis, rather than per "equalized" pupil:

22 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/11/2018 at 10:59 AM

Re: “Burlington Telecom Employees Face Benefits Reduction Under Schurz

The same would've happened with Tucows-owned operation....public employee benefits are better than those offered in the private-sector. It's that simple. They have stronger unions and state law that offer more protections to those unions.

No different than what Ting would've been, or what Comcast, Time Warner, etc offer.

19 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 05/10/2018 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Vermont Tax Chief Declines to Detail Education Funding Proposal

Echoing Bob's comments the blame should be put on the legislature, not the governor. The legislature knew they needed to control K-12 spending, they were a given a list of options of how they could pursue that goal at the start of the session but Mitzi chose not to pursue ANY of them because they put her at odds with a certain special-interest group called the Vermont-NEA. The administration gave the keys of the ship to House and Senate leadership, letting them navigate the waters of policy making, yet the D/P legislature--more concerned with pleasing the NEA than they are with addressing student and/or taxpayer needs--couldn't even make it out of the harbor before it started sinking.

Now Johnson, Ancel and Ashe are attempting to point blame at the governor. Appalling. Vermonters know better and the voters will recognize Johnson and Ashe are nothing but obstructionists incapable of solving our problems.

7 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 04/27/2018 at 1:29 PM

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