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: “Marketplace Futures: How Burlington Aims to Reorganize 'Downtown'

Re: The Oracle: Redmond's salary

The salaries for the Marketplace Department appear quite modest. It's certainly not the cash cow for politically-connected individuals that BED is. The latest publicly available information shows that Redmond had a base salary of $80,145 in FY17. The second-highest paid employee made a mere $65k. All other staffers were below $50k. That was two years ago; assuming 3.5% COL raises Redmon would be making ~$86k now. I would not say he is overcompensated; unlike Darren Springer, Mike Kanarick and many other Weinberger appointees at BED. Funny that all of Miro's buddies end up in $140k+ positions at BED rather than jobs at BCA or Code Enforcement.…

Granted, these are City employees, so they're entitled to pensions and generally have much better healthcare plans for them and their families than they'd get in the private sector. Likewise, a $86k salary in the public sector is more in line with a $100k-$105k comp package from the private sector.

Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 12/03/2018 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Sanders Institute Brings Star Power to Burlington

Varoufakis? Are these people serious!?!

You can't run away from a sovereign debt crisis!

Here in Vermont, we can't run away from underfunded pension liabilities!

Veroufakis and the Greek government attempted to do just that. Let's learn from mistakes--not repeat them.

42 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/30/2018 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Number of Women Headed to Vermont Statehouse Drops by One

I don't want to be that guy, but the unfortunate reality in a state that's 96% White is your legislative body will be "At parity" --as Ruth Hardy put it--when there's only six minority legislators in the lower chamber and a mere 1.2 in the Senate.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/19/2018 at 5:43 PM

Re: “After 20 Years, Hardware Store to Open in Downtown Burlington

Who benefits? When new retail outlets open consumers and vendors benefit, while nearby hardware stores in SB and the NNE and outlets that sell substitute goods (perhaps City Market and Curtis Lumber) will be disadvantaged. Downtown service-sector employees will also benefit, as this store will add slack to the labor market and create new opportunities--ultimately driving up wages.

I'd add that Curtis doesn't really count as a hardware store. Its a building supplies store that caters to contractors with contractors' hours (closing at 3pm or whatever and not open Sunday)--whence its a substitute for a consumer-focused store like Ace or True Value. Ace serves a different niche and will provide a badly-needed service for downtown residents. Perhaps they can sell tackle and fishing licenses as well to compliment waterfront tourism.

The Mayor and his administration deserve praise for eliminating the bureaucratic red tape and regulatory hurdles that have prevented new hardware stores from opening the past. Aside from the convenience aspect, more competition is always great.

I will add though that Lowes on Shelburne Road looks like its 2.5mi from City Hall Park, a tad closer.

26 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 11/19/2018 at 5:30 PM

Re: “Scott, Zuckerman and Fellow Incumbents Dominate Vermont Public Media Poll

Under AG Donovan's leadership, Vermont prosecutors have been locking up low-level drug offenders rather than providing much-needed paths to treatment. Vote Janssen Willhoit for Attorney General for common-sense criminal justice reform!


11 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/22/2018 at 4:42 PM

Re: “Scott, Zuckerman and Fellow Incumbents Dominate Vermont Public Media Poll

"Download the full results" that is a very misleading statement that has been passed around by the media all morning.

That excel file is merely a SUMMARY of the survey results. What people are looking for is the 606-row dataset that is inclusive of all samples surveyed so that the public can interpret and analyze as they see fit.

I appreciate Vermont PBS for the survey--they are a very respectable media outlet--as polls are expensive and scarce (it appears WCAX is no longer incurring this cost under their new management, which had in the past been the only other robust poll each election cycle). But you can't claim an "open data" policy when you don't allow the public to view the actual dataset.

14 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/22/2018 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Developer Has Not Sought Foundation Permit for Massive Burlington Project


I don't know why you keep circling back to the 2016 DMUC zoning overlay vote. That is rather irrelevant to the discussion here and significant downside risk Sinex is now experiencing that's causing the work stoppage.

What we're commenting on is how Miro and the Democratic councilors who pushed for both an intense public "vetting" process and major concessions of the developer--but also claimed to be in support of the developer the whole time--but now the oxygen has been sucked out of the room they look like idiots.

The BTVCC Dems (and to a lesser extent the mayor) kept pushing and pushing Sinex, asking him to do things that would not be asked of such an investor in other cities. And now, Jay Powell and the Board of Governors have "Gone loco" this project is no longer economically feasible....otherwise Sinex would be getting the financing he needs and putting contractors to work. Our local policy makers should've recognized the amount of risk that rising interest rates and other external factors could pose to this project. They didn't, they dragged out the permitting process and added in unneeded bureaucracy to the Development Agreement, pushing the economic feasibility of this project to the brink. Even developers as bullish as Sinex have only so much appetite for risk.

10 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Paco DeFrancis on 10/12/2018 at 1:14 PM

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