Sara Vaclavik | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Sara Vaclavik 
Member since Apr 26, 2017


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Re: “Vermont Tax Department Sends Letters Seeking Unpaid Sales Tax

Cool. Before I get any letter about taxes owed, I expect to receive my renter's rebate. And no -- I don't want to have to take time out of my day to call the Department of Taxes and put on the pressure to receive the refund I am legally owed. And I am aware that I can check my refund status online, although this is pointless when I am repeatedly given the message that the Department "has no record of my return." The confirmation e-mail I received from the Department in April after I electronically submitted my return -- that's certainly proof to the contrary. And if it's an issue with the information on the return I filed -- I would have expected a phone call or a letter by now. So how about, before shaking down Vermonters for more taxes, the Department does its best to process Vermonters' renter's rebates and homestead declarations (which others have not received, leaving them with much higher property tax liability than they were expecting to pay)? Too bad Samsom's position is not elected -- I would mirthfully vote him out of office.

38 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 08/31/2017 at 4:27 PM

Re: “End of the Line? As Vermonters Cut the Cord, Rural Phone Customers Hear Static

Very interesting, informative, and well-written. Thank you for sharing!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 07/20/2017 at 5:21 PM

Re: “About Face: DMV Lets Cops Search Database of Driver's License Photos

"The commissioner, who took office in 2009, told Seven Days he was unaware of a 2004 state law that specifies the DMV 'shall not implement any ... processes for identifying applicants for licenses, learner permits, or non-driver identification cards that involve the use of biometric identifiers.'"

If this is true -- could the commissioner's ignorance of a law applying to his own agency be grounds for termination?

If this is false -- could the commissioner's complicity in violating a law applying to his own agency be grounds for termination?

So, basically -- can Ide be terminated from his position for his ineptitude or his corruption? Is that an option on the table?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 05/26/2017 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Legislative Leaders Declare Budget Impasse With Governor

My sense is that if Speaker Johnson were to go along with a proposal entailing a statewide contract, she would experience backlash from unions in general (although most severely from the VT-NEA) and would have to cope with the loss of their support -- and potentially their attacks -- when she came up for re-election in two years. I imagine that the unions would paint her as complicit in leaving "working Vermonters" with less protection of their benefits.

On another point -- I view the VT-NEA's current objections as simply self-preserving. I presume that they believe that if the health insurance contract for teachers were a statewide one, they would lose substantial bargaining power. They are probably afraid that over time, the state will seek to increase teachers' cost-share and that they will not be able to rebut this increase, given that a statewide teachers' strike has horrendous optics. Personally -- I think the resolution to this impasse should come down to what would benefit the majority of citizens, and I am not sure that preserving the VT-NEA's bargaining power (by leaving contract negotiations at the district level) would do this, as over time the VT-NEA will likely push for contracts that will increase the tax burden on many Vermonters.

42 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 05/17/2017 at 4:25 PM

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

I trust that Miro thinks that he knows what is best for Burlington going forward. I also trust that he does not feel that public input is really all that necessary to achieving his vision of "what's best." My trust in these beliefs stems from the way Miro handled the BTC affair -- treating opponents like nuisances to his apparent pet project, therefore not encouraging a thoughtful conversation by all sides, for all concerns. Add this to his formation of a PAC to promote the project, sounding off with the message that anyone against the BTC redevelopment is against Burlington's success. I was truly disgusted and disturbed by his petty politics, and I will remember this feeling come election time -- and will hopefully not be the only one who does.

32 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by Sara Vaclavik on 04/26/2017 at 2:34 PM

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