Tom Ayres | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Tom Ayres 
Member since Feb 4, 2015


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Re: “Council Selects Schurz, ZRF to Buy Burlington Telecom

As a former Burlington city councilor, Ive watched the latest Burlington Telecom travails from afar, alternately amused, aghast, and, in the end, disappointed.

The actions of Councilor Dave Hartnett have been particularly distressing. Bellowing expletives, storming out of meetings, personal attacks, and self-congratulation have unfortunately become standard fare for Councilor Hartnett, regardless of whether the topic is BT, commission appointments, transportation initiatives, smoking in parks, or support for organized labor. Given Daves frequent pronouncements trumpeting transparency, it was particularly hypocritical for him to play a closed-doors role in leading Schurz/ZRF to the BT trough. Kudos to Councilor Joan Shannon for standing up to Dave.

Keep BT Locals proposal was the weakest from the outset of deliberations this past spring, when I was still on the council. It was troubling to hear Councilors Tracy and Dieng imply that all for-profit entities are conspiratorial capitalists interested only in fattening up BT for Comcasts ultimate consumption. This was disingenuous on three counts: first, Ting/Tucows has a reputation in both Canada and the U.S. for being precisely the kind of successful, socially responsible company Vermonters have long championed. Second, the advocacy for KTBL was a slap in the face to the present employees of BT, who strongly preferred Ting. And third, the power-to-the-people rhetoric ignored the fact that it was a Progressive administration that got Burlington so deeply mired in the BT debacle in the first place.

Had I still been serving on the City Council on November 6, I'd have supported Ting with no qualms and this last-minute gamble on BT's future wouldve been avoided. The reported failures of Schurz to commit to net neutrality and ZRF to reveal its investors should be subjects of grave concern for the City Council as it ponders a final BT purchase agreement in the coming days.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tom Ayres on 12/01/2017 at 12:24 PM

Re: “Ali Dieng Wins Ward 7 Burlington City Council Seat

I've been blessed to represent the people of the New North End for the past four years. I thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to serve. I salute all the candidates who stepped forward to succeed me as the new Ward 7 city councillor. Vince Dober and Ellie Blais have served Burlington honorably in the past. Chris Trombly, a dedicated public servant, ran a thoughtful race for the Ward 7 seat. Heartfelt congratulations to Ali Dieng, who won a convincing, overwhelming victory in today's election to succeed me.

Ali's victory heralds a bold new direction for the NNE and the city. It means we're embracing the future of our neighborhoods and not adhering to the tired dogma of the past. It means, just as responses to the most recent survey about the changes to North Avenue suggest, that we're open to safer, more accessible streets and sidewalks for everyone. It means we in the NNE - and citywide - embrace and support the New Americans and young families in our midst, building toward a united community that treats everyone with respect, appreciation, and understanding, It means we've rejected the most strident and myopic views of those among us, who've argued that moving toward a more vibrant, green, accessible city, as well as a city more accepting of diverse cultural perspectives, is not the right direction. It signals a renewed dedication to socioeconomic justice, multiculturalism, and the equitable policing practices that have long been the hallmark of this great city.

Thanks again for the opportunity to serve for the past 4+ years. Please join me in congratulating Ali and wishing him the best as he takes the issues so dear to his soul to City Hall in the years ahead. He represents the brightest future for Burlington and the NNE.

36 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Tom Ayres on 06/27/2017 at 11:30 PM

Re: “Burlington Political Parties Weigh In on North Avenue Debate

With regard to the angry, accusatory tone of marianne1's various postings here and on Front Porch Forum, I can only offer one final comment:

I rest my case.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Tom Ayres on 02/26/2016 at 5:38 PM

Re: “Burlington Political Parties Weigh In on North Avenue Debate

Unfortunately, longtime Republican activist and former State Rep. candidate Scot Shumski's filing of a completely unfounded complaint with the Attorney General's Office is typical of the petty, petulant, and divisive tone on the North Avenue issue that has flowed from several of the leaders of the anti-pilot petition drive, some of whom are directly linked to the Burlington Republican Party. It's unfortunate that the North Avenue dialog has become so blatantly partisan, but the blame for that - despite Tony Bell's disingenuous remarks - rests solely on the Burlington GOP and especially on Republican leaders - elected and otherwise - in the New North End, who have politicized this issue for more than a year, dating back to last year's City Council races in Wards 4 and 7.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Tom Ayres on 02/26/2016 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Man of the People Faces Woman of the Party in Burlington City Council Race

This is a solid, balanced, and well-written article by Alicia on the Burlington City Council race between my Democratic friends Dave Hartnett and Carmen George in the new North District. I'm looking forward to a respectful, forthright, and well-informed discussion of the ISSUES in my own City Council race against Michael Ly in Ward 7, as well as in the Jim Holway-Kurt Wright contest in Ward 4, and the Hartnett-George race in the North District.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Tom Ayres on 02/04/2015 at 12:31 PM

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