Top Lawmakers Huddle on Burlington Telecom | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Top Lawmakers Huddle on Burlington Telecom 

Published March 12, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.

Burlington Telecom's financial troubles — including this week's credit downgrade by Moody's — have drawn the attention of some of Montpelier's top lawmakers and officials.

Two Burlington city councilors and one councilor-elect were called to Montpelier today to talk about what, if anything, the legislature can do to help ensure Burlington Telecom's financial difficulties do not further endanger the city's — and state's — credit rating.

Burlington Telecom's $17 million debt to the city's checking account, along with an unsure financial future, fueled the Moody's downgrade. The rating agency also put the city on a 90-day negative credit watch, essentially giving it three months to pull together a plan to rescue BT.

The downgrade, and the ongoing financial predicament, have caught the attention of Montpelier in recent weeks.

Today's half-hour special meeting, hosted in House Speaker Shap Smith's office just before midday, included Speaker Smith; President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin (D-Windham); Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans); Sen. Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden), himself a former Burlington city councilor; City Council President Bill Keogh (D-Ward 5); Councilor Karen Paul (I-Ward 6); and Councilor-elect Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4), who is also a state representative. Also in the meeting was State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding.

"We are trying to get a handle on what is going on with Burlington Telecom, but at the same time we are coming up on a limited amount of time that the legislature could help in any way," Smith told Seven Days. With the legislature poised to adjourn by the end of April or early May, the window of opportunity to pass legislation that could help the city work its way out of the fiscal mess will soon close.

Smith and others said such help would not come in the form of loans or grants. In fact, everyone involved said the message is clear: City leaders will need to come to the legislature quickly and speak with one voice if they want any legislative assistance.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation