City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

Miro Weinberger, Mayor
Room 34, City Hall / Burlington, VT 05401 Phone: 802-865-7272 mayor@burlingtonvt.gov

 

Mayor's Office

Mayor Miro WeinbergerAugust 2017
 

This past month, I was honored to host the Mayors Innovation Project summer meeting, an event that brought dozens of mayors from across the country to our City to exchange ideas about how to best help their communities. The meeting served as a reminder of how much we have to be proud of here in Burlington, from our transition to sourcing 100% of our energy from renewable generation in 2014, to our work to address the opioid crisis. It also served as a reminder of the real and positive impact that local government continues to have on many communities, regardless of troubling actions at the national level.

We have a number of exciting updates and announcements to share:

New Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director

On August 28th, City Council confirmed my appointment of Cindi Wight to be our new Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director. Cindi brings over 24 years of experience, including four years as the Superintendent (Director) of the Rutland Recreation & Parks Department, where she oversaw all aspects of the department, including budgeting, long-range planning, grant writing, and community partnerships. Cindi was selected as a member of the American Academy of Parks & Recreation for Administrators in 2015, and under her leadership, Rutland Recreation & Parks’ park and theatre projects have gained state and national attention for their creative approaches to expanding services that benefit all community members.

Over her career, Cindi has developed a reputation as a careful listener who seeks out community input for important departmental decisions. She has also proven herself to be a skilled manager and administrator of staff, budgets, and significant capital projects. Cindi comes to the Department in a period of new park building, capital investment, and programmatic expansion. Her commitment to the Parks & Recreation profession, understanding of Vermont, and record of effective leadership makes her the right person to lead the Department at this exciting time. She will start work on September 29, 2017.

Clerk-Treasurer’s Office Receives National Award

In early August, I was proud to announce that the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office had been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and this is the first time in Burlington’s history the City has achieved such an award. St. Albans is the only other Vermont city to achieve this award (in 2016), and Burlington is being added to the list for calendar year 2017.

The CAFR confirms the City’s goal of fiscal responsibility to Burlington taxpayers and ratepayers. It showcases the City’s commitment to ensure professional stewardship of revenues and expenses, as well as the City’s focus on reliability, timeliness, transparency, and accuracy of its financial reporting. This is another indication of the growing strength of our City’s financial management, and an important marker for those evaluating the City’s credit rating. The diligent work of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office team, as well as the commitment of staff throughout the City, led to this award and recognition.

Airport Outlook Improved to Positive

In other good financial news, Fitch Ratings has now joined Moody’s and the country’s major airlines in expressing confidence that the Burlington International Airport is heading in the right direction. On August 18, Fitch revised the Burlington International Airport’s outlook to positive and affirmed the Airport’s BBB- credit rating. In their report, Fitch states that “Positive Outlook reflects an improving fiscal profile demonstrated in recent years which should continue under a recently implemented airline agreement with strong cost recovery mechanisms…”

The new Airline Agreement began in Fiscal Year 2017 and will extend for five years. The Airline Agreement is intended to maintain a debt-service coverage ratio (DSCR) of 1.5x into the future, with excess net revenues shared among air carriers. This arrangement, along with a well-received four-year $85.9 million capital improvement plan and a conservative debt structure, provide the basis for the revision of the outlook to positive.

After a number of important and hard-earned management achievements, I am pleased to see the Airport is strong and well-positioned to continue to drive the region’s economic growth.

City Hall Park Plan

For many years the Burlington community has sought to improve the design of City Hall Park. After years of public process and planning, we are now ready to move forward with a great new plan that will increase the use of the park by all, make it safer, and better-suited to our modern needs while also preserving elements of its historic design and purpose.

Our project team has worked diligently to revise plans based upon public and other stakeholder feedback. A revised plan for the park, along with copies of City Hall Park presentations and links to video recordings, can be found at www.greatstreetsbtv.com. I am excited that after years of preparation and planning we are ready to move forward with changes to this park at the heart of our community. I look forward to this project improving the park for future generations to enjoy.

As always, I encourage you to join me at the Bagel Café on Wednesday mornings from 8-9am to share any thoughts or questions you may have about these and other important developments in our city. You can also visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MiroBTV/, or follow me on Twitter at @MiroBTV for up-to-date information on the work of the Mayor’s Office and our City Departments. I look forward to seeing you soon.