Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

December 2018

The tree lights are shining on the Church Street Marketplace, the snow is already piled outside of City Hall, and there’s a slate full of events that’s lined up to make this month in Burlington a festive one. As we head into December, I’m particularly thankful for our Burlington community, and sending my best wishes to all of you for a month ahead that’s full of warmth and brightness.


The holiday season in Burlington

Burlington is full of special events this month, starting with everything that’s happening at the Church Street Marketplace and throughout our downtown. Already, we’ve lit the tree and marked Small Business Saturday, and I encourage everyone to continue to come and enjoy our vibrant downtown and support the local businesses that add so much to our City for your holiday shopping this season. The City and our partners are also offering a series of promotions to make it even easier to park in downtown Burlington for the holidays, including four-hour free parking in our three garages. For more information, visit


This holiday season, we’re also trying something new and keeping our Fletcher Free Library open with special, limited service hours for those looking to stay warm and be with neighbors on the holidays. On Thanksgiving Day, our library director Mary Danko and her husband kept the library open and spent the afternoon with more than 100 people who took advantage of these extended hours. We’ll be offering this same service on Christmas Day.


Finally, mark your calendars for Burlington’s new citywide New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31. Called “Highlight,” this event will build on the tradition of First Night while also adding a new spark, and will feature community programming, venues across the City connected by a shuttle, a larger-than-life parade, fireworks, and much more. New Year’s Eve in Burlington is a special way to showcase our City and bring our community together, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.


Reforming our permitting system

The City team is hard at work right now on several initiatives that I’m excited to share more about in the weeks and months ahead. One of these is an effort that we’re calling “Permit Reform,” which is focused on improving the process of obtaining a City permit. This is the kind of change to the structure of City operations that can seem a little dry, but that I am confident that for Burlingtonians looking to make improvements to their homes and small businesses, this will make a big difference.


Right now, getting a City permit is unnecessarily complicated. City employees work hard to advance requests, but most permits involve three different departments, and members of the public must travel to multiple locations across the City to get their permits. The City is working to reform this process by combining teams from three areas of the City into a new Permitting and Inspections Department that will function as a “one-stop shop” for permitting. Importantly, the City employees who currently do this work have been closely involved in the discussions about how to best make these changes, and their job descriptions are likely to remain similar.


As always, I encourage you to join me at the Bagel Café on North Avenue on Wednesday mornings from 8-9 am to share your thoughts and questions about this or any other topics that are on your mind. You can also visit my Facebook page at, or follow me on Twitter at @BTVMayor for information on the work of the Mayor's Office and our City Departments. I look forward to seeing you soon.