City of Burlington, Vermont

City of Burlington, Vermont

City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 21, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962                 

Mayor Miro Weinberger Statement on Burlington College Proposed Land Sale

“I am pleased to see Burlington College taking decisive, proactive steps to address its serious financial challenges.  I support the efforts of the Board and its new management team to save this important Burlington institution.  The City has a variety of interests with respect to the property - for example, an east-west public connection to the bike path is a goal that has been well-defined in multiple Parks, Recreation & Waterfront planning efforts and documents - and we will continue to be engaged in the development and conservation discussions about the land in the months and years ahead.”

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/21/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2014
Contact:  CAO Bob Rusten, 802.865.7012

NOTICE OF NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT CORRECTION;
EARLY VOTING HAS RESUMED

On Monday, the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office notified the public about an error on the Vermont General Election Ballot, where the names of five Republican candidates for Justice of the Peace inadvertently were omitted from the November ballot.  The City had suspended early voting until corrected ballots were printed.

The corrected ballots now have been printed and will be mailed today, along with a copy of the attached letter, to the 422 early and absentee voters, who already had requested and been provided with ballots.  Additionally, beginning the week of October 20th, the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office will be calling individuals who voted the incorrect ballot, but have not yet returned the new, corrected ballot to ensure they are aware of the error and opportunity to vote the new ballot.  Early voting resumed today. 

The Clerk/Treasurer’s Office, in conjunction with the Secretary of State’s Office carefully reviewed the circumstances that led to our error, and steps will be taken to amend the manner in which candidates are placed on the ballot in an effort to prevent similar or other future mistakes.

Again, the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office recognizes and apologizes for the problems our error has caused for the impacted voters and candidates and for the additional financial cost to the City.

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/10/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962
                 

Mayor Miro Weinberger Statement after Meeting with Representatives from Uber

“Today, after a productive meeting with representatives from Uber, I’m encouraged by the possibility that Uber and its ride-sharing technology platform could improve Burlington’s transportation options.  Like everyone else, Uber will have to play by the rules.  To that end, I was pleased that Uber expressed a willingness to work with the City on a number of significant regulatory issues, including public safety, consumer protection, and municipal payments.  We are exploring whether, as has been done in other communities, the City may be able to enter into an interim operating agreement with Uber that would address Uber’s entry into the market.  I look forward to working with the City Council and existing stakeholders to investigate possible paths forward.” 

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Press Release Date: 
10/09/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

For Immediate Release

October 6, 2014
Contact:  CAO Bob Rusten, 802.865.7012

NOTICE OF NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT ERROR
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF EARLY VOTING

The Clerk/Treasurer’s Office, after receiving an inquiry from the Burlington Republican Committee, has determined that five Republican candidates for Justice of the Peace inadvertently were omitted from the November General Election ballot.  This error impacts all Wards/Districts.  The City of Burlington has arranged to have the ballots reprinted at a cost to the City of approximately $10,000.  The City has suspended early voting until corrected ballots are printed; we expect to have new ballots printed by early next week. 

The 422 early and absentee voters, who already have requested and been provided with ballots, will be provided with corrected ballots and information on re-voting, and the incorrect ballots, whether voted or not, will be rendered spoiled.  Those voters will have to complete the reprinted, corrected ballots for their votes to be counted.  Additionally, election machines will be reprogrammed to reject the incorrect ballots.

The Clerk/Treasurer’s Office carefully has reviewed the circumstances that led to our error, and steps will be taken to amend the manner in which candidates are placed on the ballot in an effort to prevent similar or other future mistakes.

“I am disappointed that, for the second time in two years, the City finds itself in the position of having to correct a ballot,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.  “These avoidable and costly errors must end.  I have directed CAO Bob Rusten to submit to me within 30 days after the election a new set of procedures for ensuring the accuracy of all ballot language, including verification of candidate information with Burlington’s political parties in advance of ballot publication.”

The Clerk/Treasurer’s Office offers thanks to the Burlington Republican Committee for alerting the City to the error.  Additionally, the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office recognizes and apologizes for the problems our error has caused for the impacted voters and candidates and for the additional financial cost to the City.

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/06/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962  

Governor Shumlin, Speaker Smith, Mayor Weinberger, other State and City Officials, Bike Path Stakeholders Break Ground on Enhanced, Expanded Bike Path Construction
TIF Funds Pave Way for Rebuilding Recreation Crown Jewel, Improving User Safety, and Continuing Economic Impact

Burlington, VT – Governor Peter Shumlin, Speaker of the House Shap Smith, Mayor Miro Weinberger, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director Jesse Bridges, other State and City officials, and bike path stakeholders today broke ground in Waterfront Park on the first phase of a multi-year effort to completely rebuild, expand, and enhance the entire eight-mile Burlington Bike Path.  State tax increment financing (TIF) funds have paved the way for the first phase of the rebuilding of the City’s recreation crown jewel, improving user safety, and continuing the annual economic impact benefit for our City. 

“The Burlington Bike Path is a jewel in this great City and a treasure for our whole state,” said Governor Shumlin.  “The State of Vermont was glad to make TIF funding – a true economic generator – available for the Burlington Bike Path expansion and enhancements to make sure it continues to be a top destination for recreation and a community resource for years to come.”

Speaker Smith praised Mayor Weinberger and municipal leaders for making smart investments in Burlington’s future, stating:  “The revitalization of the Burlington Bike Path is an excellent example of what municipalities can accomplish when working in partnership with the state.  I look forward to engaging with our partners to find more opportunities to improve our downtown destinations.”

“Creation of the bike path nearly 30 years ago was an act of leadership, foresight, struggle, and innovation, and a big step towards making Burlington a great City,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.  “It’s now our responsibility to ensure proper, long-term stewardship of this remarkable public resource by improving it to meet the 21st century infrastructure expectations of the people of Burlington and the thousands of visitors who use the path every year.”  

The newly-widened path – 11 feet of asphalt with two-foot gravel shoulders on each side (2-11-2 cross section) – will yield higher capacity and greater differentiation of user types and will be built to much higher engineering standards than the original bike path.  Jesse Bridges, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director, stated:  “I am excited by these ambitious plans.  User surveys we have conducted have told us that lake views, the bike path, and beaches are the most important assets we manage.  To meet growing demand for these healthy pursuits, we must enhance the quality of our design and continue to increase opportunities.”

The newly rebuilt bike path will include the following improvements:

  • Widening of the bike path.  The cross-section of the existing path varies from eight to 10 feet, with and without non-formalized shoulders.  Through the rehabilitation, the project will widen the path to the 2-11-2 cross section, with full-depth reconstruction, wherever conditions permit.
  • Higher engineering standards.  Engineering standards including consistently designed sub-base, uniform top coat, proper slope to better accommodate stormwater flow, formal aggregate shoulders, centerline striping, and delineation paint will improve the longevity, security, and appearance of the bike path.
  • User safety enhancements.  Intersection improvements and new path alignments, particularly in the Waterfront Park Event Grounds and in the Urban Reserve, will lead to user safety enhancements.
  • Improved connections.  These connections between the bike path and our parks, the lake, and cultural resources will be improved.
  • Improved wayfinding.  New signage and visual demarcations along the bike path will enhance the user experience.
  • Pause places.  These are special places along the path that will create more and varied opportunities for enjoyment along the path.  Three styles of pause place currently are in development including rest stops, information stops, and pocket parks.  These styles will offer varying amenities, from information kiosks to seating, drinking fountains, and artwork.
     

John Bossange, former Bike Path Task Force Chair and current Parks Commissioner and Parks Foundation Board Member, provided a link back to the hard work undertaken by the Task Force in 2010 and a look ahead, stating:  “The Task Force concluded overwhelmingly that the Burlington Bike Path was at a crossroads.  With our shovels in the ground here today, we say emphatically that we will not turn away.  Rather, we will invest in the future and the long-term viability of our beloved bike path.”

The construction phasing plan includes the following steps:

  • Phase 1a construction will start now in Waterfront Park, and crews will work their way south to Perkins Pier, meeting substantial completion next spring.  The cost of this work is $644,975.
  • During 2015, Parks and Recreation expects to complete any remaining Phase 1a construction items and begin/complete Phase 1b construction from the south end of the Urban Reserve (adjacent to the Waterfront Access North site) to North Beach.  Phase 1b is anticipated to cost more than Phase 1a because there will be more full-depth reconstruction involved.
  • Total TIF allocation for path rehabilitation from Perkins Pier through the Urban Reserve is $2.84 million for design and construction.

Future Phases of Rehabilitation

  • The overall cost of the full bike path rehabilitation is estimated between $12-16 million.
  • Funding of future phases will require more action.  The Administration will be coming forward soon with a plan to fund the next phase of rehabilitation to begin in spring 2016.

City Councilor Karen Paul (Ward 6), past Chair of the Council’s Parks, Arts, and Culture Committee (PACC), also participated in the groundbreaking and stated:  “Today's announcement of the enhanced and expanded bike path construction is yet another historic milestone and step forward in realizing the City's goal for a vital waterfront as envisioned in our newly adopted and highly collaborative planBTV.  This great progress would not be possible without TIF funding and the enthusiastic support of Burlington's voters, to whom we are grateful.  This is an exciting day for our City.”

City Councilor Kurt Wright (Ward 4), current PACC Chair, was unable to attend today’s event, but shared the following thoughts about this project:  “From my perspectives as a New North End resident, Bike Path Task Force member, PACC Chair, and a state representative who believes in the positive impact of an effective state TIF policy, I am thrilled that this project to rebuild the entire bike path is moving forward.  Our rebuilt bike path – one of Burlington’s true treasures – will continue to serve as an amazing community amenity and as an economic engine for Burlington.”

The history of the bike path includes the following significant events:

  • The original bike path, which varied between approximately eight to 10 feet wide, was constructed in 1985 and 1986.
  • In 2004, the Burlington and Colchester Trail Bridge over the Winooski River was built and opened.
  • In 2010, the Bike Path Task Force convened and recommended a $12-16 million expansion and enhancement plan to bring the bike path up to modern standards.
  • In April 2011, Lake Champlain flooding badly damaged five sections of the bike path.
  • In November 2012, 75 percent of Burlington voters approved up to $2.84 million of TIF investment in the bike path expansion and enhancement from Perkins Pier to the northern boundary of the Urban Reserve.
  • Also in November 2012, 73 percent of Burlington voters approved an annual allocation of a half cent, or approximately $173,000, for maintenance and improvement of the bike path.
  • During fall 2012 and winter 2013, major bike path and slope stabilization repairs, largely FEMA-funded, were completed.
  • Between fall 2012 and spring 2014, the conceptual design for the entire bike path was completed; design development and permitting per construction phase remains ongoing.

 

*Please see the following attached renderings of the Burlington Bike Path Rehabilitation Project:

  • Bird’s Eye View
  • Cross Section at Waterfront Park Event Grounds
  • Concept Plan

 

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Press Release Date: 
10/02/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

Leahy, Sanders, Welch, Weinberger:
HUD Awards City of Burlington $3.4 M. To Improve Housing Health And Safety

(TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014) -- Vermont’s Congressional Delegation – Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) -- and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger Tuesday announced a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant of $3.4 million to the Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) for lead safety and to address home health and safety issues in low-income housing.

The CEDO Burlington Lead Program will be awarded $3 million in program funding, one of only twenty Lead-based Paint Hazard Control grant recipients in the nation.  CEDO will also receive $400,000 under the Healthy Homes grant program.  The funding comes from the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, which promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous hazards from homes, stimulate investment in lead hazard control and educate the public about the dangers of lead-based paint.  

In partnership with area nonprofit groups, CEDO will perform hazard assessments and perform remediation on 160 housing units.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “Vermont has one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation, which makes our commitment to reducing the health hazards within our homes and community facilities a top priority.  Lead, asbestos and harmful allergens have the potential to harm children and their families, and these risks are avoidable.  This award will enable CEDO and its partners to continue to eliminate these risks, while raising the bar for rental housing safety and quality in our communities.”

Mayor Miro Weinberger said:  “In these times of reduced federal funds for solving pressing local challenges, I am especially thrilled that Burlington was chosen by HUD for funding to protect children from lead poisoning and other housing hazards.  The fact that we were selected from among a large group of communities in a competitive process is recognition of the strong performance of our staff and our top-notch program that makes older homes safe for Burlingtonians.  As the father of two young daughters, it is reassuring to know that the City has secured millions of additional dollars to protect Burlington children from the terrible risks of lead poisoning.” 

Brian Pine, assistant director for housing at CEDO, said:  “This is a great day for the low-income kids of our community.  This funding allows us to continue making their homes safe so they have a better chance of a healthy and prosperous future.”

To learn more information about lead or other health hazards in your home, call the CEDO Burlington Lead Program at 802-865-LEAD.

 

Contacts:

David Carle (Leahy): 202-224-3693
Michael Briggs (Sanders): 202-224-5141
Ryan Nickel (Welch): 202-225-4115

Mike Kanarick (Weinberger): 802-735-7962
Brian Pine (CEDO): 802-865-7144
 

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Press Release Date: 
09/30/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

MEDIA ADVISORY
September 24, 2014
Contacts:  David Reville, AARP Vermont, 802.279.6748                                                                              
                   Mike Kanarick, Mayor’s Office, 802.735.7962   

AARP VT and Mayor Miro Weinberger Invite Community Participation in Active Living Workshop
Focus on Burlington’s South End and Pine Street Corridor

Burlington, VT – AARP Vermont, in partnership with Mayor Miro Weinberger and members of the City planning  team, looks forward to welcoming the community and the media to an Active Living Workshop to hear from Burlingtonians on their ideas and dreams for a more “livable” South End in Burlington.  Whether you bike, ride, or walk - in a "livable community" people of all ages and abilities can get where they want to go safely, and everything is nearby.  “The City welcomes AARP Vermont’s partnership around active transportation and quality of life issues and looks forward to this first of many public collaborations,” said Mayor Weinberger.

WHAT:                Active Living Workshop

WHEN:                Thursday to Saturday, September 25 to 27, 2014

Thursday 25th:
1:00–2:30 pm: Walk with Champlain Elementary School students focused on Safe Routes to School.
6:00-8:00 pm:  Kick-off community dinner and presentation on the fundamentals of livable communities by Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and introduction to the City’s planBTV South End project.

Friday 26th:
8:30 am: Registration and Welcome with Mayor Miro Weinberger
9:00 am: Presentation on Walkability with Dan Burden
10:30–11:30 am: Walk Audit #1 - Economic/Creative Hub along the Pine Street Corridor
11:30 am–1:00 pm: Lunch and Presentation on Safe Routes to School
1:00–3:30 pm: Walk Audit #2 – Champlain Elementary School & Residential Neighborhoods

Saturday 27th:
9:00-11:00 am: Presentation on the findings of the walk audits followed by facilitated discussion on next steps.
 

WHERE:             ArtsRiot, 400 Pine Street, Burlington

AGENDA:           Click here for Active Living Workshop agenda.

**The media is invited to attend and cover any aspect of the workshop.             

             

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Press Release Date: 
09/24/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

*Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger signed the attached Executive Order and shared it with all City Department Heads to provide guidance to them and their staff teams on compliance with the Vermont Open Meeting Law.  The Mayor issued the following statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                  802.735.7962

Mayor Miro Weinberger Statement on Vermont Open Meeting Law Executive Order

“Open, public meetings are fundamental to the functioning of our local government and the ability of the public to readily engage with evolving City policies, events, and decisions.  Last session, the Legislature acted to strengthen Vermont’s open meeting practices, and these changes recently took effect.  After functioning under these new rules for three months and implementing new City practices related to the newly-amended law, I have issued an Executive Order codifying these new efforts and directing all City Departments to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance.  Through vigilant, ongoing attention to the details of public notice and prompt documentation of City actions, we will continue and strengthen Burlington’s proud traditions of local engagement and participation.”

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/23/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

ADVISORY

September 18, 2014
Contact:  Kesha Ram, 802.865.7172
                 
Karen Vastine, 802.865.7185   

Mayor Miro Weinberger Invites Community to “Celebrate Burlington” Event
Herb Bloomenthal, Peter Clavelle, Herb Lockwood, Ken Schatz Awards to be Presented

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced and encouraged public attendance at the upcoming “Celebrate Burlington” event to be held this Monday, September 22 from 5:30-7:00 pm at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church Street, with a formal proclamation to follow at the City Council meeting in Contois Auditorium, City Hall. The City of Burlington will continue its annual tradition of recognizing staff and community members who help us build stronger, safer communities, advance our sustainability goals, and promote the arts in our civic life.

“This event is a special opportunity to celebrate the neighbors, community partners, and City staff who make Burlington a great place to live, work, and play,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “I look forward to congratulating our honorees who have contributed significantly to the fabric of our community.  It is particularly poignant that we will pay special tribute to Senator Sally Fox, who was a committed CEDO staff member with a great passion for giving a hand to those who needed it most.”

The “Celebrate Burlington” event will feature an evening of food, fun, and awards, as well as recognition of the important work done to keep our community safe, vibrant, and green. This year is the first time the Herb Bloomenthal Award for Community Activism, Peter Clavelle Award for Sustainability, Herb Lockwood Award for the Arts, and Ken Schatz Award for Community Justice will be presented and celebrated together.

The event also will include remarks from Mayor Weinberger, City Council President Joan Shannon, award nominators, and awardees. Attendees are invited to remain for the formal proclamation reading at the City Council meeting, beginning at 7:00 pm in City Hall’s Contois Auditorium.

 

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Press Release Date: 
09/18/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

MEDIA ADVISORY FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY PUBLIC AFFAIRS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2014 [Advisory: 1402]

Contact: CDR Sarah Self-Kyler, Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the Secretary of the Navy 
Voice:    (703) 697-7491
E‐mail:   sarah.self-kyler@navy.mil

Contact: Mike Kanarick, Chief of Staff to Mayor Miro Weinberger
Voice:    (802) 735-7962
E-mail:   mike@burlingtonvt.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY

Secretary of the Navy to Host Ship-Naming Ceremony in Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vermont – Media are invited to attend a ship-naming ceremony hosted by Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger.

The ceremony will be held from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 18 at the Lake Champlain Navy Memorial in Burlington, just south of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. 

A March 3, 1819, act of Congress formally placed the responsibility for assigning names to the Navy's ships in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy, a prerogative which he will exercise during Thursday’s ceremony.

Ship names are conditioned by factors such as the categories of ships now being built; the distribution of geographic names of ships of the Fleet; names borne by previous ships which distinguished themselves in service; names recommended by individuals and groups; and names of naval leaders, national figures, and deceased members of the Navy and Marine Corps who have been honored for heroism in war or for extraordinary achievement in peace.

For more information on ship naming in the United States Navy visit: www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq63-1.htm

For more information on the Secretary of the Navy visit: www.navy.mil/secnav/index.asp

Following the ceremony, Secretary Mabus and Mayor Weinberger will be available to speak to media.

For planning purposes, media members are asked to confirm attendance with either Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler at sarah.self-kyler@navy.mil or (703) 697-7491 or Jennifer Kaulius at jennifer@burlingtonvt.gov or (802) 865-7272.

 

USN-

Press Release Date: 
09/18/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office

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