It was a packed agenda on Monday. Three big items I’ll highlight were the Fiscal Year 2020 (begins July 1, 2019) Budget, zoning changes in the South End, and a resolution to have BPD study the impact of funding more social workers to help support the community and reduce the causes of crime.
On the budget, I had a number of outstanding questions and therefore asked for an additional week to review before deciding. This is a critically important document and I strongly believe that Councilors should be able to have as much time as needed to get to a place of comfort with it. Unfortunately, my motion failed on a 6-6 vote. The budget was therefore voted on immediately. It passed 11-1. Councilor Freeman voted against. The full budget is available on the City’s website (there’s too much for me to try to summarize here). I’m working with the Mayor’s office to get my outstanding questions answered. It is still possible to make amendments to the budget going forward, which is part of why I voted for it.
Zoning changes in the South End passed. They will allow a greater variety of uses in the Enterprise Light Manufacturing (E-LM) Zone. For many, the focus on this change has been on Burton Snowboards/Higher Ground, because they are now able to initiate a process to try to move Higher Ground from S. Burlington into Burton’s facility on Industrial Ave.
Councilor Paulino, with support from Progressive Councilors, put forth a resolution to have BPD study and report back on various ways of funding more social workers. The resolution was nearly halted by Council President Wright on the grounds that it was too similar to police-related resolutions that were deliberated at our last Council meeting. I am still very uncomfortable with how the process played out, and am working to better understand Council rules and protocol as it relates to that messy process. In the end, the resolution was referred to the Special Committee created last meeting. Councilor Paulino and myself were the only ones to oppose this referral — we felt it unnecessarily weakened the intentions of the resolution, and makes it less likely that this information will be provided as fully and as quickly as the resolution intended.
As always, please reach out if you have thoughts or questions on any of these issues!