Council Update: August 12th 2019

Because we hadn’t met in four weeks, it was a packed agenda Monday. We even had to push several items to next meeting.

The main focus was the resolution that I introduced which opposed the basing of any nuclear weapons delivery system at the Burlington International Airport. I’m proud to report that the resolution passed unanimously. This aligns us with the position taken by the Vermont Senate, and with Winooski and South Burlington’s City Councils. We’ve now done all in our power to prevent the F-35s from being upgraded to be nuclear-capable. I want to thank Ward 2 resident Julie Macuga for her excellent work on this resolution.

Unfortunately, an amendment which watered down and confused the message and intent of the resolution was added, despite all co-sponsors of the resolution opposing this amendment. This was disappointing.

If I could prevent the arrival of the F-35s entirely, I would. Unlike some of my colleagues, I’ve always opposed the basing of the F-35s at our airport. These are war machines which are incredibly loud, enormously polluting, and entirely unsuitable for a densely populated area. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of anything the Council can do to prevent them from arriving at this point — beyond continuing to apply political pressure to those with decision making power, as Monday’s resolution did.

Another item of debate was regarding the selling of carbon offsets from tree plantings in Burlington. Given that we are no where near achieving our own climate goals, I don’t think now is the time to sell off our carbon absorption to other entities to help them meet their climate goals. Instead, I’d like to first ensure we’re doing our part, and focus all of our efforts on reducing Burlington’s net carbon emissions. Unfortunately, the resolution passed, so the City will now work towards selling the carbon uptake of our trees.

Several residents were appointed to serve on boards and commissions. I’m excited for them and I encourage anyone interested to apply for boards and commissions as open seats arise.

If you have questions or thoughts on any of this, or any other issues in our community, never hesitate to reach out to me.

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