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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mayor Kiss on 'You Can Quote Me'

Since Ch 3's 'You Can Quote me' program is unscripted, (leaving no script you can read on the WCAX site) and you have to purchase the tape of the program to learn what was discussed if you did not watch the program, I thought I'd post a summary of what was discussed for those that missed the program... some interesting issues were discussed.

  1. Gun control
    1. [Kiss]Larger city mayors are addresssing this issue, possibly having the police seize guns at domestic dispute scenes as an option; "perhaps it should be addresssed at state, not at municipality level."
    2. [Andy Potter] Guns in involved in the crimes here in Burlington were illegal, all the laws in the world will not help the issue, your thoughts?
      1. [Kiss] Suggest more laws in Vermont because (the laws) are too open

  2. Sanctuary City
    1. [Kiss] Someone who is undocumented is a public safety issue, as they can be reported to INS
    2. [Marselis] Plattsburgh was a sanctuary in the past for those waiting to be processed for entry to Canada, which lead to budgetary strain
  3. Intervale
    1. [Andy] Is it a good deal? $200,000? If it was on the waterfront, it may possibly be a public scandal...
      1. [Kiss] Yes, it is a good deal; land in Intervale is valued differently than waterfront ; I believe the sale will go forward
    2. Why isn't Burlington buying the land?
      1. [Kiss] The Intervale organization already has a vision for the land, and they could be our partner (city would own 1%)
  4. Moran
    1. [Andy] Where is it curently headed?
      1. [Kiss] We've heard from the survey that we should find a good use for it, the city gave a generous view, but it was not definative; Understood the results as: Whatever decision is ok with us
        As it now stands, it is undecided, trying to now get plans, sketches from the survey results
    2. [Marselis] Can the building be demolished?
      1. Yes, we estimate it would cost over $1 million, but some proposals, such as the one for the Y also shows it is reclaimable
  5. North 40
    1. [Andy] Where is it going?
      1. [Kiss] No decision yet, moving slowly on development in that area; looking more towards possibly developing other areas of waterfront, like the railyards
  6. Southern Connector
    1. [Andy] What are your thoughts about the railyard ?
      1. [Kiss] Land is currently owned by the state, but it also has a long term lease on the land by the Vermont Railway
    2. [Andy] What is the length of the lease? 30 years?
      1. No, much longer than 30 years
    3. [Andy] Developing the railyard?
      1. [Kiss] Yes, it would be ideal, but not something that would be immediate
  7. City Resources
    1. [Marselis] Have the revenue sources for the city been exhausted?
      1. [Kiss] I dont think so, we're trying to be efficient, we have the lowest tax rates for schools in the county; our goal is to do more with less
    2. [Marselis] I find it kind of funny that a Progressive is saying we could get more out of property taxes...
      1. [Kiss] I'm still sorting out a taskforce to discuss alternative methods of revenue
    3. [Marselis] What would you suggest, a city income tax?
      1. [Kiss] I am not afraid to bring up that suggestion, as alternatives need to be discussed
    4. [Marselis] How about the idea of a Metro Police or Fire?
      1. [Kiss] We have looked at it, some potential, such as a metro dispatch service, but not to use it for police department
  8. Burlington Electric
    1. [Andy] BED's long-term power, in wake of the current energy news... any plans?
      1. [Kiss] Our major commitment is energy effiency; committed to wind power, which will reduce the energy need by 1/3
    2. [Andy] But renewable energy would not sustain the city...
      1. [Kiss] I have no answer for the long-term view
As he stated in the program, Mayor Kiss believes he is connected to residents, and residents are able to contact him by: or 802-865-7272
He is also to attend tomorrow's meeting about the Intervale land sale - 6PM at Contois Auditorium

1 comment:

Heavenly said...

Peter Freyne @ 7 Days also talks about Mayor Kiss' first appearance on 'You Can Quote Me' in his column this week:

Mayoral Spotlight — In Vermont's largest city, the tallest and quietest mayor we've ever had is approaching five months at the helm. So far, so good.

Mayor Bob Kiss has lived and worked in Burlington for more than 30 years. He was a social worker/human-services type by profession before his quiet election to the Vermont House in 2000. Never, ever has Big Bob sought the spotlight before.

But on Sunday morning, Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss made his first appearance (it's a three-year term, folks) on WCAX-TV's "You Can Quote Me."

The softspoken Progressive is known as a man of few words. But on his inaugural mayoral "Quote Me," Kiss was a regular chatterbox — wouldn't shut up!

And the rookie mayor of the smallest largest city of any state in the nation stuck to his guns, in more ways than one.

Kiss was under fire from veteran inquisitors Marselis Parsons and Andy Potter for pro-gun-control and pro-sanctuary-city comments he made a few months back, in his early days at the Queen City's helm.

"What was really clear," said Kiss, "was a lot of people said to me, whatever the outcome, we would like to have a dialogue about guns. I think a lot of people are not aware how many guns are actually in the Burlington community."

The new Progressive mayor said many cops tell him they see guns primarily "in the drug trade."

"We might not see them, but they're there," said Da' Mayor, who noted, "The most prevalent way to commit suicide is with a gun." They're also a factor in domestic abuse. "Women are casualties of guns in the home," said Kiss.

"Those are things we need to talk about," said the mayor to his inquisitors and the "large" Sunday morning audience. "That conversation's important."

Asked when the public will see some sort of proposal, Kiss replied, "Sometime soon."

And what about the "Sanctuary City" stuff? What about opening up Burlington, Vermont, to illegal aliens?

Kiss said the issue is being driven by "the Republicans who control Congress," not by state and local officials. He painted it as part of the "national GOP agenda."

"There's business owners who recognize that undocumented workers are a critical element of doing business in the United States," said Bob the Prog. "And now there are others who would like people who are undocumented to become felons."

It's a result, he explained, of "this political dynamic that's going on in Washington."

Obviously, the mayor has had a chat or two with Police Chief Tom Tremblay since his public remarks about turning Burlington into an official "Sanctuary City."

"Our police department has already got a bias-free policing position in place," said Da' Mayor, "and it really does work against profiling. In a lot of ways, I think we've already addressed the key elements of sanctuary."


But Kiss did not back down entirely. He expressed concern about an undocumented person calling Burlington Police after being threatened or beaten or robbed.

The way things currently operate in The People's Republic, said Mayor Kiss, that crime victim "would likely be reported to INS," the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Mayor Kiss called that "a public safety issue." He said he'd still want to lead a public discussion on sanctuary to see if the status quo is "the best way we should do business, or if there's another way?"

Stay tuned.