10/25/14

NOV 19, BURLINGTON TELECOM: THE MILLIONS, THE MAYOR, AND THE MILLENNIALS' MARKET











UPDATE ON BURLINGTON TELECOM AT THE NORTH END PEOPLE'S COURT



Fred Osier and Gene Shaver
WHERE DID THE $17 MILLION GO, AND WHERE EXACTLY DID IT COME FROM? Norm Williams, Fred Osier, and Gene Shaver, North End residents, followed the money, took the case to court, and now Norm's appealing the case to the people. Norm says the numbers don't add up. "The lawsuit demands that Leopold, and/or his insurance carrier, return $16.9 million to the general fund — and that an independent agency conduct a thorough accounting of BT finances during Leopold's tenure." (BFPWhy won't City Hall follow the money? That's a question for the mayor.

Update Oct 27, 2014 - Case appealed to the VT Supreme Court. A "bridge" loan of $6 million at 7% interest by Ray Pecor III and Merchants Bnk is designed to allow the city to honor its recent court settlement with Citibank, BT's previous financier, and pave the way for the utility's sale. BT's $16.9 million debt to Burlington remains outstanding. http://wards4and7npa.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-isnt-17-million-in-public-money.html


Credit to Seven Days


WHERE IS BURLINGTON TELECOM GOING? To cover shortfalls in other city departments, taxpayers covered the $17 million siphoned from the general fund to prop up Burlington telecom, and later ponied up a $9 million stability bond to rescue the city's bond rating. The mayor promised that taxpayer support for BT would stop there, but the general fund continues to pay for the 1099 consultants who run the business. A citizen group wants to buy BT and keep it local, but the task is daunting. How long before this gig is up? Mayor coming to update the North End NPAs on Nov 19.

Mayor Weinberger


IS THE MARKET GOING SOUTH? Among 18-34 year olds, TV viewing is down to 21% and dropping. The public is ditching cable TV subscriptions and land lines. When major professional American sports start streaming, that's going to be the end of cable subscribers at the levels needed for cable TV to survive. Without the public to subsidize high tech users, will the taxpayers be willing to pick up the tab?

Be a Millennial for a Day: find VIDEO HERE

Ponder these questions and more when on Nov. 19 at 7pm residents gather at the Miller Center to hear the Burlington Telecom facts and opinions presented by defendants and plaintiffs. Having had it's day in judicial court, now the fate of BT comes to a people's court at the North End NPA.

*CANCELLED - DOWNTOWN PARKING STRATEGIES Nate Wildfire, CEDO, will explain the new parking strategies for Downtown Burlington. Where can you use your credit card? Where are 2 hrs parking free? Where can you use your Green Mountain Pass? If more housing is built downtown, and less new parking is provided, what will the consequences be? Will be rescheduled.

AGENDA
6-7pm - Meet with a Health Care Navigator*
6:45 Sign in, greet neighbors.
7:00 Introductions, Announcements
7:05 Residents SPEAK UP!
7:15 Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials
7:40 Norm Williams Follows the BT $17 Million
8:20 Mayor Weinberger Updates us on BT, City Finances, Starr Farm Sidewalks, whatever else you want to ask him about.
9:00 Adjourn






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10/1/14

OCT 22: LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES FORUM

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MEET and GREET STATE CANDIDATES 

Wednesday, Oct 22, Miller Center, 6-7pm

DISTRICT 6.1 AND 6.2 SPEEDY CANDIDATE FORUM
Wednesday Oct 22, Miller Center Community Room, 7-9pm



AGENDA

6:15pm (Jim Holway) Meet the Candidates! Snacks and beverages.

6:30-6:50 (Matt Cropp) Introduce Candidates for Governor



7:00 (Jason L'Ecuyer)  Welcome, Ground Rules, Agenda, Announcements



7:05 (Residents) Speak Up/Speak Out/Any Subject

7:15 (Barry Trutor) Speed Dating with the Candidates, 8 small groups, 10 minutes each

9:00 Adjourn


Chittenden District 6.1  - VOTE FOR TWO 



Hooper (d), Ly (R), Collette (L),
Ploof (L), Cole (D), Wright (R)


Chittenden District 6.2  - VOTE FOR ONE



Jean O'Sullivan
Scot Shumski






















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8/21/14

Voting rights, Diversity and Equity, Community Engagement

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Infinite Culcleasure*, Ward 2 NPA, will lead discussion on voting rights in the city. It has been proposed that all residents be invited to vote on local issues like municipal and school budgets, council and school board candidates and issues. Kesha Ram will give a brief overview of the city's Diversity and Equity Plan. Sandy Baird will offer ideas on how Burlington College Students can partner with Neighborhood Planning assemblies to strengthen community relationships.

*(Note that Infinite is also BTV Rep/Alt to Regional Planning Commission, so good time to talk with him about the North Avenue Corridor options.) 

Sept 24th, 2014
Miller Center 130 Gosse Court
Facilitator, Jason L’Ecuyer.  Meeting Planner, Amela Lulic


AGENDA
6:45 Sign in, GREET NEIGHBORS and CITY OFFICIALS

7:00 WELCOME, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA, GROUND RULES

7:05 Recognition – Bloomenthal Award, BBQ sponsors, school board members previous and current

7:10 Residents Speak Up/Speak Out

7:20 Appointed and Elected Officials report on issues, with open discussion

PROGRAM
7:50 Extending voting rights to all residents on local issues – Inifinite Culcleasure
8:15 City's Diversity and Equity Plan – Kesha Ram
8:35 Burlington College Community Engagement – Sandy Baird and Sam Barrett

9:00 Adjourn

7/31/14

AUG 20 ANNUAL BBQ - EAT, PLAY, CHEER!


and     


 Barbeque pour tout le monde... Qof walba waa la soo dhowaynayaa...  Приглашаются все желающие... Svi su dobrodošli...  每个人都欢迎...  Όλοι είναι ευπρόσδεκτοι...  हर किसी का स्वागत है...  Tất cả mọi người chào đón... Visva sanga barabekyu.

  MILLER CENTER, 6PM







LOOK FOR OUR AD in NORTH AVENUE NEWS



Thanks to all who came, shared, cooked, and cleaned up! Special thanks to Scot who managed to do EVERYTHING with a child in his arms. Now that's attachment parenting! Thanks to Jason, and Matt who set up the grill; to Barry, Linda, Jeffrey, and Amela who organized the food,  and to Jim who supervised clean up. The sausages from Bessery's were fabulous as usual, Dave supplied the hot dogs (cooked to crispy perfection), rolls, and soda, and Hannafords invited us to come last minute and pick up whatever we needed -- condiments, chips, cheese, and ice! 

The warm feeling of neighborhood and community is why we do it. The local business donors, our elected officials at the grill, worthy candidates, friends from other NPAs in the city, neighbors arriving with summer salads -- all at table together in the Robert Miller Community Room. Namaste. (Hey, that's the new market on the Avenue!)

6/30/14

July 23, Meet the Candidates for Chittenden County Sheriff and School Board Ward 7

VIDEO click here

What does the Sheriff's Office do? VAST Safety week, NRA Instructor Course, fingerprinting, prisoner transport, traffic control -- and more. Wednesday, July 23 at the Miller Center, we will have a chance to meet the candidates for Chittenden County Sheriff and ask them questions about their qualifications for the job.
CANDIDATES FOR SHERIFF: 

Kevin McLaughlin
Ed Cafferty


What are the demands on a School Board member today? How do we want them to represent us, and what do they expect from us in return? We will have an opportunity to discuss issues related to accountability and transparency. The "gag rule" to silence opposition is particularly troubling. Democracy thrives when all sides of an issue are discussed openly, and consensus is built collaboratively. When this process is open, the community participates.

CANDIDATES FOR SCHOOL BOARD: 
Ward 7 Special Election  
Kevin Garrison, Linda Deliduka, Ed McMahon
(Filing deadline: Mon July 21 5pm)


WRITE-INS: Voters can write in the name of a person who is not on the ballot. Undeclared candidates can campaign for a write-in vote. To be sure your vote is counted, write the person's first and last name. You can write it on a note card and take it to the polls with you. Sometimes write-in candidates hand out their name at the polls, or have a sticker you can affix to the ballot next to the words WRITE IN.

6:30 pm  Meet the Candidates!  Light food and beverages.

AGENDA    Facilitator, Jason L'Ecuyer

7:00 (Jason L'Ecuyer) Welcome, Ground Rules. Agenda, Announcements
7:05 (Residents) Speak Up/Speak Out/Any Subject
7:15  (Rock Point) Rock Point School Presentation and short Q&A
7:35 (Jim Holway, Ward 4 Clerk) Briefing on Primary Election
7:40 (Linda Chagnon, Board of Registration of Voters) Briefing on Voter Registration
7:45 (Jason L'Ecuyer) Program I – Recognize and Briefly Introduce Candidates Not in Program II and III.  *Candidates have up to 5 minutes to speak.     
8:05 (Barry Trutor) Program II – Democratic Candidates for Chittenden County Sheriff 
 Edward Cafferty, Kevin McLaughlin
8:25 (Lea Terhune) Program III – School Board Candidates for Ward 7
Kevin Garrison, Linda Deliduka, Ed McMahon
9:00 Adjourn

PRIMARY ELECTION DAY 
Tuesday, Aug 26


6/14/14

PLANNING FOR FUTURE, GROWTH IN THE NORTH END


JUNE 25, MILLER CENTER, 6:45 PM

Sandrine Thibault, senior planner for the Burlington Dept of Planning and Zoning, will present Form Based Code and explain what kind of growth it will permit (and encourage) in the North End. Today we have three growth centers known as Neighborhood Activity Centers -- at the shopping center and Thayer Commons, at Mobil Short Stop and Franklin Square, and around Burlington College. Growth Centers allow only high density, i.e. require multiple stories, prohibit single family homes.  Form based code will replace the current zoning rules regarding permitted uses.

We will also take a closer look at the Growth Summary that the North Avenue Corridor Study bases traffic projections on. To manage demand, we have to project what the demand will be 15-30 years into the future. CCRPC determines this based on rates of growth in the past. It  does not take into consideration, among other things, zoning changes and families moving to the North End from central city that has more and more transient and sudsidized housing, less owner-occupied housing. Young families are finding the North End ideal. At the same time, the trend today is to move closer to cities to enjoy the amenities and cut transportation costs which are rising..

The CCRPC travel demand model assumes that growth in occupied housing units will continue at a rate comparable to the historic average since 1990.  By 2035, it projects, an additional 848 housing units are expected in the study area.  The central area in the corridor (a Neighborhood Activity Center) will have the biggest household growth by 2035 while the northern subarea will have minimal growth.

The fatal flaw:  the CCRPC model assumes no zoning changes, no change in transit options, and no employment growth (measured by jobs) within the study area. All of these assumptions can be overcome with strategic planning and investment.

Decisions we make today -- about zoning codes, about transit options along the North Avenue Corridor, and about investment in low impact

 economic development -- will create our future. We will get what we plan for. No one with a lick of sense or imagination plans the future based on the past any more. In The Art of the Deal, Trump says he learns from the past, but plans for the future by focusing exclusively on the present.

The present in the North End is affordable housing; Burlington College; potential to double occupancy in every single family home with accessory apartments; growing home-based employment; opportunity to bike and walk to schools, shopping and services to decrease dependency on cars and reduce transportation costs. The major transportation options barrier is safety. Planning for Rounds, safe pedestrian crossings on a traffic calmed avenue, separated cycle-tracks, and increased public transit along the North Avenue Corridor will be game changers.

AGENDA
7:00 WELCOME, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA, GROUND RULES.
7:05 BUSINESS – nominations to the NPA steering committee – Jeffrey Peterson
7:10 Speak Up/Speak Out
7:20 Reports from Appointed and Elected Officials – Open forum discussion
8:00 PROGRAM: Plan BTV, form based code presentation – how this zoning change will impact growth in the North End.
8:50 Wrap Up
9:00 Adjourn

4/29/14

WELCOME, BURLINGTON COLLEGE




May 28 NPA 

~WELCOME Burlington College. We invite students to be part of the steering committee, and highlight ways BC enriches the North End. "Major conflagrations often start with one tiny spark, and Burlington College is counting on it. Their logo, a spark, is meant to ignite a lifetime of civic engagement."  Burlington Free Press, May 18, 2014.
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~Sandy Baird will tell us about The Institute for Civic Engagement, and how students can earn credit working on neighborhood projects and helping to plan monthly Neighborhood Planning Assembly meetings.
~Sam Barrett will present her North Avenue Corridor Study project, and student ideas for their segment of the Avenue Corridor. The avenue as gateway to Burlington College, and importance of beautiful frontage is a goal we all share. 
~David Littlefield wants to create a community bulletin board, example of how student's contribute ideas and projects that enrich our community. 
~Coralee Holm will wrap up with more ways BC interfaces with community -- lifelong learning hub, lectures, discussions, films, events. Big Announcement: Coming to #btv this summer #WYSIWYG A Farm, Food, Music, and Arts Festival. And in the plans, a community center!
 http://wysiwygfestival.com/


SPECTACULAR

Presenting  WYSIWYG  on the scenic grounds of Burlington College. The College, overlooking Lake Champlain, is the perfect bucolic setting for a weekend to be wholly enjoyed with friends, neighbors, and family. Thanks to Burlington College, these beautiful acres have just become available to the public and we very much look forward to sharing it with you. August 23-34, 2014.


BSDVT -- WHAT NEXT?

A community discussion of the proposed tax rate, the revised school budget, the condition of our school buildings and capital fund drive for new high school, the school board and management changes. School board members old and new are invited to join residents for an informed discussion in the round of issues facing our schools and the taxpayers.






4/3/14

North Avenue Corridor, Imagining the Future of the North End, and DPW Infrastructure

The North Avenue Corridor Study is the most important planning issue in the North End this decade. 

Why? Because TRANSPORTATION DRIVES LAND USE! The Avenue could either be the center piece of a thriving community, or divide east from west and become a dangerous fast track where it's not safe to walk, bike, or drive. We could end up with stop lights at every cross street, or a tree lined avenue with rounds and separated bike paths. Your vision of the North End will be a strong factor.

Barry Trutor and RJ LaLumiere will lead discussion about segments of The Avenue that are most challenging. Everyone will have a chance to comment, and they will take our ideas directly to the Corridor Study Advisory Committee. Go to the North Avenue Corridor blog and check out "The Corridori," a list of residents who are working together to make sure the North End gets a plan we like.Also see videos we made of Keck Circle, and collection of photos of separated bike lanes.

Rich Nadworny led an imagining session at the Miller Center, asking residents what they would do with a space like the vacant theater at the shopping center. He will share the results with us, and lead a Blurt to capture more ideas. Meanwhile, keep scouting the North End for available space to re-imagine.

Chapin Spencer will wrap up the evening with information about infrastructure in our area. He has been asked to bring the paving plan, and update us on back-flowing sewer system problems this year. New construction always worries existing homeowners, and we want Chapin to set our minds at ease.


Here's a challenge that was sent to us: How does a car/driver safely exit X Street with traffic stream coming fast from both directions, add increasing bikes, pedestrians/runners coming from both sides. Will parking be allowed? All this complicated by traffic entering stream from Y Street doing the same frantic looking north and south on North Ave, across to X Street... We will talk with Chapin about this on April 23.


AGENDA
April 23rd, 2014.  6:45 PM
Miller Center 130 Gosse Court
Facilitator, Jason L’Ecuyer

6:45  SIGN-IN, GREET NEIGHBORS and CITY OFFICIALS
7:00  WELCOME, INTRODUCTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA, GROUND RULES
7:05 BUSINESS – nominations to the NPA steering committee
Amela Lulic - Ward 4
Matt Cropp - Ward 4
Robert Bristow-Johnson - Ward 7
7:10  Speak Up/Speak Out
7:20  REPORTS from Appointed and Elected Officials – Open forum discussion
8:30  PROGRAM
         Chapin Spencer – Infrastructure  in the north end and SeeClickFix
         Rich Nadworny – Re-imagining the North End
         North Ave Corridor Study Advisory Committee Report – update on vision, options
9:00 Adjourn

3/1/14

MARCH 26 - THE CHIEFS, SCHIRLING AND LASKER, ADDRESS PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR A CAREER IN PUBLIC SAFETY

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Chief Schirling and Chief Lasker are both North End residents. In addition to addressing our concerns about crime and feeling safe in our homes, they will speak to our youth about careers in the police and fire departments.

12/29/13

Jan 22 -- Discussion of Ballot Questions led by Councilors. Open Mic for Residents.



The focus of this meeting is Ballot items to be voted on in the upcoming election. Our North End City Councilors have been asked to explain each item, and report on the pros and cons that were discussed by Council. We will rely on residents in attendance to share their opinions, information, advocacy and concerns.

11/22/13

DEC 18 - MAJOR IMPACT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS - Housing at Burlington College, Staniford Farm, Appletree Point Farm, Thayer Commons, COTS, and Ethan Allen Residence, plus Starr Farm solar,

1922 Staniford farmhouse
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Community Room at the Miller Center. Welcome neighbors coming together to look at five projects proposed for the North End, and receive an update on a completed project at the former Thayer School and DMV property. 

11/3/13

November 20 - DESIGN THE AVENUE! ROUNDABOUTS? CYCLE TRACKS? LIGHT RAIL?



The  North Avenue Corridor Study group has hosted a series of public forums to hear about our vision for the future of transportation along The Avenue. Our Representatives to the Advisory Committee are Jim Holway (Ward 4) Barry Trutor (W7), and Alternates are RJ Lalumiere (Ward 7), and Kelli Brooks (Ward 4). 

10/19/13

ETHAN ALLEN RESIDENCE and MASTER PLAN FOR PARKS

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REDISTRICTING BULLETIN  
Note: Map on city web site is wrong. 

An 8 Wards, 4 Districts, and 12 Councilors plan his being reviewed by the Charter Change Committee. They will report back to Council on Nov 18 with a list of changes that are required in the city charter. The 8th ward will be in the area of growth in the city, around the university.

The next meeting of the Charter Change Committee will be Wednesday November 6, 11:30-1pm, Room 12 City Hall.


~ETHAN ALLEN RESIDENCE
~MASTER PLAN FOR PARKS

9/12/13

SEPT 25, PUBLIC SAFETY, POLICE AND FIRE COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

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CURRENT CONCERNS:
  • Break-ins during the day, and when someone is home. 
  • Graffiti. Property owner wants investigation, not cover-up.
  • Animal control issues. Interface between BPD and VT Fish/Wildlife.
What is the emphasis on community policing in the NorthEnd, out the Avenue? 
What is working well, and what isn't? 
What are the issues that concern residents the most here?
Come talk things over with members of your police and fire departments.

7/28/13

August 28 - Annual NPA BBQ at Miller Center

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To celebrate the first day of school, NorthEnd School Board members Greg Jenkins, Bernie O'Rourke, and Ben Truman will be at the NPA BBQ serving up Dave's burgers and dawgs, Bessery's hand-made sausages, and Chuck's veggie pats. 

7/13/13

GEORGE GAMACHE Embodied Burlington Community Spirit in Every Way

This meeting is dedicated to George Gamache,
a member of our steering committee,  
and Ward 4 Representative to the 2013 Redistricting Committee. 

Storytelling about the history of NorthEnd, what it was like growing up here. Rolfe Eastman, Tim and Sue Prim, Norma Raymond, Christine Auer, and Rosaire Longe. Sponsored by local history buffs.

 Appointed and elected officials explain their responsibilities, and invite children to tell them what would make the NorthEnd a great-er place for kids.

7/4/13

STORYTELLING FOR KIDS, ABOUT THE OLD DAYS IN THE NORTH END

The North End NPA has invited the Appletree Point Historical Society to present a program   for children and their families on July 24th at the Miller Center, 6:30pm.  There will be refreshments, and several prizes will be drawn from raffle tickets which will be given to the children. This will be fun!

6/21/13

STEVE GOODKIND RETIREMENT PARTY, STORM WATER ISSUES, PROPOSED SOLAR FIELD, HOUSING AT BURLINGTON COLLEGE

Vacant movie theater – update on progress - Diana Colangelo


6/5/13

LARGE SOLAR FIELD COMING TO NORTH END?

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Solar fields are popping up all over Vermont. They have a permit fast rack because they do not need Act 250 review. (What's up with that? What about wetlands and wildlife corridors?)

Currently there is a small solar installation at Rock Point School. Free Press reported today that an industrial sized  installation is planned for Franklin -- see details here -- a 2.4 megawatt project on 12 acres in Sheldon Springs. The Flynn Estate property, bounded by Curtis Ave, Starr Farm and Sunset Cliffs Road, and Strathmore on Appletree Point, is a 40 acre site. Approximately 63% (25 acres) is being considered for the solar array. The rest of the land will be set aside for passive recreation, walking/riding trails and educational displays. Frank VonTurkovich has been a regular at NPA, where the proposal for solar use of the land was proposed as an alternative to the kinds of large housing projects that have been denied permits because of wetland impacts and traffic congestion around Flynn School. The property is leased land, income dedicated by John Flynn Estate to the support of the Fletcher Allen Health Center.

A 12-acre, 2.4MW solar development in Sheldon Springs will resemble this one, located in Sabaudia, Italy, says Greenwood Biosar CEO Kristina Peterson, who is familiar with the design of both plants. / Courtesy Greenwood Biosa

5/31/13

CELEBRATION BURLINGTON, BLUMENTHAL AWARD TO LEA, NPA

HERB BLUMENTAL AWARD FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVISM

Lea Terhune is a longtime resident of the New North End and an active member of Ward 4/7 NPA steering committees. She has organized community budget forums, development initiatives, youth leadership efforts, television programs, and [MUCH] more.

Well, speaking for myself (more includes the fact that I blog for the North End NPAs), I can say that the NPAs are my favorite activity. We get the job done!

5/25/13

NORTH END NPAs - JOINT STATEMENT ON REDISTRICTING

UPDATE: Advocates of  6 or 7 wards/ 13 councilors plan don't want to create an 8th ward in the area of the city that has grown. They propose keeping their wards the same, and diminishing representation from the North End. Game on. 

5/22/13

Mayor's Budget Update

WATCH IT HERE at CCTV website.

4/25/13

MAY 22, 7PM MILLER CENTER: REPORT ON REDISTRICTING, MAYOR'S BUDGET, OPEN SPACE PROTECTION, DEVELOPMENT ISSUES.

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REDISTRICTING THE NORTH END:
Ward 4 and Ward 7 are being redrawn by the Redistricting Committee. Representatives Jim Holway, George Gamache, Jason L'Ecuyer, and Alternates Mannie Lionni and Nancy Ellis are hard at work creating an intelligent design of wards that keeps neighborhoods with common interests intact within compact, contiguous areas. The challenge is to achieve this in wards that are of equal number allowing no more than a 10% deviation. If you ever played Sim City, you should offer to play the game with these folks. Generally they meet on Thursday morning at The Bagel, and at NPA meetings, fourth Wednesday of each month, 7pm, Miller Center.
CITY BUDGET LEVEL FUNDED.
HOW WILL THAT IMPACT SERVICES AND PROGRAMS?

MAYOR'S BUDGET: The Administration is working to craft a budget that maintains vital services while also avoiding a general City property tax increase for the second year. The budget is following a similar, transparent process to the one undertaken last year. Each department head is presenting a draft budget at one of approximately eight full City Council work sessions starting this week and ending the first week in June. You can find the full schedule here, though please note it is subject to change: http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CT/Budgets/Fiscal-Year-2014-Budget/

4/17/13

APRIL 24: Redistricting, Dog Parks, School Issues

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SCHOOL  ISSUES:  Good News and Bad News

4/12/13

REDISTRICTING MEETING SCHEDULE -- PUBLIC FORUM AT EVERY MEETING



DayDateTimeLocationAddress
MondayApril 8, 20137-9 pmBurlington High School C Building52 Institute Road
TuesdayApril 16, 20137-9 pmKevin Scully Community Rm
Police Station
1 North Avenue
TuesdayMay 14, 20137-9 pmCity Hall Contois Auditorium or Room 12149 Church Street
WednesdayMay 29, 20137-9 pmPublic Works Conference Room
DPW
645 Pine Street
TuesdayJune 4, 20137-9 pmPublic Works Conference Room
DPW
645 Pine Street