AGENDA: January 15, 2009


Thursday, January 15, 2009
6:45 pm
Heineberg Community Center, 14 Heineberg Road

Facilitator: Marga Kempner, Ward 4
Note Taker: Lea Terhune, Ward 4


6:45 Greetings and Sign-In, downstairs Heineberg Center

7:00 Introductions, Announcements, Ground Rules, Agenda
Anyone who would like to make an announcement can do so at this time.

7:15 NPA Business -- Minutes, elections, resolutions, endorsements

7:20 Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials (Councilors, Legislators, Commissioners, Board Members)

7:30 Open Forum for Residents - Brief statements of neighborhood/city interest or concern.

8:00 Program - History of Leddy Park, Search for Felix Powell's Cabin, NPA Retrospective and a preview of PUD. Muriel Moore will describe the legacy of Leddy Park. Lori Sullivan and Paul Wallace will invite the community to join the search for the cabin of Burlington's first settler. A retrospective of Ward 4 NPA [a clip from Mar. 19, 1992 NPA mtg. that has been airing on Ch17] followed by public official, TBA, who will define PUD and explain how it will affect the future of development in the NNE.

8:50 Reflections - Opportunity for residents, officials, guests to speak about any subject.



December 18, 2008
Heineberg Community Center, 14 Heineberg Road

Facilitator: Phil LaVigne, Ward 7

Time-keeper: Linda Deliduka, Ward 7
Note-taker: Lea Terhune, Ward 4

Greetings and Sign-In was held downstairs in the Heineberg Center. The meeting was called to order by facilitator Phil Lavigne at 7 pm. The group went around the room for Introductions and Announcements, and Phil reviewed the Ground Rules and Agenda. Ita announced that she will help anyone who wants to make a CDBG application. Janet Paterson said there was a great opening at the Robert Miller Community Recreation Center, and the Walking Group will start in the New Year. Phil announced three community policing [cp] reassessment meetings Jan 19, Jan 28, Feb 2 in different locations. Phil will post on FPF. There will be a survey looking at cp 10 years out. Lea Terhune announced Ch 17 Ward 4 NPA LIVE@5:25, third Friday of each month. Gail Moreau announced a holiday fundraiser benefit for the Center. Phil thanked Mary Chaffee for refreshments and dusting snow off our signs, and thanked Steve Jaramillo for being our Ch 17 producer.

7:15 NPA Business – Minutes were reviewed and approved as written. Alan Sousie and Larry Walters were elected by our NPAs to serve on the Mayor’s Budget Task Force. Ann Burke (Ward 4) and Linda Deliduka (Ward 7) were elected to represent our NPAs on the CDBG Board.

7:20 Reports from Elected and Appointed Officials. Greg Jenkins, Disc Golf Working Group, Parks and Rec, reported on the first organizational meeting. He said the group will be looking at options that will work for the entire city. Ron asked if the meetings will be open? Lea thinks the answer is YES. Greg will post the meetings on FPF. John Foss asked whether the focus is IF they will have the disc golf there, or how to implement it? Greg said it is the former. Mary asked if the group is balanced, and Greg said he doesn't know yet. State Rep Mark Larson reported on the budget cutting in Montpelier. These are difficult financial times… revenue shortfall related to downturn in projections, so budget expectations are $87mil short, and demand for services is up. How to close the gap – $66 mil.? John asks whether the gap is temporary, and what is being done to address it long term? Mark sees both short and long term challenges. The transportation budget, for example, has not been bringing in enough revenue to maintain roads. Similarly, we have a structural deficit in health care. Other areas are temporary downturns. Better off in VT than other places. We have reserve funds. We have always passed a balanced budget, so we are in a strong position. Gail Moreau asked about pharmaceutical programs for seniors. Bob Hooper reported on the retirement board tracking of losses, but it’s not unusual, everyone is running in the red, and 'money management wise' we are in good shape. School Board is having budget meetings, some increases, a bond, but the critical issue is that things need to be fixed and Bob invited people to email him. Bob Herendeen reported that BED is in good shape!

7:30 Open Forum for Residents – Phil received a communication from Terry Bonson, Roseade Pkwy asking for a right hand turn arrow at Ethan Allen Parkway, across from Little Eagle Bay. Phil will follow up with Terry. Ita explained Operation Snow Shovel, and asked for volunteers as the biggest need right now is in the NNE.

8:00 Program - Mayor's Citizen Budget Task Force, Ward 4 representative, Larry Walters, and Roger Marshall from Ward 5, summarized past and current recommendations of the Budget Task Force, and encouraged residents to share their ideas for raising revenues and cutting costs. Larry, Roger, and Bob Hooper each hosted a table and took notes.

Recommendations ranged from: “spend less,” and “cut spending, we’re on an unsustainable course,” and “the city has to learn to live within our means;” to: “restructure departments to function more efficiently,” “combine police and fire department and cross train public safety officers,” “reduced work week and reduced payroll,” and “bring fees for services in line with what it costs to provide the service.” Carol Lavigne talked about the need for restructuring departments, like the police department is doing with community policing. Tom Papp talked about the need for regional planning, and the foolhardiness of depending economically on IBM, and in Burlington depending on the big institutions. Mary Chaffee talked about the need for an ombudsman to monitor best practices. Carol talked about deterioration of neighborhoods when transient rental housing replaces family homes. Increasing density is going to create problems. Mary added that people can be packed in the city if the design is good, and public transportation is available. Tom added that there are costs to growth; you can’t grow yourself out of financial problems. People invested here because they like the scale, and packing people in does not increase quality of life. Marga talked about the schools falling apart, and teachers working conditions deteriorating – increase revenue by educating the youth so they can get good, high paying jobs. Schools should be one of our #1 priorities. Joe Senesac said we need to make schools more efficient, too. He added that Burlington has a business unfriendly reputation! Bob Hooper noted a correlation between livable city and business unfriendly. Joe doesn’t think CEDO is worth all the payroll they pull down. Linda Deliduka noted the tax rate seems high in Burlington, but 70-80% of people don’t pay the full taxes. Roger Marshall wondered why we don’t tear down old schools and build new schools. Part time jobs, with benefits; political public statement that we aren’t a wealthy community and we have to live within our means; prioritize capital budget according to what pays off the quickest; new ways look at the value of senior centers so the payback is measurable; Moran not optimal, but that waterfront real estate is unique and could be developed as a world class tourist destination; people who use services should pay for them; CEDO needs to be more transparent; city departments need to work on 10 year planning horizons that are transparent to the public; city should do crisis planning; don’t throw money at the city departments unless they are forced to change their way of doing business! Non-profits depress the revenue to the general fund and we need them to pay more. Consultants are a high cost, like the legal costs, and we have paid city staff for that. Are the fees we charge in line with the services derived, like are fees for boat slips comparable to market prices compared to other cities? Do we have to get the laws changed for non-profits? Shouldn’t we collect meals tax from UVM facilities, banquets at the Davis Center, for example? Are there more things citizen volunteers can do, like community service, to clean up the city? One Green Up Day is not enough. Discussion about emergency services, fire and police going out on an ambulance call, for example. Ideas were flying too fast to possibly catch them all! At 8:50, each table reported their recommendations, which Larry and Roger will take to the Mayor and his Chief Administrative Officer, Jonathan Leopold. Larry explained that the info will be folded into the next cycle of budget task force work. Meanwhile, every city department has been asked to file a report on status of previous recommendations. This Task Force is a repository for good ideas! Linda suggested people use Front Porch Forum for ideas, too. Lea said that Jonathan will watch the meeting tape.