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. 

On May 29, 7pm at DPW conference room on Pine Street, the redistricting committee will review, modify, and assess 4 plans for redistricting. Agenda.

  • Two 13-councilor plans call for the North End to lose one councilor from ward 4. DISCUSS - 13 Councilors
  • Two 8-ward plans create a new ward in the area of the city where population has increased due to added student population. One version calls for 12 councilors, and the other for 16 councilors. In the 8-wards/16-councilors plan, no ward loses a councilor, and council gains two new members. We believe this lessens the committee burden on each councilor, reduces the number of constituents each councilor serves, and increases opportunities for leadership to emerge from the grass-roots of the body politic. We believe 8/16 is good for democracy, and good for Burlington. DISCUSS - 8 Wards

In the beginning of the redistricting process, not diminishing North End voices on council was a priority of the committee. Our population is not swollen by transient, disinterested, unengaged students, as the committee described UVM on-campus students. One councilor per ward was discussed, but not for long. Two councilors per ward is practical.  Five times in the past few years councilors have left before their terms were up, or have taken leave, for personal reasons. In every case, the ward did not lack representation because each ward has two councilors. The 8-wards/16-councilors plan is balanced and fair, and no ward's voice is diminished. 

If you have an opinion about which plan the committee chooses, please attend the meeting at DPW on May 29, and speak up. 05408.org . We would very much appreciate your support. We believe we have acted in your best interests, but we can't do it alone.


TO: The Burlington Special Committee on Redistricting
       City Councilors Hartnett, Aubin, Deselles and Ayers
       The Honorable Mayor Weinburger
        Burlington City Council President Shannon
        Burlington City Council

FROM: Burlington Neighborhood Planning Assembly – Ward 4
             Burlington Neighborhood Planning Assembly – Ward 7

DATE: May 25, 2013

In a joint session of Ward 4 and Ward 7 Neighborhood Planning Assemblies, a spirited discussion resulted in the call for a letter to be written in the strongest terms possible endorsing an 8-ward, 16-councilor Redistricting Plan.

Redistricting Committee Representatives, Redistricting Committee Alternates, Ward 4 City Councilors and Ward 7 City Councilors make up the New North End Redistricting Team. In a Redistricting Team meeting on May 18, 2013, a unanimous decision was made to keep an open and fair mind when reviewing the final options under consideration by the Redistricting Committee, but the only plan that we felt to be fair across Burlington and to our New North End constituents is an 8-ward plan.

Our New North End Redistricting Team gave reasonable consideration to the alternate plans of the Redistricting Committee known as “the 13 Councilor plans.”  We can see no non-politically motivated reason for a plan that is driven by the aim to reduce the New North End Councilor count by 1. Since we have a mathematically suitable option where there would be no over-representation in any ward, we cannot justify support for any 13-Councilor plan.

As is the responsibility of the New North End Redistricting Team, we presented both the 8-ward options and the 13-councilor options to the Ward 4 NPA and the Ward 7 NPA, jointly. We advised that we needed their input on these plans so that we can best represent the wishes of the New North End residents. At the conclusion of discussion, a motion was made to endorse the 8-ward plan, which is the subject of this letter, written on behalf of residents of Ward 4 and Ward 7 NPAs.

· A separate and independent vote by Ward 4, motion to read: We, the residents of Ward 4, endorse an 8-ward plan, in fairness with each Ward having 2 city councilors.  Ward 4 passed the motion by unanimous vote in the affirmative, with no abstentions.
· A separate and independent vote by Ward 7, motion to read: We, the residents of Ward 7, endorse an 8-ward plan in fairness with each Ward having 2 city councilors.  Ward 7 passed the motion by unanimous vote in the affirmative, with no abstentions.

The New North End Redistricting Team represents the joint NPAs as a unified voice. We are all in agreement that this motion reflects the wishes and best interests of residents in the New North End. 

In conclusion, the voters of both Wards 4 and Ward 7 will work to pass a redistricting plan that is fair for all, and does not unnecessarily target any ward or portion of Burlington.  

Ward 4 and Ward 7 NPAs
Miller Center, 130 Gosse Court, Burlington, VT.