The Burlington Free Press from Burlington, Vermont on March 4, 1987 · Page 11
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The Burlington Free Press from Burlington, Vermont · Page 11

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Burlington, Vermont
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Wednesday, March 4, 1987
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Page 11
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The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Wednesday, March 4, 1987 5 B Voters in Burlington Elect School Board Members From Page IB restricted or eliminated after voters rejected the 1985-86 budget increase in a special election in June 1985. Supplies were short. Building maintenance was delayed. Schools officials rallied the troops under the flag of crisis, and the effort was vindicated when the 1986-87 budget increase passed by such a large margin. But the same officials were worried this year that a sense of complacency would set in with volunteers and, more importantly, voters. "We realized that coming back another year, that things would be tougher," said Ellie McNamara, principal of CP. Smith Elementary School and a member of the School Board's Tax Steering Committee. riiCJi L-WQ - i U -4d yk ARONSON VAN BUREN PALM The campaign to persuade voters to approve the tax increase focused on the quality of Burlington's schools rather than on the survival mode that schools were in the previous year. Officials repeatedly pointed to a $15 million budget that added three elementary art teachers, a half-time computer instructor and a health coordinator as an example of a few-frills system. In School Board elections, Tuesday: Democrat Carol Ode beat Marilyn McKenzie 852-756, according to unofficial returns, for the opening in Ward 2. The seat was vacated by Democrat Barbara Hockert, who decided not to run for re-election so she could devote more time to her PILLSBURY House seat in the Legislature. Ode graduated from the University of Vermont in 1978 and from Cornell Law School in 1982. She has taught sixth and seventh grades in Colchester and has practiced law. Democrat Francis Palm won re-election in Ward 3, beating independent Michael Hackett 912-554, according to unofficial returns. This will be Palm's ninth term on the board. Anh "Phi" Doane, a Democrat, was re-elected in Ward 4. Doane beat Republican Paul Provost Jr., 1,937 to 1,462, according to unofficial returns. Doane presented a low-key campaign. She said she spent most of her time campaigning for the tax increase. In Ward 5, Democratic incumbent Linda Aronson handily beat Republican challenger Bob Fiorenza, 1,381 to 559, according to unofficial returns. This will be Aronson's second term on the board. In her first term she was on the curriculum and policy committees. Candidates in two wards were unopposed. In Ward 1, independent Keith Pillsbury received 1,320 votes, according to unofficial returns. In Burlington Results Complete, But Unofficial MAYORAL CONTEST WARD 1 WARD 2 WARD 3 WARD 4 WARD 5 WARD 6 TOTAL Paul Lafayette (D) 645 541 57fj 1999 1040 ?91 5 594 44e8 Bernard Sanders (I) 1 106 1 140 1 050 1547 1041 1017 6 901 55.200 BALLOT ITEMS Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes 1. School Tax 1,130 475 1,031 564 827 686 1,697 1,802 1,049 943 1,136 595 6,870 5,065 57.6 2. Police Tax 1,139 475 1,064 522 1,049 521 2,259 1,245 1,297 695 1,221 501 8,029 3,959 67.0 3. Waterfront Bond 1,355 316 1,287 343 1,138 454 2,326 1,179 1,440 592 1,358 395 8,904 3,279 73.1 4. Elderly Tax Relief 1,198 403 1,265 324 1,165 403 2,084 1,356 1,262 714 1,106 583 8,080 3,783 68.1 5. Condo Conversion 1,057 562 1,097 501 970 589 1,819 1,617 1,074 901 944 745 6,961 4,915 58.6 6. Municipal Court 1,137 379 1,146 374 1,059 449 2,187 1,194 1,251 670 1,156 477 7,936 3,543 69.1 Two-thirds majority needed for passage Ballot Items Are Approved By the Voters in Burlington From Page 1 B step forward in the fight for affordable housing, and, after all the years ... we're going to take a giant step forward on improving the public amenities down there (on the waterfront)," he said. The $2.9 million from the bond will be used to make improvements at the waterfront, including a community boathouse, completion of the bicycle path, a boardwalk near Perkins Pier and a boat launch near the Moran Generating Station. In proposing the bond, the Sanders administration said it was trying to move forward in opening up the waterfront, despite the defeat in 1985 of the Alden waterfront project, the commercial-residential development that died after voters rejected a $6 million bond. The 4-cent tax increase per $100 of assessed property value will pay for seven new police officers, as well as police cruisers and several programs that had been funded by federal or state grants. The seven officers were considered necessary to cope with growth in the city and because of increased police calls. The "condo conversion" ordinance was proposed by the Community and Economic Development Office to deal with the conversion of apartment units into condominiums. The measure, in part, was designed to help residents of Northgate, a federally subsidized project that city officials fear will be converted next year into condominiums. Also, city officials said the conversion of 300 units in the past six years had caused a strain in an already tight housing market. The ordinance requires landlords to give tenants two years notice before starting the conversion, and to give tenants the right to buy the apartment before it is converted. In addition, the new law levies a 4 percent city tax on the sale of the converted unit, which would be used to create affordable housing. The tax relief issue will give rent rebates to elderly tenants and homeowners. Those making less than $10,000 a year would be eligible. The program will be funded by a property transfer tax. This measure requires a City Charter change, and thus must be approved by the Legislature. Voters also authorized the hiring of a magistrate to prosecute city ordinance violations. The City Attorney's Office currently handles such violations and prosecutes them in Vermont District Court. The magistrate position was created to streamline the process. Lacourse Elected Winooski Mayor From Page 1 B Design Review Committee and the Planning Commission in the past. He also has been a member of the Board of Civil Authority and Liquor Control Commission. Norful is a flight instructor for Montair Flight Services at the Burlington International Airport. He is a lifelong resident of the city. On a separate ballot question, voters passed, 743-353, a $300,000 bond issue for reconstruction of Main Street. Federal and state funds will be used for the $3 million project, which will be in the form of complete reconstruction between the Winooski River bridge and the city line with Colchester. It is regarded as one of the worst stretches of pavement in Chittenden County. Voters approved, 690-402, a plan to spend $50,000 to repair the Fire Department's pumper truck. In a separate race, Jeffrey R. Myers defeated Mark W. Metivier, 679-463, for a one-year seat on the council. Other winners in Tuesday's election were Florence Thabault, who ran unopposed for a two-year term on the council. She was first elected to the council in 1976, and lost a bid for a fifth term in 1984. Normand P. Valliere, also unopposed, was elected to a two-year term on the council. He will replace Normand Shaw, who did not seek re-election. In the School District, Charles Hazen ran unopposed for a three-year trustee's spot and Shaw received 95 votes as a write-in for a two-year spot. Burlington Aldermanic Results Complete, But Unofficial WARD 1 Total Pet. Sharon Bushor (I) 908 53.3 James D. Rowell (D) 794 46.7 WARD 2 Terry Bouricius (PC) 906 54.3 Rick Sharp (D) 762 45.7 WARD 3 Paul I. Robar, Jr. (R) 1 36 8.5 Dan Ryan Jr. (D) 536 33.7 Tom Smith (PC) 919 57.8 WARD 4 Allen F. Gear (R) 3057 100 WARD 5 John M. Ackerson (R) 542 26.5 Mary W. Bentley (I) 696 34. 1 Nancy W. Chioffi (D) 805 39.4 WARD 6 Bea Bookchin (G) 386 22.4 Paul K. Sutherland (R) 724 41.9 Susan Wheeler (D) 617 35.7 D-Democrat R-Republican PC-Progressive Coalition l-lndependent G-Green Ward 6, incumbent Elizabeth Van Buren, a Democrat, got 1,470 votes, according to unofficial returns. Educators praised the passage of the 1987-88 budget late Tuesday. "It means not having to worry about supplies," McNamara said. "We'll have money to continue replacing textbooks, and to get the . educational materials we need to maintain a top-quality system." Superintendent Paul Danyow said, "It says something about people's confidence in the schools." Palm, D-Ward 3, said he was surprised how strong the support was for this year's tax increase. "If it passed we would have been. ; happy, but with this overwhelming., margin, it makes me feel that the -city of Burlington has education as one its top priorities." Wennberg : Is Mayor ; In Rutland ByTEDTEDFORD Free Press Staff Writer ' RUTLAND - City Planner Jef- frey Wennberg, 34, defeated theater owner and former alderman Kevin J. " Mullin Tuesday, becoming the youngest mayor the city has ever had. ' Unofficial returns showed Wennberg defeating Mullin 2,944 to 1,968 1 despite polls and predictions by both " candidates that the election would be -close. Wennberg replaces Mayor John J. Daley, who stepped down after six years in office. "Jeff won a decisive victory, i want to wish him luck and to pledge ' my support," said Mullin at his home ' after the results were announced. "Kevin's a gentleman," said Wen-' nberg, who was celebrating his victo-t ry with friends at a local restaurant. Wennberg said he was surprised' -at the overwhelming victory. "I thought a week and a half ago that I ' was pulling ahead and last week I -saw a solid lead, but I didn't expect anvthins like this " he said Wennberg, who served on the city 1 1 1 1 4rnn i. innj SLiiuoi uuaiu iruru iou iu isoi, . defeated Mullin even though the latter had the support of most of the . city's aldermen and Sen. Gilbert . Godnick, D-Rutland, a former mayor. During the campaign, Godnick said Mullin was a more practical man because he didn't have a college degree, a thinly-veiled criticism of Wennberg, who holds a master's degree in management. Wennberg characterized Mullin as being too closely tied to what. Wennberg called the city's Democratic machine. The campaign's main issues were the Vicon trash-to-energy plant to be built in Rutland Town and construction of The Commons at Rutland . Town, a $30-million shopping mall proposed for a site off U.S. 7 just north of the city. Wennberg favors construction of the $20-million resource recovery plant, saying it has passed the . "toughest permitting process ever conducted" in the state. Wennberg said the city should have the power, now vested only in the state, to shut the plant down if it pollutes the air. Mullin said that although he favors construction of the plant, he wants the permit process reopened.. -"Vicon hasn't even petitioned the Public Service Board for an electrical rate that it will charge Central Vermont Public Service (Corporation)," said Mullin, "and that's a key , component." Wennberg countered at a radio debate Monday that Mullin was try-, ing to stall construction of the Vicon .. plant. w - I S ' ! f i Morristown Slashes Budget free Press Photo by MARK SASAHARA Wayne Twombly, left, listens to a discussion of the school tax at the Morristown meeting while his wife, Mildred, knits. Speaking at right is Allen Church. By NANCY CROWE Free Press Correspondent MORRISTOWN - Voters turned longtime School Board chairman McDonald Miller out of office Tuesday and made deep cuts into the proposed school budget. Jerry Tillotson, editor of the local News and Citizen, defeated Miller 214-112 in the only contested election. Miller and other school directors spent most of Tuesday morning defending the board's budget request, which would have raised the school tax appropriation 57 percent. Overall, the school budget would rise 27 percent. Almost three-quarters of the increase was earmarked for teachers' salaries. The budget was passed at first, but voters decided to rescind it. Voters approved a $1,590,000 budget, down from the $1,988,000 proposed by the board. "It's mandatory that we put our teachers on par with the communities surrounding us. It will take $726,000 to do that," Miller told voters. The School Board estimated the town will receive between $350,000 and $400,000 in state aid if Gov. Madeleine Kunin's Foundation Plan is passed by the state Legislature. They told voters that would cover much of the budget increase. But voters weren't willing to bet the farm on the possible passage of Kunin's plan, which has run into trouble in the Legislature. Resident Michael Lowe proposed that the 27 percent increase be dropped to 10 percent. Then George Gruner requested that any increase in state aid be applied directly to the school budget, not to reduce property taxes. Both measures passed easily. School Director William Cox argued before the vote that the uncertainty of state aid will place the board in a "very difficult position." The board was depending on the approval of the 27 percent increase to avoid an impasse in contract negotiations with the teachers. The board wants to give teachers an average raise of 32 percent. There seems to be little room for compromise. Merri Greenia, chief teachers' negotiator for the last contract, argues that the teachers need a substantial increase to catch up with other communities. "If Morristown cuts this budget we will be six years behind other districts," he said. "Morristown has to face the day of reckoning now and get behind decent, equitable teachers salaries." Michael Lowe led other efforts to trim the town budgets, which were up an average of 32 percent, but did not repeat his success. An amendment to eliminate the selectmen's assistant's position held by Gloria Wing was defeated. Lowe also failed to eliminate the $14,000 purchase of a police cruiser and to cut the highway budget by $130,000. Taxes to fund the highway department are up 60 percent, due to a $100,000 loss in revenue sharing funds. K 1

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