The urban/rural mix of my childhood made me feel right at home in South Burlington, where, when offered the position at UVM in 2002, I and my husband decided to purchase a home and where we are raising our three children, now 17, 15, and 5. We have never regretted our choice and feel deeply committed to this wonderful place that we call home. We are a City of diverse resources. We have thriving businesses, major transportation portals, preserved natural areas and working farmlands, vibrant neighborhoods, active volunteers and City boards, and a highly skilled City staff. I treasure this shared investment in our City and understand the need for balance between these entities.
I first became involved in municipal affairs through my volunteerism at my children’s elementary school beginning in 2004, when our older son entered kindergarten at Chamberlin Elementary School. I was later appointed to the South Burlington Charter Review Committee in 2007, followed by a successful run for the Council in 2008. During my time on the Charter Review Committee, 2007-2008, the committee reformed the City’s Charter to include Neighborhood Civic Forums, a local governance structure I proposed and that more directly involves citizens in the City’s decision-making processes. During my first two terms on the Council, I was a strong advocate for the new police station (for which voters passed a bond in 2009), the conservation of Leduc, now Bread and Butter Farm, on our city’s southern limits (also in 2009), and the development of City Center (approved as a TIF district in 2013). I was also serving on the Council when carbon emissions reduction plans were established for City and School buildings. I took a two-year break from 2012 to 2014, when I successfully ran for a third term, which I am completing now.
As you know, two of my passions, as your elected representative, are to do my part to uphold open, transparent, and accountable government and to increase citizen involvement and input into the City Council’s work in setting policy. I believe that policy decisions that directly impact our economy, infrastructure, environment, and residents are enhanced by active citizen participation and dialog among stakeholders, which promote buy-in and mutually respectful outcomes. In that same spirit, I am now actively advocating for the creation of a noise abatement committee through dialog with our partners for Airport noise mitigation, BTV and VTANG. As seen throughout the U.S., and as prioritized by the Federal Aviation Administration, this type of committee ensures best outcomes for residents and airports.
In addition to doing regular City business, such as approving budgets and pursuing public-private City Center projects, one of the most pleasurable parts of my job is supporting the important initiatives of our most capable City staff: City Hall renovation and other capital improvement projects, Library and Recreation/Leisure Arts programming (“A Novel Idea” at Wheeler Homestead, Storytimes, workshops, concert series, City Fest, the Mozart Festival…), the Open Space and Natural Area Enhancement Plan (to be voted on this March), a dialog on the proposed legalization of marijuana, and continued quality services provided by our City Clerk’s office, Planning and Zoning Department, Public Safety (Police/Fire/Ambulance), and Department of Public Works.
Between 2008 and 2015, I also served as South Burlington’s representative on Channel 17’s Board of Trustees and take pride in having served as its president. Channel 17 Town Meeting Television is the local government access channel, established over twenty years ago in order to give citizens direct access to civic conversations and monthly and special meetings of our local policy-makers.
I look forward to continuing my service and would be honored to have that chance again if elected on March 1 to represent you on our City Council.