As Town Meeting Day is just a couple of weeks away, I have decided to preview some of the ballot items and races. I will start with the mayor's race.
There are 4 candidates for mayor: Weinberger (Democrat), the incumbent; two challengers from the left, Progressive Steve Goodking and Independent Greg Guma, and one challenger from the right, Libertarian Loyal Ploof. I haven't followed the mayor's race that closely and I don't feel that there is much of a race to begin with. There had been recent demonstrations about the selling of land from Burlington College to a private developer, and of Weinberger's close ties to real-estate developers. In times past, I would have been a proponent of the Progressives, but after the Burlington Telecom debacle and the fiscal mess the Kiss administration left behind, I have few qualms with incumbent Weinberger. There is some anger in the community about the pro-development agenda of his adminstration, but I can only see the left splitting the vote and leaving him with a relatively comfortable path to victory. Loyal Ploof might be the best positioned to end in second place.
Now on to some of the ballot items:
School Budget: It increased again, and there were findings that the school district was still in the red. I know it's going to pass, but I'm going to vote no. It increases my rent and this city is unaffordable as it is.
Pledging city credit to downtown TIF district: Yes. Weinberger has done a good job restoring the city's credit rating, and I'm willing to give his administration a chance to improve the downtown district.
Allow noncitizens to serve on city boards and as department heads: Yes, there is nothing wrong with that as they are residents of the city and deserve to have a say about it.
Non-citizens to vote in municipal and school elections: I've thought about it, and I am voting no. Even though there were instances in the past where non-citizens were allowed to vote, all I have to say is that it is one of the few rights that separates lawful residents from US citizens. I say, become a citizen and vote. Many people would feel differently about that idea though.
Board terms for three years: Yes, there is something as voting too often for people. I feel that voting for federal representatives every two years is too much. I feel the same about elections on the local level as well.
Eliminating requirement to political affiliation for certain city boards: Yes.
What do you guys think? I don't feel that invested in the items coming up this Town Meeting Day, but I have given my take on them and I will go and vote.