It has been an honor to serve as your South District Councilor for the past 2 years, and as a Ward 5 City Councilor for 6 terms. I thank you all for this privilege. This year I will be running for re-election to the “South District” which is a combination of Wards 5 and 6.
My deep love for our City drives me to want to continue to serve on the City Council. The City has faced many challenges in recent years, but under the leadership of Mayor Weinberger, with support from a tri-partisan City Council, we seem to be well on our way to righting the ship. That’s not to say that there isn’t still plenty of work to be done!
Our credit rating has improved dramatically over the past 4 years, we recently had an excellent audit, and we are on the verge of permanently resolving our issues with Burlington Telecom. But like the rest of the nation, we are now challenged by a seemingly reckless Presidential administration with little regard for the consequences of acting on their campaign rhetoric. We are treading into new and unknown territory at this time, and we will need a steady hand at the helm of our City to survive this storm. I believe my longtime experience on the Council will be instrumental in helping the City weather this storm.
We also face the common challenges of many cities – heroin addiction, associated crime, shortage of affordable housing, and quality of life issues. While I have been diligent in my efforts to address these challenges more effort is needed to accomplish our goals. The City has added an opiod policy coordinator, we have many new affordable housing units coming onto the market in the coming months and years, and are now planning for the sale of Burlington Telecom. I commend the Mayor for his leadership in these initiatives and am honored to be able to contribute to finding solutions and moving them forward.
The long awaited Southern Connector/Champlain Parkway now has its permits and may actually begin construction in 2018. (A risky prediction…I know) The road is now more integrated with the rest of the City grid than previous iterations and more bike and pedestrian friendly too. While I have not been its biggest champion over the years, I am now persuaded that with the current improvements, the Parkway will be a net positive for the South End.
In my first term on the City Council I took the lead on eliminating smoking in bars and clubs, which eventually led to the statewide ban of the same. In 2015 we were able to extend the smoking ban to Church St. so that visitors, patrons, and people watchers can all enjoy a smokefree environment downtown. I hope that in 2017 we will finally see our city parks go smokefree and will continue to push for progress on this front. Burlington wants to be a healthy city, and while people have the freedom to smoke, it is government’s role to limit the negative impacts the actions of one will have on the whole.
I love living in Burlington and celebrate, everyday, all the amenities our fine City has to offer – the Lake, parks, walkability, festivals, the farmers market, Intervale skiing, the bikepath, and tightly knit neighborhoods. As your city councilor I want to protect our quality of life, and work to assure it is accessible and affordable for everyone.
Like most people in Burlington I wear many hats. Some of my other hats are Mom to my 14 year old Irish Dancer, sailor, all around talented daughter Julia; wife to my very tolerant husband Ken Grillo; companion of 2 or more rescue dogs; and Realtor at Wynne Associates in Burlington.
Please call my cell 802 324-3300 if you would like to discuss any City issues. Hearing from my constituents is essential to representing your interests. I look forward to seeing you, meeting you, and talking to you as I embark on “door-knocking season”. Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve Burlington’s South End and Hill, and I ask for your support this year again as the South District City Councilor.