Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Maggie Standley, Old North End community leader has a My Turn article in the Burlington Free Press on the continuing lack of communication from the city and P&R department (what else is new?) regarding the development of Avant Garden
Naturally, I have lost some confidence in our collaboration. What we discussed wasn't carried through nor were changes run by our steering committee. In fact, it seems we were flat out ignored and perhaps mislead (being told not all the trees would be cut only the day before they were, and the land steward was present on site during the cutting). It has been hard to know how to work together under these circumstances, and if that is indeed what the city wants.
And the city has released a report on Categate. The Free Press is unaccepting and wants a complete explanation.
It cost $63,900 (including $22,000 for Cate's salary while on leave) to sort through this imbroglio over unauthorized access to e-mail, and to determine that the city waterfront operations' finances are indecipherable to a private accounting firm.

That penny tax for parks you approved in the November election? About 18 percent of the $355,000 it's expected to raise just slipped out of the coffers. The lawyers and accounting firm sucked up a bit of it.

Mayor Bob Kiss gave the council the report it asked for after the City Council president running for mayor accused the mayor of "spoon feeding" councilors information.

And once again, we don't know much except that the public process of sorting through the shenanigans of government is unruly, and we all ought to have a better understanding of the city's personnel policies.

Yet we still have no real idea what city employee Adam Cate did to launch this investigation.

And there is the little matter of how money was managed -- or mismanaged or forgotten or lost -- at the waterfront. If a private audit cannot figure it out, how will Mayor Kiss?

Perhaps the council, with the power of numbers, might want to delve into this little sideshow.

The public awaits the next report, which ought to be much more detailed than the report given Monday night by the mayor.
The City Election is fast approaching - all of a sudden it's become some sort of vendetta against all-things-Kiss? It will be interesting to see which mayoral candidate the paper supports. Maggie's piece and the editorial testify to the need for more transparency and communication from the municipal authorities.

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