Thursday, May 22, 2008


Ken Picard reports on the 05/21/08 edition of Seven Days that Burlington's mayor, Bob Kiss, has stated that BT will not be dropping Al Jazeera anytime soon. Without getting advice or even informing the BT citizens advisory committee, Chris Burns of BT decided unilaterally to drop AJE. The BTAC will meet, maybe even take public comment [shocker!] at 4 p.m. next Tuesday in Contois.

There are a whole slew of letters on the BT/AJE deal in 7D (05/21/08), too.

And Haik Bedrosian on his blog continues to offer excellent comment and wise advice.
Democrats should not attack the mayor for stepping in. He's doing the right thing. A fledgling city department is veering off course and the mayor is responsible . So is the city council.

The Republicans may not philosophically agree with the city owning a telecom utility, but at least they understand it for what it is. Burlington Telecom is a political entity. There's no getting around that. I think that's great. Some people don't and believe all telecom utilities should be commercial or private. That's a debate we can have. But if the Dems try to accuse the mayor of politicizing what the Progs and the Republicans already know is political anyway, they run the risk of appearing out of touch and/or disingenuous. I hope they don't go there.

The fact is, this is a city department. There are oversight committees and there are processes. Burns cancelled the channel unilaterally without telling the oversight committees. That's un-democratic. This is a democracy, and Burlington Telecom is a public utility. If you want to infringe on someone's first amendment rights, you at least have to go through due process.
If y'all have time and the interest --
Open Forum: Open Government Committee

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2nd Floor, Firehouse Gallery/City Arts

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
If the BTAC meeting on Tuesday has not room for public comment, you'll have a chance to have your say on Wednesday. After all, BT is a city department whose focus is communication! Let's hope Channel 17, that Burlington bastion of free speech records these meetings and carries them live-stream on its nifty website!

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