The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The Coalition for a Livable City

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Dear Editor,

The Coalition for a Livable City, feeling the Bern and armed with a positive message of a Better Town Center, faces a true David and Diana versus Goliath battle to defeat the two November ballot items: the Sinex zoning amendment and $22 million project tax increment financing funds.

The Coalition, gratified by Mayor Miro Weinberger’s action to place the project zoning amendment to avoid facing Burlington, is facing a Coalition-led citizen planned petition to that end.

The Coalition now undertakes an uphill battle, outmatched by the money of multi-millionaire Sinex and some business interests directly benefiting as well as Mayor Weinberger’s political operation.

Private interests hired the high-powered Montpelier lobbyist firm helping to push the radical zoning changes.

One expects continued private closed-door private campaigning for the Sinex ballot items.

Contrast this with thousands of hours already contributed by ordinary Burlington residents who attended countless meetings, studied quietly and worked together in a cause for a Better Town Center.

A Better Town Center means five to 10 stories for increased affordable family and senior housing, lower parking provision and green space and energy efficiencies. All this would be consistent with our consensus PlanBTV.

The Coalition for a Livable City follows the footsteps of its most famous Mayor and stared a “Fund Me” Kickstarter over the weekend so the people can make small contributions to take on Wall Street and the City’s establishment.

And yes, there may well be a bake sale or two!

All to help us to realize what we all share, the desire for a human scale mixed-use Mall redevelopment consistent with our Plan BTV vision, an ageless development like Church Street itself we can all be proud of!

While secret money propelled some pro-Sinex activities, the Coalition continues to account for and report in the sunlight all its expenditures and contributors under State law where anyone can see them.

Yes, it is a David and Diana versus Goliath as the Coalition for a Livable City goes forth during the next few weeks to the Nov. 8 election to slay Wall Street’s private-equity-billions dragon with “no” votes on the zoning amendment and $22 million TIF!

Yours truly,

Tony Redington

Member of the Coalition for a Livable City

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
The Coalition for a Livable City