No changes on the horizon for downtown lighting

SGA’s Committee on Legislative Action (COLA) met with the Burlington City Council last Monday to improve street lighting for UVM students and Burlington residents.”The Kiss Administrations and other city departments, for our sake, must understand that this is a safety issue,” UVM Student and COLA Chairman Scott McCarty said. “Students do not feel safe walking to their cars at night.”Mayor Bob Kiss and the City Council chose not to vote on any action until the correct department was chosen to deal with the issue.”We are already addressing outdoor lighting issues,” Mayor Kiss said, “I think this is a helpful approach to identify areas [that] could be potentially problematic.””UVM does a great job lighting its streets and passages. Why can’t the City follow suit,” McCarty said.While several City Council members openly discussed possibilities to improve street lighting in residential areas, the issue became centered on who will actually deal with the problem.”There is no need for a vote now,” City Council President Kurt Wright said to close the meeting.For COLA, this is just the beginning. “We will not relent and we will continue to press these folks for some kind of preventative action,” McCarty said. COLA is simply looking for “an opportunity…to have this obvious wrong corrected.””[The meeting] was very illuminating,” Joe Speidel, UVM Vice President of State, Federal and Community Relations said after the meeting.The City Council will meet in the future to discuss this issue, but for now, the street lighting in residential Burlington will remain the same.