Thursday February 02, 2017
Jimmy Leas says he has long been inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders. He volunteered for Bernie’s presidential bid, and heard Bernie urge people to run for local office.
“On January 23, running for South Burlington City Council became urgently necessary,” he said. “On that day I discovered that, in her role as South Burlington’s representative to the Airport Commission, City Councilor Pat Nowak had voted in May 2016 to approve a multi-million dollar federal grant to buy and demolish yet more homes in South Burlington. Nowak did not share this information or her vote with her fellow city councilors. Other councilors only learned of this decision four months later. By then, it was a done deal. The loss of these homes affects all South Burlington taxpayers,” said Leas.
“We need a city councilor who will vote to protect the homeowners — a councilor who puts city residents first — not the airport and out-of-state developers — a councilor who does not withhold vital information — a councilor who is honest,” said Leas.
Federal documents cite military jet noise as the primary source of the noise problem. Currently it is the F-16. “In the future it will be the noise of the F-35,which is four times louder than the F-16, and will impact over six thousand people. As a city councilor I will work tirelessly to stop the F-35 basing, save homes and neighborhoods, and protect the health and safety of our families,” Leas said.
Leas is saddened by the loss of the city’s open spaces and undeveloped lands. He will fight to preserve the natural beauty of South Burlington. Additionally, Leas says he will work to improve roads, waterways, and city services. He is committed to keeping Central School as part of a vibrant city center. “I will also expand on the good work being done by our Energy Committee in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels,” says Leas.
An MIT graduate, Leas taught high school physics and biology for several years in Detroit. After completing a graduate degree in physics he became an engineer at IBM, where he was an inventor for 20 years and ultimately worked in IBM’s patent law department. While at IBM he read for the bar and now has his own patent law firm in South Burlington. His two daughters, Zoe and Eliza, attended Central School, Tuttle Middle School, and South Burlington High School. Leas has lived in South Burlington for 24 years.
Leas says he will pattern his service as a city councilor on Bernie Sanders’ example. “I am authentic, straightforward, vigorous in advocating for regular folks, and unabashedly fearless in confronting those with power,” he said.