Thursday February 01, 2018
Helen Riehle has announced her candidacy for a third term on the South Burlington City Council. “It has been an honor to have served the city as councilor for nearly six years. I have enjoyed the privilege and look forward to completing many of the initiatives we have recently undertaken and addressing the current and future issues facing our city,” said Riehle.
Riehle describes her tenure as city council chair as having an “evenhanded and sensitive approach to controversy and differing perspectives, which has provided an improvement in the tenor of the council meetings and forward progress on several fronts.”
Enthusiastic about the continuing development of City Center, Riehle says she is cognizant of the important balance between private development and public projects. She notes the interim library move and current public engagement about the vision for a new library as critical to City Center.
Riehle sees the recent completion of the landfill solar array as an important step to providing meaningful income to the city and less reliance on fossil fuels, as well as achieving the Comprehensive Plan goals for energy efficiency. “I proposed, and the council agreed, to create a special fund for the solar array payments dedicated to continued energy efficiency efforts for the city,” Riehle said, adding that she will “continue to be a strong advocate for the work of the Energy Committee and reinvesting our financial resources prudently.”
“South Burlington shares with all Vermont cities and towns the constant struggle balancing taxes and services. Careful stewardship of city finances is a high priority and I have focused on finding every way to make our government lean while providing the levels of public safety, safe roads, responsive government, and the amenities of a vibrant city that the public expects. Growing the grand list is crucial to offset the growing costs of health care, pensions and contract negotiations for our excellent city employees,” stated Riehle.
Riehle expressed that improving airport communications remains an important concern for the city. Along with Winooski Mayor Seth Leonard, she reached out to Burlington Mayor Weinberger and set up regular face-to-face meetings designed to find compromise, understanding, and positive actions the three cities can embrace regarding airport and other issues of mutual concern. “I will make every effort to continue these dialogues if reelected,” said Riehle. “There is much that we can accomplish together.”
Riehle lives on Hinesburg Road with her husband Ted and three golden retrievers. Prior to joining the city council, she served for 18 years in the Vermont State Legislature as a Representative and Senator, managed several nonprofits and was active on many boards in Chittenden County including Vermont Public Television, UVM Board of Directors, and Burlington College.