Michael Rozzi

Rozzi Announces School Board Candidacy for 2 Year Term

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Thursday February 15, 2018

Michael Rozzi has announced his candidacy for the South Burlington School Board for the two year term. A 40-year resident of South Burlington, Rozzi said, “The past year was difficult in South Burlington. The failure of two school budgets for the first time in the city’s history, the acrimonious teacher contract negotiations, and the unwillingness of the school board to allow the community to have a voice in the debate over the mascot exemplified a failure in process and transparency.” He added, “Given the many challenges in the coming year, we can and must do better for the sake of our children and the community.”

Rozzi notes his family has deep roots in the community, where he lives with his wife, Tina, and their daughter, who attends Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School. His son is a South Burlington High School alumnus. “I know full well the importance of a first-class education,” Rozzi said, adding, “I also know that that the school board must improve its ability to be a good steward of taxpayer funds, while maintaining the excellent educational system in South Burlington that we’ve grown to expect.”

To this end, Rozzi says that his priorities as a member of the school board will be to ensure fiscal responsibility, transparency, and community inclusiveness. In terms of fiscal responsibility, he emphasizes economic sustainability and greater scrutiny on spending. Rozzi notes, “The current budget process compares new budgets to prior submitted budgets, rather than the actual costs incurred the prior year, potentially distorting the amount needed.”

Regarding transparency, Rozzi states that “trust is the bedrock upon which the connection between the community and the school board is founded.” He adds, “Budgetary shell games that erode that trust do long-term damage to the school board’s credibility. For example, the district has removed $950,500 of maintenance and repairs from the FY2019 budget and will ask voters to approve it as a separate bond.”

Rozzi reports that he intends to focus his efforts on ensuring that the community is included in debates on any issues, even those that may be divisive. “The way to resolve contentious issues is not through backroom deals, but through open, transparent, and vigorous debate,” adding, “That’s our Vermont democratic tradition.”

Rozzi, who has a Master in Public Administration degree from the University of Vermont, has been a small business owner, property investment manager, and volunteer South Burlington youth hockey, basketball, and soccer coach. He also served as president and on the board of directors for the Burlington Country Club. Noting his business background and “extensive experience regarding managing budgets,” Rozzi says, “I look forward to serving the South Burlington community as a school board member focused on fiduciary responsibility and preserving South Burlington’s reputation of educational excellence.”