Thursday February 27, 2014
Education:No 4 year degree
Occupation:President/CEO DeckerZinn, LLC Consulting, Volunteer Chair South Burlington City Council, Volunteer Chair Vermont Telecommunications Authority, Volunteer Chair Vermont Public Television, Volunteer Board Member United Way of Chittenden County, Volunteer Board Member Mercy Connections.
South Burlington Resident 5 Years
1. What skills uniquely qualify you for the position of City Councilor?
I am a proven and tested leader. I repair relationships through collaboration, and have continually demonstrated my ability to manage teams through crisis. I have served as Chair for twelve months, and we have: Presented a fiscally responsible municipal budget in challenging times; Increased staffing for Police Department; Stopped fighting with City Clerk; Recognized the importance of the Vermont Air National Guard and supported the basing of the F35; Restored good relations with Cairns Arena; Hired an effective City Manager; Resolved unnecessary legal issues with our largest taxpayer – University Mall; Ended Interim Zoning without any additional legal battles.
2. If elected, what is your top priority for council and for the city? What action will be required?
We have made some great steps forward in the last year. We must continue to improve our financial security. Fiscal responsibility is a number one priority. We can enhance South Burlington with continued planning for the future of the Chamberlin neighborhood. Our success is in promoting positive solutions for the benefit of neighbors and property owners and not selling fear for political gain. The Chamberlin neighborhoods have a long history of pride and community. City Center will continue to take shape and has the potential to become a central meeting place for residents and growing positive community spirit.
3. What are your thoughts on post Interim Zoning development? What do you believe is the right balance and rate of residential and commercial growth? How will that be determined? What is the councilor’s role?
I believe that the Form Based Code Committee is on a solid path to providing practical and applicable guidance for our community. The balance and rate of commercial/residential growth continues to be a challenging conversation. We win as a community when we attract businesses like Trader Joes into our commercial areas. We win as a community when we have a healthy retail area like the University Mall, which is our largest taxpayer. The Councilor’s role is to serve and lead. I will continue to lead on balancing the tax burden for our residents. I will promote a healthy relationship with our retail community as critical business partners; and ensure we are able to provide for the maintenance, access and use of our open space, views and hiking trails. All of this will help ensure great education opportunities in our schools for generations to come.
4. South Burlington has a unique relationship with Burlington International Airport, the City of Burlington, and VTANG. The topics of finance, expansion, noise and loss of housing pose recurring questions. As the planning process begins, what is your vision for airport neighborhood redevelopment? What is the council’s role in the outcome if there are competing interests and consensus can’t be reached?
My vision is a neighborhood where residents feel they have a voice and a place at the table. My role has been to help provide the planning resources and facilitate the discussions. We don’t go into this process with personal agendas. Our responsibility is to sort through the facts, be mindful of our responsibility to the neighbors, our City, the County and the State. We have made significant progress in our relationships with the Mayor and Council of Burlington. We have great partners in Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Representative Welch. The State of Vermont has demonstrated clearly they believe in our leadership and success by virtue of their support of our initial planning grant. I feel confident that the Airport neighbors, the Airport, the Vermont Air National Guard and the greater community will all be better in this process and we will succeed in reaching positive and attainable goals.
5. Closing Statement
I want to thank all of the voters and residents who have shown such wonderful support over this past year as we worked on many different challenges and opportunities for South Burlington. Last March voters spoke loud and clear about how they wanted things to change in our City. I took to heart what we needed to do as voiced by the majority and we succeeded in making changes that moved the City forward. We answered the call of the voters and have proven results. We are still at a pivotal juncture in how the City grows and prospers. We cannot be complacent in making sure things get done in a positive way nor can we be distracted by those who lead by attack and negativity. I ask for your support in this Council election. I pledge my best and I will help continue the successful “building of a proud tradition” in South Burlington.