Thursday August 09, 2018
Penny for Paths
Vermonters will go the polls Tuesday, August 14 to cast their vote for candidates in the Vermont Primary. South Burlington voters will also be asked to weigh in on a city issue regarding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. The ‘Penny for Paths’ tax initiative, brought forward by the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and approved by city council, proposes funding to augment the network of the city’s bicycle and pedestrian system to enhance safety and to create a more seamless link between neighborhoods, schools, parks and services.
Article I seeks voter approval to levy one cent on the annual tax rate for every $100 of valuation on a property owners tax bill for a period of ten years, to be deposited into a reserve fund starting in FY2020. Based upon the approval of Article I, Article II asks voters to accept a bond in an amount not to exceed $2,968,537.25. The penny pays for the cost and debt service of the bond.
The taxpayer cost for a home with an assessed value of $336,111 is $33.61 per year for ten years. The cost for an average condominium valued at $241,356 is $24.14, annually, for ten years. If approved, the additional one cent tax will raise about $300,000 for the project each year and is part of a long term funding strategy that could also include grants.
Currently, the city budget includes maintenance of the city’s extensive system of paths already in existence, but the goal of the initiative is to fund new pathways in the system to better connect cyclists and people on foot. New sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes are also identified as priorities throughout the city.
The Vermont Primary
In addition to Article I and Article II, voters will be given three ballots—Democratic, Progressive and Republican, and must choose only one to record their votes. Bernie Sanders is opposed by Folasade Adeluola on the Democratic ballot for U.S. Senator; on the Republican ballot are candidates Roque De La Fuente, H. Brooke Paige, Jasdeep Pannu, and Lawrence Zupan. Dan Freilich and Benjamin Mitchell are challenging Peter Welch for the Democratic vote for Representative to Congress; Republicans H. Brooke Paige and Anya Tynio are on the Republican ticket. Governor Phil Scott is being challenged by Keith Stern on the Republican ballot, and Democrats James Ehlers, Christine Hallquist, Brenda Siegal and Ethan Sonneborn are the Democratic hopefuls. One Republican, Don Turner, Jr., and one Democrat, David Zuckerman are running for Lt. Governor. Beth Pearce is on the Democratic ballot for State Treasurer. Republican H. Brooke Paige is running on the Republican ballot for State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor of Accounts and Attorney General. On the Democratic ballot, Jim Condos is running unopposed for Secretary of State, Doug Hoffer is unchallenged for Auditor of Accounts, and T.J. Donovan is unopposed for Attorney General.
There are eight candidates vying for six seats on the Democratic ticket for State Senator for Chittenden County: Finnian Boardman Abbey, Tim Ashe, Phil Baruth, Val Carzello, Debbie Ingram, Virginia “Ginny” Lyons, Steve May, Christopher Pearson and Michael Sirotkin. Two Republican candidates, Alex R. Farrell and Dana Maxfield, are running for Chittenden County State Senator. Each of South Burlington’s voting districts has a single candidate running for State Representative. Democratic incumbents Martin LaLonde (7-1), Ann Pugh (7-2 ), and Maida Townsend (7-4 ) are running unopposed to return to Montpelier for another term; first-time candidate John Killacky is running uncontested in district 7-3 . Democratic hopefuls for Probate Judge are Gregory Glennon and William “Bill” Norful. Suzanne Brown, Charles Delaney, Connie Cain Ramsey and Zachary York are the four candidates vying for two seats as Assistant Judge on the Democratic ballot. Also on the Democratic ballot is Sarah F. George for State’s Attorney, Michael Major and Kevin McLaughlin vying for Sheriff, and Daniel Gamelin for High Bailiff.