South Burlington City Council welcomed David Kaufman as its newest member Monday, May 6. Kaufman was appointed by the council in a unanimous voteto fill the seat previously held by Councilor Pat Nowak, who died March 31. He will serve until March 2019, when a new councilor will be elected.
Leadership and service to the city are not new concepts to Kaufman, a South Burlington resident since 1977. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1980 and represented South Burlington from 1981 to 1990. During his tenure, he chaired the House Transportation Committee and served on the Government Operations Committee. Kaufman was recognized for his support in initiating and supporting legislation favorable to Vermont’s business community, especially in the areas of tourism and sports/recreation, an area of expertise for Kaufman.
Kaufman is enthusiastic about serving on the council as plans for City Center take shape, noting that it has been a topic of interest to him for decades. “Ironically, I was chair of the Vermont House Transportation Committee back in the ‘80s when the major Dorset Street improvement project was completed. That was to be the initial project in a future City Center. At that time, we projected a complete City Center before 2000 … better late than not at all! I believe City Center is essential to the future socio-cultural and economic health of South Burlington,” said Kaufman.
Another area of importance for Kaufman is the city’s plan for open spaces. He has been on faculty at the University of Vermont in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources - Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Program since 1980, and is currently a senior lecturer.
“As managed development continues to absorb available land, it is imperative that we continue to preserve open spaces for the future enjoyment of all South Burlington residents. I am very pleased the plan for the recently acquired acreage on Spear Street is evolving into a well-planned multi-use landscape that will be enjoyed by all,” he said.
In the early ‘80s, Kaufman worked for Vermont’s Department of Tourism as an assistant to the director. Prior to that, he was a manager at Mount Snow Ski Area in southern Vermont where his father had been one of the original owners in the 1950s. For 25 years, Kaufman also owned and operated Vermont Tourism Network, a tourism marketing company.
A founding member of the Dorset Park Skating Association, which is the managing entity of Cairns Recreation Arenas, Kaufman also serves on the board.
Kaufman and his wife Jane are the parents of three adult sons, who went through the South Burlington school system. He notes, “South Burlington is a wonderful community in many ways. Our school system is one of the best, if not the best, in Vermont and it is essential that we ensure that families can afford to live in South Burlington so that we continue to populate our schools with kids who will have a bright future because of the education they receive in our schools.”