The South Burlington City Council regrouped two days after Town Meeting on March 7, and all three council officers remained in their posts for another year. Helen Riehle was re-elected as council chair, Meaghan Emery as vice-chair, and Tim Barritt as council clerk.
Riehle read a statement, thanking her fellow councilors and reviewing the council’s work over the past year.
“I really want to thank the other councilors for electing me chair,” she read. “I enjoy the work and I appreciate your confidence in my ability to lead the council fairly, even-handedly and effectively.”
Riehle read off a list of the city’s accomplishments over the previous year.
“We’ve accomplished much in the past year,” she said. “We tackled challenging issues like development and open space by establishing a short term Interim Zoning period and we’re moving forward with those committees and fact-finding.”
Riehle also listed the approved design for the new city hall/library/senior center in City Center, approved by voters in November, and construction of the new Allard Square affordable housing project. She also touted the passage of the Pennies for Paths ballot initiative, which goes into effect in July.
“We offered a Pennies for Paths proposal to begin meeting the needs of a walkable and bike-able city, which passed, too,” she said.
There was also the preservation of the Auclair property in the Southwest Quadrant of the city
There were dark times too, and Riehle gave a nod to City Councilor Pat Nowak, who died last spring. Councilor Dave Kaufman was appointed to fill the remainder of Nowak’s term, and was just elected to the full two-year term by voters on Town Meeting Day.
“On the downside, we lost a valued city councilor, Pat Nowak, and probably no one could replace her personality and zest for life in this community,” Riehle said. “However, I feel very fortunate the Dave Kaufman agreed to fill out the term and helped us weather that loss.”
Riehle also commended the council for how well the councilors work together, even when they disagree.
“All in all, we functioned as a focused and productive council,” she said. “Differences existed on various approaches and resolutions to city problems, and opportunities, but despite these lively discussions, I think we came away each time confident that all angles were respectfully heard before a decision was final.
In closing, Riehle assured those present that she would continue to lead the council as best she can in a time with many decisions and challenges.
“I pledge to continue that type of leadership for the council,” she said. “We’ve lots to look forward to and lots to accomplish.”
The City Charter, Chapter 13, Section 301 (2) requires that certain appointments be made annually by the city council. All proposed appointees have agreed to serve for a one-year term. They are: City Treasurer Tom Hubbard; City Attorney Andrew Bolduc; Zoning Administrator Dalila Hill; Asst. Zoning Administrator Cathyann LaRose; Asst. Zoning Administrator Marla Keene; First Constable Sgt. Doug Dubie; Second Constable Corporal Kevin Grealis; Grand Juror Kevin Dorn; City Agent & Trustee of Public Funds Kevin Dorn.
Other Appointments: Incumbent Code Enforcement Officer Dalila Hill; Asst. Code Enforcement Officer Cathyann LaRose; Asst. Code Enforcement Officer Marla Keene; Telecommunications Officer Dalila Hill; Asst. Telecommunications Officer Marla Keene; Emergency Management Director Terry Francis; Health Officer Justin Rabidoux (To enforce the ordinance relating to the use of public and private sanitary sewerage and stormwater systems as an issuing municipal official).