Town Meeting Day will soon ask citizens to vote on budgets and related community issues. Development is a big issue with many new expensive houses in multiple locations in the Southeast Quadrant consuming open space, while City Center has seen trees disappear and be replaced with concrete, steel, and asphalt.

When completed, City Center, along with University Mall, will be a major destination for large numbers of vehicles offering residents traffic jams and releasing copious quantities of exhaust gases into the atmosphere.

The city also wants to build a new recreation center at Veterans Park. More cars and more traffic jams. To pay for this and other projects, the city wants to increase the city sales tax from 7 to 8 percent.

The city is committed to fighting global warming, but its unusual approach appears to be build, build, build, and bring in more cars.

The school budget is up a bit over 4 percent while the municipal budget is up a little less than 4 percent.

Using the math I learned in public school, dividing $51,746,533 in school expenditures by 2,536.46 equalized pupils yields a per student spending of about $20,400. The school district’s report to the school board lists spending per equalized pupil as $15,944.

Along with all the other new “transformative” developments in Vermont and U.S. society, maybe there is also a new math. It’s tough getting old and adapting to change.

With all the big spending and expansion plans happening, it was quite disappointing to see it took five full days for the city to plow residential sidewalks in the Southeast Quadrant after the recent snowstorm.

It also took more than 48 hours for the city to plow the bike-pedestrian path on Kennedy Drive between Dorset Street and Hinesburg Road. In both cases, pedestrians were forced to walk on the edge of roadways putting lives at risk.

When you vote, please consider the lyrics of “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Gerry Silverstein

South Burlington

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