Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss will not seek re-election

first_imgBurlington’s Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss announced this morning on a popular local radio program that he would not be seeking another term.His announcement came while a guest on the Charlie + Ernie + Lisa show on WVMT AM 620. Kiss said his decision not to run was not influenced by other candidates, but rather by a need for him personally to move on and focus on other things.Up until Wednesday morning, Kiss had remained reticent about his possible reelection bid and had many in Burlington and in his own party scratching their heads.Many progressives had become skeptical of Kiss’ viability as a mayoral candidate, casting doubt on his chances of securing another term. The embattled mayor recently won praise for his handling of the Occupy Burlington movement, especially his ability to quell unrest following one of the occupiers’ suicide, and the peaceful dismantling of its City Hall Park encampment.However, his final term will certainly be remembered most for the failure of Burlington Telecom, the municipal phone/cable/Internet service. Financial problems with BT have resulted in the city incurring $16.9 million in debt, fighting a $33 million lawsuit brought by creditors, incurring regulatory sanctions issued by the Vermont Public Service Board over BT’s Certificate of Public Good, and a downgrading of the city’s and Burlington International Airport’s credit ratings.The remaining candidates in the race are two Democrats, Tim Ashe and Miro Weinberger, and Republican City Councilor Kurt Wright.Ashe and Weinberger, who tied during a third-ballot vote for the Democratic nomination on November 13, will faceoff once again on December 11. The general election will be held March 6, 2012.It was widely considered that if Ashe were nominated, then Kiss would not seek re-election. Ashe is close to the Progressives. But Kiss had promised a decision by the end of November, and true to form, he lived up to his promise.Kiss, 64, was first elected as Mayor of Burlington in 2006 and was reelected in 2009. He moved to Burlington in 1972 and worked for the Agency of the Aging, the Vermont Health Department, SRS and the Social Welfare Department throughout the ’70s.last_img read more

Read More »