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Election Season, Again: Challengers Emerge In Burlington Mayor's Race

While most Vermonters can look forward to two more years free of yard signs and political ads, Burlingtonians are headed right back into election season as Mayor Miro Weinberger's first term comes to a close.

Less than two weeks after polls closed and most (but not all) of Vermont's political races were decided, Burlington's former public works chief told Seven Days he plans to take on Weinberger.

At this point, Goodkind declined to critique Weinberger's tenure, saying only that Burlington is at a turning point, and, "I will give people some choices that they haven’t had in a while in Burlington." When Seven Days' Kevin Kelley asked him about the current mayor's chops in May 2013, the outgoing public works director described Weinberger as "on a learning curve" but complimented him for surrounding himself with capable people.

Another candidate emerged this week, when activist and journalist Greg Guma said on his blog that he's giving "serious consideration" to a run for the top office in Vermont's biggest city.

Guma is a progressive who almost ran in the 1980s when Bernie Sanders stepped in and led him to reconsider. He's critical of the Weinberger administration's development strategy, and his blog post prominently features the tree that the city controversially cut down earlier this month, calling it "the latest casualty of redevelopment."

If I do run, my goal will not be just to win, but to challenge complacency, provincialism, gentrification and the current redevelopment push, and to open up debate on crucial choices facing the city we love.

Another issue facing the city is the future of Burlington Telecom, the city-owned fiber network that Weinberger plans to sell off. Goodkind has reportedly opposed that stance, and other prominent figures in the Burlington tech community worry a sale would make the network less useful for the community.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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