Posted by Charity on February 28th, 2006

There are a lot of people who are trying to paint Hinda Miller as a conservative. There are supposedly a lot of local Republicans supporting her. She tries to position herself as pro-business, which, one could argue, is what the city sorely needs in order to expand the tax base. One might wonder why one who is conservative, Republican, or just looking for a change should support Kevin Curley and not Hinda Miller

When I was Chair of the Burlington GOP, I found out a lot of information about the problems the City is facing. I learned things that most people do not know. For example, I heard about the underfunding of the retirement fund months before it was “breaking news.” I also know that the City has even more problems than I realize.

We need a mayor who knows what has been going on and what needs to be changed. Kevin Curley has been on the City Council and more importantly, on the Board of Finance. He will not need to be brought up to speed. He already has ideas about what needs to be changed.

Hinda Miller has played no visible roll in city politics and couldn’t even remember if or how she voted last March in the City election, when asked. We do not have time to wait for her on the job training to be completed.

We are going to need a mayor who is not afraid to make tough decisions. Many of those decisions are going to involve cleaning house. Much of the City’s budget problem comes from a bloated bureaucracy. That is one of the drawbacks to having the same administration for so many years. If the mayor repays one or two political buddies every year with a city job, it adds up to a lot of jobs after a decade-and-a-half. There are a lot of jobs that depend on getting the “right” person elected. That is one of the most important things that I am considering in this mayoral race.

Hinda Miller is Peter Clavelle’s hand-picked successor. Hinda Miller has pledged to continue Clavelle’s legacy. That makes me nervous. That makes me doubt that she can clean house.

Kevin Curley will be able to get rid of unnecessary positions and bring new people and new ideas in to City Hall. He does not plan to continue on Peter Clavelle’s path. He does not have favors to repay.

This brings me to another reason why I support Curley. Hinda Miller’s campaign website reads like a who’s who of the Democratic Party establishment. Anyone who knows anything about party politics would suspect that she has people to repay.

Kevin Curley does not operate like that. He is not in the pocket of the GOP or anyone else. When I was GOP Chair, I found that frustrating at times, but as a voter, I am relieved that I can cast a vote for Kevin Curley with the confidence that he will always do what he thinks is best for the City, not a political party or wealthy campaign supporter.

Speaking of wealthy campaign supporters, did you happen to catch the Free Press story that reported that Hinda Miller spent $29,000 to win the Democratic caucus and plans to spend $35,000 to $40,000 on the general election? By comparison, Kevin Curley will spend less than $5,000. I do not know where Miller’s money comes from – it could be her own for all I know – but, it is clear that Kevin Curley is not your typical big money backed Republican.

I know Kevin Curley and I know that he cares about the residents of Burlington. He understands the quality of life issues that make this city so attractive, but he also understands that a “livable” city is no good to people who can no longer afford to live here. I am confident that he will strive to find a balance that will allow Burlington to continue to thrive, while allowing seniors and working families to stay in their homes.

(Free Press article referenced above:

5 Responses to “Why Support Kevin Curley?”

  1. Sheesh! I remember the days when 5K was more than enough to run for mayor! Thanks for linking to BP, Charity.

  2. Curley is also the only candidate to stress the importance of attracting low-impact, high revenue generating jobs that take advantage of new technologies. Attracting high tech business to Burlington should be a no-brainer, but the current administration has made no effort whatsoever in this regard, and none of the other candidates have mentioned it, to my knowledge.

    The fact that the new Main Street Landing building is having such a hard time filling office space is testament to Burlington’s missing out on the enormous opportunity afforded by broadband, a decent airport and a beautiful alternative to the city grind for smart, entrepeneurial high tech workers. Look to Portland, Maine (eight years ago) as an example.

  3. “Curley is also the only candidate to stress the importance of attracting low-impact, high revenue generating jobs that take advantage of new technologies.”

    Not true. Miller has too. Maybe not in those exact words, but she talked about that in the first debate.

  4. Providing money for incubators is a good first step, but using them as a tool to keep grads in the state instead of promoting outside the state is a waste of time. Likewise the lip service paid to the “creative economy” – which to most just means hoping that a hundred clones of JDK magically pop up.

    The focus should be on attracting the nation’s best and brightest to Burlington to execute their startup plans. Silicon Valley is boiling again, reach out to some VCs for god’s sake. People out there think Vermont is the capital of New Hampshire, because no one here has lifted a finger to change that perception. There are a lot of high-quality jobs, both in the near and long term, being left on the table.

  5. If I hear Hinda Miller use the phrase “creative economy” one more time, I think I’ll vomit.

    Thanks for your comments. Good points.

    “People out there think Vermont is the capital of New Hampshire…”

    When I was a kid, my mom’s brother lived in California and he came out to visit us. He said when he told his friends that he was going to Vermont, they thought it was a city in Connecticut.