Posted by Charity on July 21st, 2006

Ward Seven City Councilor Carmen George (D) proposed that the City Council should direct the city’s Board of Health to work to encourage breastfeeding, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Health, the La Leche League, the Community Health Center and others.

The measure was defeated by a vote of 7 to 6.

Progressive Councilor Jane Knodell (ward 2) said that, while she supports breast feeding, this has nothing to do with the city’s “core mission.”

The core mission is to tax people out of their homes while providing as little infrastructure support as possible.’s not it. What is the city’s core mission??

John Briggs of the Burlington Free Press wondered the same thing. He has put out a call to readers to have their say about what the core mission of a city government is (or should be, perhaps).

The City Council decided at its last meeting not to involve the city in encouraging breast-feeding. Some councilors said it is not a “core mission” of the city.

What are the core missions of city government, in your opinion?

Send your thoughts to John Briggs, The Burlington Free Press, P.O. Box 10, 191 College St., Burlington, VT 05401; or by email at:

I encourage She’s Right readers to think carefully about this issue and e-mail Briggs with your thoughts.

Personally, I think the “core mission” statement was laughable given the propensity of the council to consume its time on equally stupid measures. I do, however, agree with the general point that Councilor Knodell, as well as Councilor Kurt Wright (R-Ward 4), made, which is that the city has more important matters to deal with at this time.

You can read the article here.

The council does not have a “core mission,” or at least not one that they adhere to. Maybe it’s time we help them define one.

What do you think it should be? I’ll add my thought later.

14 Responses to “Burlington’s core mission”

  1. While I am not a resident of the City of Burlington I should point out that the city where I live does not–to the best of my knowledge–have “a core mission”. I can also relate to the frustrations of taxation and questionable city leadership considering that where I am from little trips overseas and “cooking” of the books is par for the course.

    As far as breastfeeding, well I can’t say much to that considering that I am not a woman and do not have children, so I will leave that to others to comment on.

  2. I don’t know that city’s typically do have a core mission, spelled out anyway. I also think that each councilor has a different idea of what the “core mission” is.

    They never had a problem in the past overstepping their role. I guess they are all more cognizant of the strain the city government is under. (It’s about time.)

    As for breastfeeding, I support it and I did it with all three of mine, but there is already plenty of support.

    I had all three of my kids in the hospital here and the nursing staff is encouraging of breastfeeding and women get plenty of resources and info about it there.

    Anyone who has a home birth would likely get breastfeeding support from her midwife.

    The OB/GYN offices encourage it, as do pediatricians.

    It is just not necessary for the city to get involved.

  3. I would agree with your assessment.

  4. Something good will come of this – Ward 7 residents will know to replace Carmen George the next time around.

  5. The City’s core mission is to provide: Police, Fire, Water, Parks, Library, Streets and Infrastructure (including transporation, electricity and telecommunications.)

    I like Carmen. She’s very nice and quite dedicated to her role as a city councilor. As far as the breast-feeding thing, it sounds like something that should come from the board of health, not go to it, but I didn’t hear the debate.

    If she ever gets sick of the council, I might make a run here in Seven. I love campaigning.

  6. “When I was there public forum was one of my least favorite parts of the meetings. Nine out of ten people who speak say totally useless and irrelvant things. I remember thinking often how much I just wanted to scream ‘Just Shut-Up you f*ckin’ Idiot!’ to whomever was flappin’ his or her gums.”

  7. Heh heh heh. That’s all true. Thanks for reminding me. A lot of crazies and idiots would speak at public forum when I was there. Not everybody. “nine out of ten” was probably an exaggeration. Some people were very smart. But I do remember wishing a lot of them would shut-up and go away. So what?

    Got any thoughts on the city’s core mission?

  8. “Got any thoughts on the city’s core mission?”

    Sure, part of it should be to ensure that people who think that the majority of public commenters are idiots don’t sit on the city council. That’s a pretty easy one though, I’ll email Briggs with some other thoughts.

  9. I’m sure Briggs is waiting with bated breath for your prescient insights. Or perhaps you could tell the council directly during the public forum. Your comments would fit right in. Heh heh.

  10. Just curious, did anyone ever get up and say anything as idiotic as “As for illegal immigrants, I think they should be granted citizenship rights and free health care too”?

  11. Concerned Burlingtonian
    July 27th, 2006 at 3:11 am

    Just pave the damn roads and bust the criminals.
    Put out the fires too.
    Let the ‘Love filled leftists’ do the rest on their own dime.
    No. Wait. They’ll take our money for that! That way they’re ‘doing good’ and ‘sticking it to the man’!

  12. I introduced the Healthy People 2010 – Breast-feeding resolution after being invited by the Vermont Department of Health to join this national campaign.

    The federal government is promoting breast-feeding because it understands the huge cost savings offered by breast-feeding. Breast-feed children reduce their risk of a long list of health problems including ear infections, childhood cancer, diabetes, SIDS, respiratory infections and intestial diseases. A women who breast-feeds reduces her risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

    Two of the big expense for the City of Burlington are healthcare and disability.

    It is time to get beyond the packaging and start taking the cost savings offered by breast-feeding seriously.

    P.S. I was the lead sponsor on the neighborhood repaving plan. Breast-feeding received more coverage…no pun intended. :)

  13. So is breastfeeding illegal in Burlington now? Is it healthier when done in public? Or is there another point to this resolution?

  14. The point is prevention is cheaper than health bills for the mother, baby and the tax payer.