During our special meeting on August 18th, Winooski City Council voted in favor of putting an all-resident voting question on your November General Election ballot. Current Winooski voters will have a chance to begin the process that may allow all legal Winooski residents, regardless of citizenship status, to vote in Winooski’s municipal elections.
This issue has been under discussion since the fall of 2018. After feedback from residents, the Winooski Charter Commission was formed in 2019 to study the issue and engage the community. After a number of public meetings, online/in-person forums, and direct outreach, the Winooski Charter Commission formally recommended placing this item on the November General Election ballot. If current Winooski voters pass this initiative in November, it will go on to the State Legislature for approval or denial. To learn more about this process, please visit our Charter Commission page. There, you will find a helpful fact sheet, a recorded Q&A, the proposed charter changes, and a report on process and outreach.
There will be two official public hearings on the matter between now and November for more engagement with residents to answer questions and hear concerns. Keep an eye out for these meeting warnings on the City’s website, social media, Front Porch Forum, and physically at Winooski City Hall and the O’Brien Community Center.
In other news, the Winooski/Burlington COVID-19 outbreak was formally closed by the Vermont Department of Health after no new cases were reported for 28 days. I joined the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s Commissioner of Health, and the Executive Directors of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and AALV to announce the closure and discuss what we learned that will be applied to respond to future community outbreaks here in Vermont. Click here to watch the briefing. The city continues to collaborate with the Department of Health and our community partners to support testing events and continue to spread information to our residents. Thank you all for continuing to practice public health safety. For COVID-19 related updates, please visit our COVID-19 page or sign up for our news updates.
Commission work in Winooski continues. Last week, the Finance Commission looked at how we present the city budget to voters each year and provided feedback on we can better show you where your tax dollars go and what services you receive. I’m looking forward to using this feedback to create clearer presentations for voters to see next winter. To learn more, visit our Finance Commission page.
The Planning Commission continued to review zoning regulations and parking information. As we see new development in our city, neighborhoods are feeling a change in parking availability. The city will engage in a professional parking study early next year to inform better parking management practices across the community as we aim to support existing and new residents, increase the availability of affordable housing (a critical need in our community and region), and improve overall bike/pedestrian/driver safety.
As always, feel free to reach out at any time!
Mayor Kristine Lott - firstname.lastname@example.org