At Monday’s council meeting, we spent a lot of time hearing from Vermont Performing Arts League (VPAL) board members and residents regarding the North End Studios lease at the O’Brien Community Center. After considering many remarks from board members and the public, the Council decided to terminate the lease as we did not have confidence the organization could address and prevent harm nor comply with the terms of the lease. We recognize that North End Studios did provide low-cost access to facilities for residents to do business, and we hope other community members will be able to step into this space and continue supporting arts and culture in Winooski.
In more positive news, we also received a staffing plan from Rick Hebert, our Chief of Police. The plan should bring 3 new officers! If hired, these candidates could move us closer to our goal of diversifying the Police Department. In other hiring news, we approved new job descriptions for our Community Services Department, in support of the grant-funded collaborative effort with the Winooski School District to enrich our summer and after school programming. You can learn more about these employment opportunities here. Keep an eye out on our jobs page to learn more and apply soon: https://winooskivt.gov/jobs.
Speaking of summer, we also approved permits for some exciting upcoming events: an educational Juneteenth celebration (June 19th in Rotary Park), a fun dog show fundraising event to support the Winooski PTO (June 26 at Landry Park), the return of the Winooski Farmers Market (Sundays from 10 AM - 2 PM on Winooski Falls Way), and Winooski Wednesdays, our outdoor summer concert series in Rotary Park! You can sign up for event updates here.
City Council also approved the contract for our current appraiser to take on the task of our state-mandated city-wide reappraisal. The reappraisal process will begin next summer (2022) and should be completed in 2024. There will be much more information shared on the process as we get closer to starting that work, but I want to be clear that while a reappraisal will increase most home values on record, this does not equal an increase in your property tax bill. Voters approve a budget each year, and that amount is divided across properties, so some property owners may see a slight increase or decrease, as the total dollars collected by the City do not change.
Finally, I want to share that our City Manager job posting is live and we are receiving applicants. If you’re interested or want to share this important employment opportunity, please visit https://winooskivt.gov/jobs. This position is featured at the top! The City Manager Search Committee will hold their next remote meeting this Monday at 5 PM, where we'll decide on the questions to ask candidates. Please join this public meeting and share your priorities for our next manager.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.
Mayor Kristine Lott
firstname.lastname@example.org / 802 766 1988