Launching a Ballot Item!

PETITION TO STOP THE F-35! ——————————————

For more info:

Town Meeting Day in Burlington
Join in launching–for next year’s town meeting–a ballot item petition to
stop the F-35!
Meet at Mater Christi School
50 Mansfield Ave, Burlington
Town Meeting Day
Tuesday March 5
8am to 11am
A news conference is being scheduled for 9:00 am to launch the petition drive
Speakers include Attorney Jim Dumont
Burlington and Winooski neighbors in the zone the Air Force says will be
rendered “unsuitable for residential use”

Come out for as much time as you can to help launch the petition.

We have nearly 10 months to collect the signatures for next year’s town
meeting. Most signature gathering will be delayed until after the Air Force
decision and then only if the Air Force selects Burlington.

The voters of Burlington do have the power to stop the Pentagon plan to base
the F-35 at the airport!
This is because Vermont law provides that the people must vote on airport
expenditures (see text of the law below).
If approved by the voters the resolution provided in the petition effectively
prevents the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington airport.

Here is why:

The F-35 issue is not a matter of federal preemption–it is a simple
landlord/tenant issue–the City of Burlington is the landlord of the airport
and the Air Guard is the tenant
Any landlord can tell her tenant not to make noise!
And, if the landlord permits the tenant to make so much noise that other
homes are rendered “unsuitable for residential use” the landlord can be held
liable for the damages
Burlington will potentially be liable for $550 million in payments for home
purchases–this far exceeds the financial harm from Burlington Telecom. **see

—Text of the resolution: —

Petition for annual or special meeting to stop basing of F-35 at Burlington
International Airport

“Shall the voters of the City of Burlington approve a resolution to stop
the basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport in view of the
following facts:

The F-35 is more than 4 times louder than the F-16. F-16 noise has already
caused blocks of abandoned and demolished homes in South Burlington–at a
cost of $39 million. The F-35 will put 3000 more homes in the noise zone the
Air Force says is “incompatible with residential use.”

Burlington owns the airport and has authority to prevent such damaging
actions by its military tenants. Burlington voters have authority under
Vermont law to set the airport budget to ensure that no more homes need be

Therefore, pursuant to Vermont statutory authority 5 VSA 606:

So as to prevent the basing of the F-35 at the airport, and to support the
Vermont Air Guard’s own stated mission, “to protect life and property”
and “add value to our communities,” no more than one dollar may be spent
for construction, equipment and improvement of Burlington International
Airport so long as F-35 jets are regularly based at this airport.”

**Burlington got $40 million from the FAA to purchase and demolish 200
affordable homes near the airport. The demolition permits on file in South
Burlington City Hall for the 55 homes so far demolished give one
reason–being in the noise zone the Air Force and FAA say is “not suitable
for residential use.” The Air Force says that the noise was because of F-16
jets now based at the airport and that commercial flight noise is negligible
compared. The airport says that no more federal money is coming if the F-35
is based here. But Burlington will be just as liable to the 3000 families
whose homes the F-35 will put in the same noise zone if Burlington approves
its tenant bringing the F-35 weapons system. The grand list total for those
3000 homes is $550 million. Having already admitted liability for the 200
homes, Burlington will be on shaky ground to assert it is not liable for the

The statute:

5 VSA § 606. Vote; income; issuance of notes or bonds

An airport or landing field shall not be established or constructed, or
equipped, maintained, or improved from time to time by a municipality, acting
either singly or jointly with one or more other municipalities, unless and
until a proposition therefor fixing the maximum amount which may be expended
thereunder by such municipality for such establishment, construction,
equipment, or improvement has been submitted to an annual or special meeting
of the municipality and adopted by a majority vote of the qualified voters
voting thereon.

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