Contact Burlington City Councilors

Contacting Burlington City Counselors on the F-35 Resolutions Vote

Dear fellow F-35 opponents,

On Oct 28, Burlington City Council members are scheduled to address the F35 issue.  The city council will consider two resolutions. The first bars F-35 basing entirely, and the second is a compromise that only bars F-35 basing during the first basing round. Sponsoring city council members think the second one has a good chance, and that its chances are much improved if councilors hear from enough members of the public. 

We need calls to the councilors from all of us if we are to succeed. So please call! 

If the Burlington City Council passes either resolution, the Council will be acting prudently by taking a step toward helping protect thousands of Vermonters from the severely degraded health, incredibly high crash risk, and unacceptable property value diminution described by the Air Force in its Environmental Impact Statement.

It is most important for Burlington residents to contact the two councilors from their ward. However, it is also important for non-Burlington citizens to contact councilors since the council is making a decision that affects, not just Burlingtonians, but more severely, residents of other nearby communities such as Williston and Winooski and South Burlington. They are deciding our futures and that is a very important responsibility that goes well beyond fiscal matters.

 The website  stopthef35.com  has the text of the resolutions and further background information on the resolutions in the memorandum that accompanies the resolutions. Otherwise this document has all you need to make the calls.

Here is a suggested script.    ( Some important facts vs opinions follow it – for your use.)

Hello, Is this councilor _______ ?

My name is ________ and I live in _______.

I am opposed to basing F-35 warplanes at the airport. Basing F-35 jets here represents the wrong priorities for Burlington and is a bad decision because:

–  loss of property values

–  high crash risks during the first dozen years of operational basing

–  Incredibly high noise blasting causing cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment of children

In ending the conversation:     Thank them for their intention to take testimony from the public and to address the two proposals on the table. Also  urge them to act on these resolutions before the final 30-day waiting period for contacting the Air Force is over.

F35:  Facts vs Opinions 

Opinion: There’s nothing unhealthy about basing the F-35A in Chittenden County.

FACT: Scientific knowledge on the impact of noise on people has replaced earlier popular understandings. The World Health Organization found that noise at the levels of the F-35A raises children’s blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress hormones; and 50{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the children in this unsafe noise zone will suffer cognitive impairment—some effects will last a lifetime. Adults will suffer increased cardiovascular disease.

Opinion: There’s no difference between the noise we have now and the noise of the F-35A.

FACT: The Air Force says the F-35A is 4 times louder than the F-16, and 8 times louder than what the federal government deems safe.

Opinion: The F-35A noise will only last 6 minutes and will be a minor inconvenience.

FACT: The Air Force says the F-35A will fly 260 days per year, and will fly up to 7,296 operations each year. This means residents will hear 28 operations per flying day, or 1-2 noise events per waking hour.

Opinion: There are government programs and technical methods for noise abatement.

FACT: No mitigation plan has ever been proposed or implemented here or elsewhere that would reliably mitigate the noise to levels compatible with residential use

 EXCEPT ONE: the removal or demolition of homes– as we see happening in South Burlington today. This point is confirmed by the FAA. Mitigation is an empty promise, or worse, a fraud.

Opinion: Basing the F-35A here will not hurt property values.

FACT: A report by a highly respected professional real estate appraiser with no connection to the F-35A debate, concluded that homeowners in the F-35A noise zone will, on average, lose 15{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} or about $33,500 of the value of their property.

Opinion: Without the F-35A’s, the VTANG base will close.

FACT: The military is currently refitting all F-16s so that they can continue to operate until the F-35A becomes a viable alternative. VTANG has ongoing programs, which will continue regardless of the basing. Moreover, the Air Force has stated the Air Guard base will NOT close if the F-35A is not based in Burlington

Opinion: Basing the F-35A in Vermont will create thousands of jobs.

FACT:  Of the two possible basing scenarios outlined, the first creates no new jobs, and the second creates 83 full time jobs and 183 part time jobs.

Opinion: Vermont’s leading political figures have taken a hands-off approach on the basing decision.

FACT: In the Draft Environmental Impact Statement the Air Force has explicitly stated that they include political considerations when they make their basing decisions. This includes hosting meetings with elected officials and government representatives. Those same officials have so far refused all invitations to speak with or debate opponents of the basing.

Remember:  The Air Force wanted to base this first round of F-35s at an active duty Air Force base until Senator Patrick Leahy changed that with a phone call to the Pentagon.  Furthermore, the falsification of the scoring sheets for the basing decision formed the basis for selecting Burlington.


Burlington City Councilors

Ward 1

Sharon Foley Bushor     – Indpendent 2015          54 East Ave,       BTV 05401             658-3604      [email protected]

Kevin Worden                – Democrat   2014         23 Brookes Ave.  BTV 05401             343-5445      [email protected]

Ward 2

Jane Knodell                 – Progressive 2015       10 Charles Street, BTV 05401             862-2469      [email protected]

Max Tracy                      – Progressive 2014       39 Greene St, Apt 2, BTV 05401         373-1968      [email protected]

Ward 3

Vince Brennan               – Progresive 2015        175 Park Street, BTV 05401              864-0984      [email protected]

Rachel Siegel                – Progressive 2014       21 Pitkin Street , BTV 05401            777-2627      [email protected]

Ward 4

David Harnett                – Democrat, 2015         27 Browne Court, BTV, 05408           864-7895       doesn’t use email

Bryan Aubin                  – Democrat, 2014        15 Rock Point Rd., BTV, 05408         324-1546     [email protected]

Ward 5

Joan Shannon               – Democrat 2015          41 Central Ave., BTV 05401             860-7489       [email protected]

William “Chip” Mason   – Democrat, 2014         33 Scarff Ave., BTV 05401               373-8545      [email protected]

Ward 6

Norman Blais               – Democrat, 2015          487 S. Prospect Street.  #6  (05401)  863-5860     [email protected]

Karen Paul                  – Independent, 2014       171 Crescent Road, BTV 05401         863-3817     [email protected]

Ward 7

Tom Ayres                   – Democrat, 2015        61 Saratoga Ave., BTV 05408              324-4117      [email protected]

Paul Decelles             – Republican, 2014       96 Grosse Court, BTV, 05408              658-4367      [email protected]