Weinberger outlines “New Era of Leadership” agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2011

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Weinberger outlines ‘New Era of Leadership’ agenda

Burlington, VT – Miro Weinberger, Democratic candidate for Burlington Mayor, today outlined an agenda to usher in a new era of City leadership.

The wide-ranging proposal calls for a top to bottom review of city departments and city financial management, improving the communication between the Mayor and City Council, and enhancing communication, accessibility and accountability to members of the press and public. In addition, Weinberger would establish an emerging leadership program and community leaders advisory councils on the City’s major issues.

“My vision of leadership is to be a Mayor who turns the page on the last chapter of the past administration and helps lead this City to write its next,” said Weinberger. “In order to tap the enormous potential of our City’s great people, innovative businesses, and vital organizations, we need someone who has a new vision for leadership in City Hall.”

Included in Weinberger’s proposal:

1. A top to bottom review of City departments: As Mayor, Weinberger will meet with and review each City department from top to bottom. Starting with the department heads, but also working with their reports at all levels of government, the review’s goal will be to assess the strengths and challenges of each of our City departments.

2. Thorough Review of City’s Internal Financial Controls. In Weinberger’s first months in office, he will conduct a thorough review of all City management of money. This review will ensure transparency, best practices in management, and proper safeguards are in place to ensure the public’s dollars are secure.

3. Improve Communication with City Council: To address the communications impasse between the Mayor and City Council, Weinberger will establish a 100 percent open door policy for the City’s elected representatives and convene regular, non-partisan opportunities for open and direct communication. “We must mend the breakdown in communication between the Mayor and Council. We must work together to get things done again.”

4. Accessibility and Accountability to the Local Media: Weinberger will hold bimonthly, regularly scheduled press conferences and is committed to being accessible day in and day out in a timely fashion to media inquiries. This commitment will make the Mayor more accessible to the media and, therefore, more accountable to the public the Mayor serves. “Our current Mayor’s lack of accessibility has caused a major breakdown in accountability to the public. This must change,” added Weinberger.

5. Future Leaders Program: Weinberger will develop an internship program for City student residents within the Mayor’s office and other City departments to cultivate new leadership and foster innovative ideas from our young, bright minds.

“As an intern for Senator Leahy, I learned first-hand how vital public service is to the functioning of government and the development of future leaders.”

6. Advisory Councils: Weinberger plans to tap local experts and leaders to provide vital perspectives to the Mayor’s office. Among the Councils he anticipates establishing: a labor council, land use/environmental council, a business and entrepreneurs council, and a human services council.

“Having served on Congressman Welch’s business advisory council, I have seen the value of these meetings to an elected leader. I will strive to see diverse groups represented within the City and, while we may not always agree, I will always listen.”

7. Bringing City communication into the 21st Century: Communicating with City government should be a two-way street, where citizens can access up-to-date information online and provide input in real time. Not everyone can get to evening meetings to provide much-needed feedback, so we need to bring those meetings to the people. Weinberger will have a much greater presence in online social media and make the City website a more effective tool for meeting the needs of our citizens.

Weinberger was joined at the press conference by: Ward 6 City Councilor Norm Blais; State Representative Kesha Ram; Will Wiquist, former press secretary for US Senator Bernie Sanders; and UVM college students and Miro for Mayor interns Jennifer Kaulius and Rafael Rodriguez.

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