Last night the City Council approved two resolutions aimed at addressing downtown safety and security. These measures were the first part of a multi-step public process which will see future discussions and votes before the City Council. BBA’s Executive Director, Kelly Devine, was in attendance and spoke at public forum in support of passing these resolutions so that we can open up a dialogue about these issues. “I think this conversation as a community is really timely at this point, to have one murder and one knifing this summer really brings this issue to a head” said Devine.
The first resolution was passed by a 10-2 vote with Councilors Dieng and Tracy voting against. Sponsored by Councilors Wright, Knodell, Shannon, Hartnett & Paul, it tasks the Ordinance Committee with drafting new criminal penalties for repeated ‘quality of life’ violations including public urination, public intoxication and fighting. The Ordinance Committee will present this new ordinance to the full council for debate by November.
A second resolution was passed unanimously. Introduced by Councilor Roof, it would ask the Public Safety Committee to convene a group of local stakeholders to come up with an “evidence-based strategy outlining options to better support Burlington’s homeless community and address the public safety and health concerns”. The group, consisting of care providers, law enforcement, city officials and members of the business community would then present their plan to the full council by November.
The BBA will continue keep our member businesses informed on developments in this process. If you have any questions or comments please let Kelly know.