Getting to Know Mayor Bob Kiss

This morning Jeremy and I attended the monthly Burlington Business Association’s (BBA) meeting at the ECHO center, where we were able to get a glimpse of what the newly elected Mayor, and former State Rep. Bob Kiss had in mind for the city of Burlington.

I’ll do a recap of my personal thoughts of the meeting in italics for you, as I know everyone’s wondering right now what Mayor Kiss has in mind for the city.
Also, FYI: Jeremy’s already made an observational post about the Q&A session on his blog.

The meeting started off as usual, with a light breakfast, where people could meet personally with Mayor Kiss.
I guess there were quite a few who wanted to speak with him personally, as the meeting started about 10 minutes past the scheduled time to start, something that struck me as odd, as BBA is usually on schedule.
Mike Monte the head of CEDO was in attendance (and was actually dressed in a black suit, something I’ve never seen him do before at any meeting… kinda odd for a meeting taking place at 8AM), Police Chief Tremblay, Parks and Rec director Wayne Gross, and the newly appointed manager John Leopold were also in attendance, recognized at the beginning of the meeting.

Right before Bob’s turn to speak, it was mentioned that John Leopold may also be able to speak and answer questions as well, to which Leopold immediately shook his head no. I feel it’s another odd thing to be happening for a public official, to not answer questions, or at the very least introduce yourself to the public.

When it came to Bob’s turn to speak, he repeatedly said in his opening statement that it’s his 3rd day in office.
As if to say, don’t ask any questions of depth because I’m not familiar with anything yet. But wasn’t he elected almost a month ago now? It seems to me that once you are elected, or hopefully before you are elected, you should try and make an effort to become familiar with the workings of the city, so you may be able to address questions. Another odd thing.

Bob went on to say that he had just got his email set up – bkiss@ci.burlington.vt.us
and that he would prefer people to reach him by that way, or by phone 802-865-7272.
No mention that his door was always open or anything like that… kinda struck me as odd as well, but he did mention that he is making an effort right now to meet with people.

Total number odd things happened at the meeting: 5

The meeting actually ended a bit early, which didn’t surprise me, as Bob’s known to be a man of few words.
So, as I recount this meeting with the new mayor, I have to say I’m a little worried about the growth of what Bob calls ‘good government’, and hope to see that odd meter go down in numbers as time goes on.

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