Last night, the City Council voted 6-6 not to put the redesign of City Hall Park on the ballot.  I love the redesign of the park, in particular the upgrades that will allow many of our neighbors with disabilities to have increased access where historically they have been excluded.  

That said, I’m disappointed by the City Council’s decision not to put the redesign on the ballot.  While I think the park redesign is a good thing, I am just one voice, and Keep the Park Green collected enough signatures to be placed on the ballot.  I worry what precedent this sets for future referendums.  

My campaign has been and will always be about listening to my neighbors and ensuring their voices are being heard.  Keep the Park Green’s ballot initiative is about so much more than the park redesign–it’s about whether our government will respect the process we have in place, even when we disagree with the conclusion our neighbors have reached.  Keep the Park Green collected the requisite number of signatures to be placed on the ballot–they deserve to have their voices heard, even though I disagree with their position. 

When our government ignores process, we all lose.  I’m hopeful that by putting people-first, and reorienting City Hall back towards the people, all of us can work together.  Because at the end of the day, we are all neighbors working together to make Burlington the best place to grow-up, live, and retire.  

-Kienan

Kienan Christianson, Burlington Vermont