Burlington Telecom

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Democrat Miro Weinberger is wrapping up his first term as Burlington's mayor, and he wants another go at it. He's seeking re-election in March on Town Meeting Day. But he does face a challenge from Progressive Steve Goodkind, who is also the former head of the city's Department of Public Works.

First Term

Burlington's city-owned fiber broadband network has been re-branded in an effort to attract customers to the formerly troubled utility.

Mayor Miro Weinberger says Burlingtonians should know that Burlington Telecom's future is secure. And he's hoping more people will sign up for service with the city-owned utility.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

To hear Mayor Miro Weinberger tell it, getting Burlington Telecom out of city ownership will be a big win for Burlington and its taxpayers. But some of the network’s high-profile proponents have serious concerns.

They say the city’s settlement with Citibank over unpaid BT bills and a financing plan with Merchant’s Bank and local businessman Trey Pecor put the high-tech telecom on an uncertain and perilous path.

The state’s ratepayer advocates are in strong support of Burlington Telecom’s settlement with Citibank over past financial problems, and they are very optimistic about the potential sale of the public telecom to a private entity.

“The settlement that’s been reached with the city and Citibank, and the bridge financing agreement really offers the first realistic opportunity to move beyond the problems that have been plaguing Burlington Telecom and the city,” said Jim Porter, the senior policy and telecommunications director at the Department of Public Service.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

With the stroke of a pen Thursday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger brought the city $6 million closer to resolving the Burlington Telecom case that’s hung over the city’s finances since he took office.

The deal, approved by city council Wednesday, provides partial financing for the city’s $10.5 million settlement with Citibank, which sued Burlington after the city failed to pay back more than $30 million in borrowed funds.