WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Robert Fleming : Everything On Table

Oct 4, 2013

Alderman Robert Fleming wants to remain on the Burlington City Council so he can be part of the solution to the city’s serious financial troubles.

He is one of 11 candidates for three open seats on the panel.  The October 8 primary election will narrow the list to six in front of the November 5 general election.

Fleming says the panel would be wise to follow the 5-6 year plan laid out by City Manager Jim Ferneau to address deficit accounts and to build reserves.

He says nothing can be left on the table during that time.

"We are going to have to cut spending and we are going to have to raise income," says Fleming.  "It is something I think we have to do, we should do and I think we will do."

Fleming says additional revenue from privatizing Memorial Auditorium and possibly increasing RecPlex fees could reduce the need for a large property tax rate hike.

He says the city must also look at the cost of employee health insurance the next time union contracts are opened.

"Because we have to make some big decisions in the near future," says Fleming.  "I have some pretty thick skin because I know whatever we cut, someone is going to be upset about it."

Fleming says he wants to see a new Cascade Bridge and a new police station, but does not know when either could occur given the state of the city's finances.