The longtime incumbent Burlington city councilor announced Friday that she will seek another term on the council, this time as an independent. Her decision comes after she lost the Progressive nomination for the Central District seat to Perri Freeman, a 27-year-old community organizer. She'll also face Jared Carter, a Democrat.
Since the January 6 Progressive caucus, some moderate Progs have urged the former council president to run, circulating a news release listing supporters and putting up "Run Jane Run!!" signs around the Old North End.
Knodell announced her candidacy on the sidewalk in front of the Old North End Community Center, joined by a handful of old guard Progressives. It's important to let the whole Central District weigh in, Knodell said. "I'm running because I feel like I owe it to my neighbors and constituents ... to give them the choice to keep Jane Knodell working for them on the city council," she said.
If reelected, Knodell said, she would look for alternatives to the property tax to fund new city initiatives, increase community policing, add city ambulances, and see to completion ongoing issues such as permit reform and the sale of Burlington Telecom.
Knodell, a 64-year-old economics professor, has served 20 of the past 26 years on the council, and she received the Progressive endorsement in each of her 10 previous campaigns. The party had shifted, she said. "I had hoped that the tent of the Progressive Party was big enough for elected officials like me, for whom good governance, effective constituent services, and delivering results for the people of the Central District is more important than symbolic votes that lead nowhere," she said.
She said she could build a winning coalition. Voters value and need "experienced, seasoned people who have the history on the issues and are able to work through complex issues with their constituents," she said.