by Peter Freyne
*UPDATED 11 a.m.*
We swung by the extremely quiet Burlington City Council Meeting last night. Just two members of the public, a representative of the police department, the Ch. 17 videographer and yours truly were in the audience. And it turned out the printed agenda did not give away the most interesting part of the meeting. That item was:
3. COMMUNICATION: Mayor Kiss, re: General City Affairs (oral) (10 mins.)
Yes, Bob Kiss, the tall, soft-spoken former Progressive state rep, is still the mayor of Vermont’s largest city. And Monday night, without fanfare, Mayor Kiss told the Burlington City Council and those in attendance that he had just become “about the 125th” mayor of an American city to sign on with “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Kiss said he had attended the recent Northeastern Regional Conference in Boston and put his John Hancock on the organization’s “Statement of Principles.”
Whereas: 30,000 Americans across the country are killed every year as a result of gun violence, destroying families and communities in big cities and small towns, and
Whereas: As Mayors, we are duty-bound to do everything in our power to protect our residents, especially our children, from harm and there is no greater threat to public safety that the threat of illegal guns;
Now, therefore, we resolve to work together to find innovative new ways to advance the following principles:
* Punish - to the maximum extent of the law - criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns.
* Target and hold accountable irresponsible gun dealers who break the law by knowingly selling guns to straw purchasers.
*Oppose all federal efforts to restrict cities’ right to access, use, and share trace data that is so essential to effective enforcement, or to interfere with the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to combat illegal gun trafficking.
* Work to develop and use technologies that aid in the detection and tracing of illegal guns.
* Support all local, state, and federal legislation that targets illegal guns; coordinate legislative, enforcement, and litigation strategies; and share information and best practices.
* Invite other cities to join us in this new national effort.
Yes, he signed. When the meeting ended, the city council went into an executive session. Didn’t get a chance to ask da’ Mayor a couple questions regarding the rather stealthy way he let his anti-gun cat out of the bag.
Back last May, in his early days as mayor, Mayor Bob distributed a police press release about a shooting at a press conference he'd called on the budget. He made a passing reference to his gun control views and it stirred up a tempest. Mayor Kiss has since kept the lid on it. Until Monday night, anyway.
Can’t imagine one of his mayoral predecessors signing such a public-policy document without calling a press conference to sign it before the TV cameras, can you? That is, of course, if they would have signed it.
*UPDATE* 11 A.M.
Looking for something to do this evening?
"Vermont's Two Year Term: Anachronism or a Bastion of Democracy"
A discussion between Former Governor Madeleine Kunin and University of
Vermont Political Science Professor Frank Bryan.
Moderated by Emerson Lynn, Publisher, St. Albans Messenger
7 p.m Memorial Lounge, 3rd Floor Waterman Building, University of Vermont.
Also there's this possibility for:
Wednesday, November 29, Ira Allen Chapel, 6:30 p.m.
Who: Laurie David, environmental activist and producer of the
documentary film An Inconvenient Truth
The lecture: "Stop Global Warming: The Solution Is You"