The Lady in Red is, in fact, not the artist who created these colorful paintings - part of the rather interesting show currently on the wall at Burlington City Hall. Nonetheless, she is, indeed, a city hall “artist.”
For the last nine years, Karen Wingate has been the assistant chief administrative officer of the largest city in the state of Vermont - The Peoples Republic of Burlington. Friday was her last day on the job.
Wingate told yours truly she’ll leave with memories “of all the good people and all the good work we got done,” and “a tremendous sense of family and accomplishment.”
Karen became the Queen City’s acting chief administrative officer about a year ago after Brendan Keleher, Mayor Moonie's top financial cop, departed to become vice president of operations at the international Institute for Sustainable Communities in Montpeculiar. Wingate was the presiding officer in the city of Burlington last March for the historic first election using Instant Runoff Voting. And it certainly went smoothly, didn’t it?
Fortunately, Karen will not be going far - just up the block to ARD Inc. - an almost 30-year-old international consulting firm that’s long been one of the quiet jewels of The People’s Republic of Burlington. Coincidentally, she’ll be following in the footsteps of the former mayor - Peter Clavelle.
ARD’s clients cover quite a spectrum, from the World Bank and United Nations agencies to the EPA, the National Park Service and state, city and foreign governments.