by Peter Freyne
"They used to say I was real quiet as mayor," said Peter Brownell the other day when we crossed paths on State Street in Montpeculiar. Brownell, a Republican, served one term in the third floor corner office at Burlington City Hall (1993-1995). We'd asked for his assessment of the performance of the current mayor - Bob Kiss the Progressive.
"It's hard to say what he’s doing for sure" said Brownell. "He’s so quiet."
Brownell upset Peter Clavelle, the two-term Progressive, who apparently paid the price for approving benefits for "domestic partners" of city workers - a radical idea in its time.
After his one-term as mayor, Brownell, a rather quiet, soft-spoken kind of guy himself, lost his reelection bid. Mayor Moonie returned from a sabbatical in Granada. In March 1995, Clavelle was voted back in and stayed there until Kiss' arrival last April.
Brownell currently works for the Vermont Department of Education. Peter heads a three-person team that monitors federal grants. He told us he travels around the state making sure the grant money is accounted for and its spending is documented. The ex-mayor also likes it, he said, because it gets him “out of the office and around the state.”