Originally published June 26, 2002
Throwing in the Beach Towel?— Bernie Beach is history … A couple weeks back, the [Burlington City] council passed a hotly debated resolution (9-5), honoring the former socialist mayor by renaming North Beach “Bernard Sanders Beach.”
They settled on the beach on the north end of Burlington Bay, after proposals to rename the downtown Community Boathouse or Waterfront Park drew intense partisan howls and squeals.
But last week, opponents came up with a technicality requiring the council to revisit the matter. To make Bernie Beach official requires passage of a city ordinance, not just a resolution.
And Republican Councilor Kevin Curleydarn near threw a fit on WCAX-TV Sunday night, passionately standing up for the geographical designation.
“All personalities aside,” said the defender of tradition, “North Beach is a landmark in the city of Burlington and it has beenNorthBeach. People know it as North Beach, it’s on maps as North Beach, and it should always be North Beach.”
Enough was enough for Ol’ Bernardo. He is, after all, the champion of “poor people, working people and the elderly,” not sunbathers. Sanders quickly contacted his pal, Councilor Phil Fiermonte, asking that the plug be pulled on the Bernie Beach brouhaha.