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Selectmen to Vote on Creation of Subcommittees for Diversity, Transportation

The Burlington Board of Selectmen will likely vote on two proposed subcommittees at their upcoming meeting on June 14.

The proposals are for a Transportation Subcommittee and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Subcommittee. They were initially discussed during the May 24 meeting but were not voted on because members thought they should have further discussion on the size of the proposed subcommittees.

The two groups were put forward by Selectmen Nick Priest. Initially he proposed that they be made up of 11 members for transportation and nine members for DEI, including members of other boards, residents and town employees.

Selectman Bob Hogan argued that having too many people as actual voting members can make the prospect of actually having a coherent plan at the end of the process more difficult. He suggested limiting the subcommittees to five official members and have the others Priest suggested act in advisory roles. Other members of the board agreed with Hogan’s suggestions and they decided to all email Priest their thoughts on the make-up of the committees for discussion at the next meeting.

According to background material provided by Priest the Transportation Subcommittee’s mission statement is “To lead the development of integrated, efficient transportation systems through the creation of sustainable policies and regulations that support the Town of Burlington’s strategic efforts as it relates to economic and social development.”

The charge of the subcommittee is to “Research current issues, concerns with transportation at key locations within Burlington. Develop strategic, multi-pronged plan that aims at addressing aforementioned issues. Said plan should be built in a phased approach taking into account Economic Development, Burlington’s Master Plan, and any DOT integration. Work with all necessary parties, stakeholders at local and state level to achieve outcomes.”

The suggested Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee’s mission statement is “In alignment with the Select Board’s mission statement it is the mission of this subcommittee to strive to recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community while ensuring that all people; regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, education, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, and socio-economic status are respected and valued. Because our differences do not divide us, but rather strengthen us.”

The subcommittee’s charge is “Evaluate and develop framework for DEI subcommittee from which several strategic initiatives and actionable items can be developed and presented to the Select Board.”