by Guy Page
Monday night, the Burlington City Council failed to confirm the Mayor Miro Weinberger’s appointment of Jon Murad as Police Chief by a 6-6 vote.
Murad will continue to serve as acting Chief. The six councilors – all Progressives – who voted no are Council President Max Tracy, Jane Stromberg, Perri Freeman, Zora Hightower, Joe Magee, and Jack Hanson. A Dec. 22 statement by the six councilors criticized Weinberger for not following city Progressive’s recommendations for the hiring process.
The statement chastised Weinberger for insisting the new chief have the power to discipline his officers, adding that “Burlingtonians want a leader who is open to creating new systems of public safety based on harm reduction, providing support and resources to those struggling, and racial equity.”
Mayor Weinberger issued the following statement:
“Tonight, the Council missed an important opportunity to confirm a highly-qualified and committed permanent chief, strengthen our Police Department, and move forward on some of our community’s most pressing issues, and instead dealt another needless blow to public safety in our City.
“The people of Burlington, however, have spoken and made clear their overwhelming support for Chief Murad.
“I have asked Chief Murad to continue serving indefinitely as Acting Chief, and he has agreed. Chief Murad has my full confidence and I continue to be grateful for his willingness to serve despite the unprecedented and unwise rejection of his candidacy by half the Council.
“Chief Murad will be Burlington’s Chief so long as he continues to serve as a full partner with the Administration and the Burlington community in forging progress on our urgent public safety challenges and advancing police transformation. It is my sincere hope that at some point soon a majority of the Council joins us in this critical work.”