Burlington councilor quits to apply for job he helped create

No inside track, mayor promises

By Guy Page

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger promises the city councilor who helped create a climate-related city job doesn’t have the inside track now that he’s announced he wants the job himself.

Burlington City Councilor Jack Hanson, chair of the council committee overseeing the Burlington Electric Department, voted to create the Net Zero Project & Equity Analyst position paying up to $100,000. Earlier this month he resigned his council seat and announced he is a candidate for the job. 

“I’ve been very clear with him,” Weinberger said on WVMT’s The Morning Drive Thursday, September 15. “I welcome his application. I’ve been clear with him that it will be a competitive process. There’s no guarantees who will get the position at the end of it.”

Weinberger did say that he and Hanson agree on the city’s climate-related mission and that the position is a mid-range, non-senior level job. When host Kurt Wright said it pays up to $100,000, Weinberger said that Vermont utilities’ pay scales are different from the rest of the Vermont job market.

According to the city’s Help Wanted ad job description, the Net Zero Project & Equity Analyst “works to advance the City of Burlington’s transition away from fossil fuels by collaborating with community members, external partners and stakeholders, and other Burlington Electric Department staff to ensure that the Burlington Electric Department (BED)’s Net Zero Energy (NZE) initiatives are equitable and accessible to all BED customers.” The job pays $62,705 – $102,795. 

The new hire will “manage projects and initiatives that advance BED’s Net Zero Energy vision, including advising and coordinating with other BED departments on equitable and accessible program design and implementation” and “identify opportunities to help advance energy efficiency and fossil fuel reduction among black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other under-represented community members and work collaboratively to improve BED’s energy efficiency and strategic electrification program design and delivery.”

Hanson, a Progressive, is chair of the Burlington City Council Transportation, Energy and Utilities Committee. Weinberger said the city attorney would have allowed him to simply recuse himself from BED matters during the hiring process, but Hanson chose to step down to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Last summer, Hanson was accused on social media of an alleged sexual assault that occurred several years ago while he was a canvassing director for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Hanson admits an encounter occurred but said it was consensual, according to media reports. When the accusations surfaced, then-City Council President Max Tracy (who also has left for a city job) said the allegations would need to be looked into. It is unclear whether an investigation ensued. 

Categories: Burlington

16 replies »

  1. Thanks Guy…It’s good to see that someone else thinks this scenario smells funny and dares to publicize it. Hanson’s “choosing to step down to avoid the appearance of conflict” seems more like a rat jumping off a sinking ship. The newly-created position he seeks is cleverly draped in the teflon advocacy buzzwords: “equitable, under-represented and BIPOC”, so that any criticism can be dismissed as racism and intolerance.

  2. If the mayor doesn’t exclude him from the position then he the mayor is as guilty as jack is in conflict of interest and both should resign

  3. Sounds like one more bureaucratic progressive job description to “collaborate” with the others in making six figures to “advocate” and “identify opportunities” for some obtuse agenda via emails.

  4. Haven’t seen this QUICK a HOP onto the gravy train since Groucho (Mayor Whineburger) “appointed” (approved? facilitated?) Harpo (Mickey Kanarick) to be spokesperson for Burlington Electric, who then promptly RANG the ALARM about “Russian Hacking” Vt.’s electric grid in the middle of winter. THAT stunt even “snared” Old Leahy into commenting until it was proven a HOAX to make Trump look bad..ALL ABOARD the GRAVY TRAIN! Next stop? A monthly “kiss in the mail” as behind the “job” comes the PENSION! Ssoooeey! Dig your snout into that taxpayer funded slop trough!

  5. A highly respected global financial advisor teamed with a highly respected think tank group to analyze what New Zealand learned about their ambitions to be the first country to reach net zero emissions. To reach half of their goal, the low hanging fruit, it would take the equivalent of their entire budget for education and health care. To reach the second half it would cost the equivalent of their entire budget.

    The net effect – it would totally bankrupt the country and impoverish the people all to have a net effect of 0.004 degrees drop in the overall global warming concerns.

    This is where the net zero ambitions are leading us. For more see Bill Bonner’s Stansberry Report from August, 2022

  6. Vermont is a grifters paradise. They are here to be appointed or selected to boards, commissions, councils, government agengies, etc. From there, they do nothing other than line their own pockets. Beware the community organizer/activists. One was elected President of USA, #44, and we see how that has worked out.

  7. this is modern government at its true heart. what can the government do to make a politician’s life better

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