LaMarche: Burlington’s ‘racial equity’ tax dollar odyssey

by Kolby LaMarche

The recent exposé on Tyeastia Green, once at the helm of the Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Office, lays bare a troubling tale of accountability gone entirely wrong. 

Greens’ involvement in a Minneapolis event mired in financial discrepancies prompted a city-commissioned inquiry into her conduct. The probe unearthed rampant mismanagement. 

In one instance, according to Green’s testimony, the City’s 2022 Juneteenth Celebration had a tax-sponsored budget of $500,000. However, Burlington’s attorney and the report’s author, Heather Ross, came to a different conclusion. Ross found that Burlington’s Board of Finance only allocated $180,000. 

The event totalled $414,677. Green additionally stated that she was promised between $200,000 and $300,000 from private donors. But due to Green’s incapacity to manage a budget, Burlington tax-payers were forced to foot the remaining bill of $131,657 after only receiving $103k in private donations. 

With the official inquiry out of the way, and the report published, Green now faces the public court of opinion. And she has opted for an expedient escape. Green’s defence is easy to say, but a bit harder to prove: Miro Weinberger is a white supremacist that doesn’t like investing in the black community. 

Green ought to be apologizing. Instead, she has decided to use race as a cudgel to beat Burlingtonians and the City into believing her blatant smokescreen. In Minneapolis, too, Green accused senior officials, both black, of being anti-black. One of the accused, President Andrea Jenkins, responded “[I am] not anti-black, I am anti-incompetent.”     

I hasten to remind you, however, that Green’s misconduct is not the only case of mismanagement in recent Burlington history. In fact, her conduct is only a symptom of an administration rife with discrepancies. I disavow Green’s excuse completely, but I also can’t imagine working with the current administration could be easy.

Earlier in January of this year, State Auditor Doug Hoffer released a report detailing “millions of dollars of mistakes”. Hoffer’s report found that in one project, the City spent an extra $1 million in project expenses, exceeding what voters had authorized. Additionally, the city is in debt by $197,510 to the state education fund. The report also highlighted that $173,056 allocated for bike path restoration was utilised for work outside the eligible financing zone, making it ineligible for financial coverage. 

As another illustration, consider the case of Kyle Dodson, a Burlington resident appointed by Mayor Weinburger, who received a payment of $75,000 over 6 months to create a report on police transformation. More than half of Dodson’s final report contained blatantly plagiarized material, and no concrete – or Burlington-centred – recommendations. Burlington taxpayers effectively granted Dodson a paid vacation, during which he earned more than any other city employee within the same 6-month period.

Much of the left has seemingly disregarded the vital significance of meticulously monitoring and prudently allocating each tax dollar. While we must invest in infrastructure projects and communal gatherings, we also must maintain a vigilant awareness of instances of mismanagement and abuse.

Burlingtonians deserve to derive real improvements to city life from the taxes they pay. What we don’t deserve are fabricated diversions to evade professional responsibility, widespread fiscal mishandling, or a deepening affordability dilemma.   

Click here to watch the season finale of Green’s web series “TH3M” from 11 years ago.

Burning Sky is dedicated to providing critique and commentary on the issues of the day from an unapologetic perspective, fueling change in the heart of Vermont. Authored by Kolby LaMarche every Saturday. 

Categories: Commentary, News Analysis

7 replies »

  1. This appearance of mismanagement, malfeasance and abuse of taxpayer resources certainly shatters the illusion that progressives/democrats are all about fairness, kindness and “doing the right thing”. Of course, when spending public money on feel-good, virtue-signaling projects about race and alleged-but-fake police abuse accusations, what matters most is just that the money is spent, since nothing of substance or consequence is really expected to be gained in the end. The fact that the money was spent on such magnanimous exploits is enough to make most progressives feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so, hey, mission accomplished and money well spent. Burlington’s majority of progressive/democrat voters have supported such transgressions in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Rock on and feel good about yourself, Burlington!

    • This is what has happened to the Queen City, it’s now a cesspool of liberal
      nonsense and the attitude, look what we’ve done………………….

  2. I don’t understand how Miro keeps getting reelected. Even I want him gone. Put forth a viable Republican candidate and most everyone I know, including myself, will vote for him or her.

    • Yes get a real conservative in power to save the City, Miro is just a babbling
      idiot with no spine…………………….. he needs to go !!!

  3. Don’t forget, Mr. Kyle Dodson is Black. Not that it matters ultimately, but as Burlington struggles to adjust to its self-imposed effort to be more like everywhere else and get over their guilt of being so white, how much of this behavior and cost will be tolerated?!

    • They wont stop the guilt trip until the crime statistics are on a par with Baltimore, Chicago or New York…when they will have achieved true diversity…

  4. Ms. Green seems to have the entitlement and richeous indignation down to a science but seems to have missed the accountability aspects .

    I fail to understand why two cities have failed to file criminal charges associated with this malfeasance. Oh, maybe I do understand.