If you’re from Burlington, Vermont you are probably already familiar with the financial trouble that our municipal fiber optic network, Burlington Telecom, is in. A couple of weeks ago a group of nine telecom and business professionals offered to help the City revive Burlington Telecom. I believe very strongly in keeping Burlington Telecom a local, community enterprise so our company volunteered our services to help this “group of nine” communicate their message. The result, Reboot BT, was launched last week.
Since then, several people have shown their support using the #rebootbt hashtag on Twitter. Hopefully many have also been calling their City Councilors to tell them that they support pursuing this plan. Bill Simmon posted the letter he wrote to Councilor Keogh. Today Councilor Shannon sent the following draft resolution to her fellow City Councilors (I’ve been told that this is public information which is why I’m posting it here):
Sponsors: Councilor Shannon
Resolution to Consider offer of Reboot BT
WHEREAS on February 17, 2010 a group of 9 telecom and business professionals offered both their expertise and substantial financial resources to support Burlington Telecom;
WHEREAS the Mayor has chosen not to engage this group in discussion;
WHEREAS Burlington Telecom was created by resolution of the city council and it remains subject to the orders and ordinances, and ultimate oversight, of the city council;
WHEREAS the City must give thoughtful consideration to all options available to address the financial distress of Burlington Telecom and the City of Burlington;
WHEREAS this offer has become known as “Reboot BT”; and
WHEREAS many Burlington citizens have urged the Mayor and City Council to reconvene the Blue Ribbon Committee to give consideration to the proposal of “Reboot BT”; and
WHEREAS the City Council views this proposal more as a short term proposal that may open the door to more partnership options and a stronger negotiating position in the longer term; and
WHEREAS the administration and Council have taken steps to hire financial advisors to negotiate both with our current lender, CitiLeasing, and with potential partners;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council requests that the Blue Ribbon Committee reconvene for the purpose of evaluating the offer from Reboot BT and advising the Council as to whether or not the City should entertain this offer and under what conditions and terms this offer could benefit the City of Burlington.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council requests that the Blue Ribbon Committee review and evaluate any other offers that the administration deems pertinent to the discussion and decision making process.
It’s my understanding that this resolution will be discussed at Monday’s City Council meeting. If you’re a Burlington citizen and support the Reboot BT plan, then please contact your City Councilor if you haven’t already.