Councilors Question Carleton as Burlington City Attorney Pick
Could Miro Weinberger’s honeymoon be over so soon?
When Burlington’s new mayor nominated friend and political adviser Ian Carleton to the post of city attorney two weeks ago, he called on the city council to vote on the appointment this Monday.
But instead of getting a new job Monday night, Carleton got a grilling from skeptical city councilors. While formal consideration of the nomination was postponed, councilors raised tough questions during an informal session with Carleton prior to the regular council meeting.
“I’m trying to figure out if I can trust you,” said Councilor Sharon Bushor (I-Ward 1), arguing that Carleton’s past chairmanship of the Vermont Democratic Party raised questions about whether he could act in a nonpartisan manner.
Bushor was one of seven councilors to express concerns about Carleton’s nomination Monday during the question-and-answer session and in interviews outside of it. Eight of the council’s 14 members must approve the appointment.
“I think at this point, there’s enough concern to say if we had voted tonight, I don’t think he would have been appointed,” Councilor Dave Hartnett (D-Ward 4) said earlier in the day.
Like several other councilors, Hartnett expressed reservations about Carleton’s close friendship with Weinberger and his partisan past.