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February 08, 2011

Layoffs at Burlington Telecom

Bt_logo Six people were effectively laid off today at Burlington Telecom, less than two weeks after city officials proclaimed that the muncipal utility was paying all of its bills and netting a positive cash flow — absent paying off the debt it owes to taxpayers.

The six positions are slated for elimination as part of a staff restructuring being overseen by outside consultants. The positions include two technicians, two customer service representatives, an outside plant manager and BT's marketing coordinator. The six people who hold those posts were placed on administrative leave today; the City Council will have to approve the changes. Once approved, the six people will be officially laid off, said consultant Gary Evans of Hiawatha Broadband.

At a special City Council meeting two week ago, Evans said the main problem facing BT was too few subscribers. So, why axe the marketing position?

"This doesn't mean that BT's marketing efforts will stop," Evans said.

After the layoffs, BT will have a workforce of 20 employees. "We don't think there'll be a need for additional layoffs," said Evans. "This action does, in no way, suggest the beginning of the end or that this is the end of BT. On the contrary, we feel as if this will put BT at the right staffing level for its customer base."

Two weeks ago, outside consultant Steven Barraclough, who is helping to run BT's day-to-day operations, told attendees at a special City Council meeting that BT has a "surplus" of roughly $40,000-$50,000 per month and is not taking any money from the cash pool. In addition, BT is paying the interest on the $16.9 million owed to the cash pool.

Burlington Telecom is in the midst of discussions with several financial and strategic partners in an attempt to stay in business. The city is awaiting word from CitiCapital about what equipment it wants returned, and how. The city backed out of its $33 million lease purchase agreement with CitiCapital last year after it could not reach an agreement to restructure its debt.

When asked, however, to produce a standalone termination letter, the city said no such document exists.

"There isn't a stand-alone termination letter," wrote City Attorney Ken Schatz in an email to Seven Days. "Letters between the City and CitiCapital involve ongoing contract negotiations and settlement discussions. Therefore, in order to protect the City's interests, we need to keep them confidential."

Barraclaugh said at the January meeting that BT has priced replacement equipment it suspects it will need when CitiCapital seeks return of the equipment it now owns as a result of the lease termination. Barraclough said the replacement equipment will cost about $6 to $8 million.

BT is developing a plan to take out existing equipment and install new equipment that is designed to provide "minimal disruption in service," Barraclough said in January.

Shay- the marketing coordinator- is that Lisa Geisweit?

"This doesn't mean that BT's marketing efforts will stop," Evans said.

Huh? Okay I'm done laughing. Gary Evans: we love you but your out of your mind with your paid cheerleading.

BT is in the throes of a death spiral and Mayor Kiss has his foot planted firmly on the neck of BT while spouting off about the wonderful "asset" the City has. The City owns less than nothing. The only liability bigger to the City than BT right now is KIss himself.

Resign Bob.

It's a shame that these employees are bearing the costs of City Hall's mismanagement. I hope that you all land on your feet.

The moderator sez: Keep it civil, please. No personal attacks.

And Haik, I believe Lisa left last fall.

I bet the remaining customers are stoked to hear that they canned two customer service reps. Although with 1000 fewer customers (according to the BFP) maybe it's not such an issue.

It's like Alice in Wonderland.

Steven Barraclough sez....BT is cash flow positive. If you ignore the 51Mil in debt, oh yeah and the fact that they don't actually own anything and aren't paying rent on the equipment or lines....

Steve, I wonder, are the proceeds generated by BT currently even BT's or are they Citi's? It's their line, fiber, boxes, head system... would appear the money is also theirs. So how can BT be cash flow positive if they aren't generating any money?

Wonder if next Monday on Feb. 14 when the council votes on this it will be the St. Valentines massacre recreated. It seems some councilors may have other plans for that night though. I would urge them to get the love out of their system on Sunday and perform their civic duty on Monday.

Shay you should ask about the numbers.

4000 subscribers doesn't mean much. What is the average revenue per user and how does that compare against the norms for triple-play providers? If you have 6000 subscribers but half are only taking 1 service (ie internet only) then that ain't very good.

And besides, all the revenue generated by the system each month above and beyond expenses will be part of a lengthy list of debts owed to CitiFinancial. They own everything including the revenue generated by system. That should be another question to ask, Shay. Confirm it. Don't just take the assertion as idiotic or truthful. ASK.

Thank goodness for the PSB forcing Citi to keep the lights on while City hall forms a plan to buy 50 million dollars worth of goods for 3 million it should take twenty years for this city to get its act together.

All of the BT subscribers who wish their family budget would plump can now stiff BT on their service contracts.

UNcle Kiss sez" kids you are really stiffing CITI and the dupes I mean widows and orphans school teachers and fireman who supplied CITI with the capital to string the fiber to your home. We need it more than they do we do the hard work fronting for Lockheed in Burlington" Never mind about the pesky details like money, debt service just gets in the way of a terrific asset we deserve for free.

Hows about a hippie coop how many of you want to buy in at 5grand for cable and telephone service? This asset farts cash at the tune of 400k a year and iffin we fire the rest of the employees and the consultants and lawyers who are soaking us it might fart 400k more who wantsa buy a work share and save fifty bucks on your internet bill? There is a fart and fall back position kiddos if CITI will do business with the dirty hippies in town.

They told Citi they could pay $40K a month when they were at 5000 subscribers. Now it's $40-50K with 4000 subscribers. I guess they were actually paying money to the 1000 people that dropped them.

The whole situation is just a wreck. No one including Kiss, The Council, the PSB seems to have a clue as to what is actually going on. Kiss stands there with that dumb look on his face repeating everything is fine. Keogh just keeps repeating BTC is an asset, but only in BTV can an entity that bleeds money be considered an "Asset." They all throw around "cash flow positive" then tack on a list of "ifs" and not one of them have enough balls to stand up and say we lost 17Million of your money. We apologize.

Instead they keep it going flailing at every possible way to save face and recoup the money no matter how hair brained it is.

I'm still waiting for someone to propose selling the building (the only thing BTV actually still owns) and putting it all into powerball tickets.

The PSB needs to simply call Citi and ask what the plan is. They have the authority to do so. Time for them to do their job. It's a shame Obrien was still in charge, you can bet he would have an answer at this point.

The City Council and Administration made a great decision when they decided to hire the outside consultants (Dorman Fawcett) to temporarily manage BT and seek out investors/buyers to recoup our investment. These consultants are the only ones that really know the details of whats going on at BT in terms of Citi negotiations and outside investors. The comments above are mostly armchair speculation.

Dorman Fawcett seem to be doing a good job, they're making prudent financial and strategic decisions as evidenced in this article and in the positive cash flow at BT. We've got a world-class network under our feet that is the present and future backbone of our City's growing high-tech economy. Its in the best interest of Burlington to rally around our Telco right now and do our best to protect the asset, and the only realistic way to recoup our investment.


What negotiations??? Negotiations.... that's hilarious. What are they negotiating? Who is going to give them 8 million dollars for a customer list? Just laughable. There isn't any negotiations and there won't be. BT owns nothing other then the building on College St. They are 51 Million in debt and they are only cash flow positive if they don't pay for equipment or debt. Who in their right mind is going to give them an 8 million loan when they are 40K/month to the good if they are paying interest only in current debt? 40K/month isn't going to service a new loan and they will be back in the cash flow negitive. You would have to be in the 60-70 IQ range to loan these guys money.

Believe it or not, there are parties (with IQs higher than 60-70) that are interested in helping our city find a way out this and keeping this Telco operational. Let the consultants do their job, if you were really worried about recouping our investment, you'd be focusing on solutions instead of making this into political theater.

I'm done commenting on this article, I wish I had the time to argue online. I've got to get back to work, like thousands of others in this city, building up our tech economy. Shout as loud as you want in these comments and at the meetings, but this issue is going to be won by the forward-looking people that understand the future value of this asset.

Pete, you misunderstand me. I have no delusion that taxpayers will ever recoup the 17Million that Kiss and Leopold stole from them. I have no interest in finding a solution. This is a done deal. Shut it down before it costs me anymore. Chalk it up to lesson learned and stop stealing my money.

Sinking more money in BTC is the like the gambling addict that throws in the deed to his house because he's got a "sure thing."

The solution if there is one... let someone establish a co-op, sell shares and finance it out of someone else's pocket. I have no more money to sink into a failed experiment.

Laying people off when you don't have enough money coming in to pay them isn't what I'd call "making prudent financial and strategic decisions," it's just keeping the lights on. Now that they've been forbidden from pillaging the City coffers further - for operations, at least - they clearly had no choice.

And once again, if anyone can explain how the "positive cash flow" is exactly the same at 4000 subscribers as it was at 5000, I'm all ears. Otherwise it's safe to assume that they're quoting numbers from 3-6 months ago.

Pete Jewett,
The problems do not lie in Burlington Telecom they are squarely sitting in City Hall. The place is Tammany of the north the entire joke is that Leopold stole a pile of money and shoved the loss onto the books of BT. If the liar loan is realized the citys credit rating turns to junk. That is why we are having all of the gyrations and the Narrative that BT is an asset blah blah. i have faster download speeds from comcast than I did from BT I like most of the citizens could give a rats patoutie about upload speeds. It just isnt that important. BT and fiber could be wonderful if wee had forward thinking leadership in Ctiy hall instead of a bunch of thieving incompetent bastards.

The fact is the company is bankrupt, today tommorow and into the foreseeable future because Kiss hasn't got a brain bigger than a gnat. Can we join forces with NRTC and make a coop I don't think there are enought dirty hippies with deep pockets in this town they would need 4 million to leverage. CITI would need to see 25 million. thats just to get to ground zero.
The hospital will never join forces with a progressive Burlington administration they send Hospital presidents to prison for following their orders.

So until we change the guard in city hall all of the forward thinking talk is Bullpuckey.

If you can go out and sell the asset bring in second and third tier server farms lets make a deal with BED etc start a coop buy out the CITI lease for a reasonable haircut and kick the progressive incompetents to the curb bully for you.
But if you are dealing with Doorman and faucet and not the suits at CITI you are whistling past the graveyard.

So the consultant keeps his job and fires six employees? More good money after bad.

I do agree, marketing is key. I just saw a huge advertisement for comcast in the paper. Great deal!, $19.99 a month for internet (fine print...for the first 6 months then your rates go up, plus installation fee of $500, plus you have to buy another service they provide...)

But in actuality, marketing is important and I wish BT would do a better job of it so people could really compare comcasts scams with what one gets from BT.

BT does not offer one thing then have you hooked and increase your rates. BT does not charge the hook up fee. So actually, they can have the same cash flow with fewer people because for the first few months of each person hooked up the costs outweigh the income. But after the box is paid for, the income/cost stream for each customer improves.

If one can also read the post (and the articles) with a critical eye, one can see that the $33 million (+/-) that is owed to Citi is for the infrastructure (material and costs of installation). There is no business or financier who wants to spend the money to pull down the cables and remove the equipment (that would cost more than the equipment is worth alone). That is why the $6-$8 million figure is good to know. If BT can find private financiers to front that sum of money to buy the equipment to return to Citi, then the outstanding debt would drop significantly.

Yes, BT needs to be run as a business. Refinancing debt is something any business should and can do. If the liability for Citi is the cable and main servers, then buying that equipment at todays lower price, returning it to them and getting out from under then debt is actually a savvy business move. If a private company were to do that many of the complainers would be saying "nice move...private enterprise is so good at making it work."

It is not going to be easy, but I would rather BT get back on its feet and move forward so that the money owed to Burlington can be paid back (maybe over 10 years...I do not know), just as BED has become a cash cow for Burlington (it was a money loser at first too), I hope that folks will see that BT can become that as well.

Finally, BT does help the city, companies like and their many many jobs, are likely here because of upload speeds and quality of connection. This is of great value to Burlington. There are other businesses looking for this kind of service. This means property taxes, sales taxes and other local businesses benefit as well.

I am sure I will get attacked. Have fun.

"If one can also read the post (and the articles) with a critical eye, one can see that the $33 million (+/-) that is owed to Citi is for the infrastructure (material and costs of installation). There is no business or financier who wants to spend the money to pull down the cables and remove the equipment (that would cost more than the equipment is worth alone). That is why the $6-$8 million figure is good to know. If BT can find private financiers to front that sum of money to buy the equipment to return to Citi, then the outstanding debt would drop significantly."

Zuckerman, you have absolutely, positively, completely no idea if this is true. And that's because your dishonest mayor has refused to say if this is true or not. Much, much more likely, the mayor knows that the city is on the hook to Citi for the full $33 million, plus the $17 million it stole from the cash pool, for a total of more than $50 million.

If the true status were that the city only owed Citi $6-8 million, don't you think the mayor would have made that great news crystal clear by now?

Why don't you just ask your friend Bob what the truth is? Ask him whether the city only owes Citi $6-8 million, or owes it the full $33 million.

Ask him if Citi is preparing its lawsuit papers right now to collect $33 million from the city.

And then finally let us all know, ok?

"There is no business or financier who wants to spend the money to pull down the cables and remove the equipment"

Who would have to pull down cables? Citi owns the cables right where they are. If/when they sell them, they'd be selling them already buried/strung/installed.

You clearly haven't read the agreement between the BT and Citi. BT is in default, they don't get to just walk away.

If you think BT as it stands could ever pay back $17m - over 10 years, or 100 years - you haven't been paying attention. They just lost 1000 customers and laid of 6 employees. They'll be lucky to survive until Citi comes in and tells everyone to go home, or stick around for a month to train their replacements.

Zuckerman, why in the world would Citi accept a million or two for fiber that they spent 20+ to install? That type of pie in the sky thinking is half the problem. Citi could sell it to Comcast, Fairpoint or an completely different entity for more. Thinking they are going to accept some paltry sum from BTV is just absurd.

As for BED, it has become a cash cow for part due to 14.5% increases and mainly because there isn't any competition. They don't really compete with CVPS or GMP. BTC has to compete with Comcast, Fairpoint, Dish Network, DirectTV

There is not a five hundred dollar install fee its fifty.
in six months you can find a better deal. The progressives have pissed in the soup. Your boys Kiss and Leopold have put us in a deep deep hole.
David you are naive to think that Citi will settle a 33 million dollar bill for 6 million.
Especially when your Prog Boyos have claimed that they were negligent in their operation of BT. That is a losing defense in a Tort case which we will face if your plan moves forward.
To listen to your moronic statements it is insulting David.
The lease is under Force Majuer. The work out by D&F is in lieu of Citi sending their own chumps to run this thing. They need a value we need a value and the value will not equal 50 million.
Looking ahead it needs to grow to survive, your guys have proven to be negligent , incompetnet and thieves progressives are proven incompetnets.

Just like you think its okay to charge per diems for goods you dont use to plump your own wallet while you laid off the people who do the real work. Go comrade, your socialist logic stops at your own front door.

It is only a prog that thinks they will get this thing for free.
The Mayor and Leopold will be doing jail time under your scenario. Travelers will be tapped and Citi will attach the 17 million because that is in the lease asset.

Leopold should go to prison for bankrupting the city and stuffing BT with his thefts.

Restructuring the debt is fine but you cannot scalp CITI they will take a haircut but they are in the drivers seat.
Kiss an Leopold have lost the asset it no longer belongs to us we have little to no say.

David you should call and tell Kiss to resign. Gotta give you credit, after admitting to defrauding the state over mileage and expenses you at least had the decency to remove yourself from the taxpayers payroll. Kiss needs to follow precedence and resign for the fraud he and Johnny have committed.

David: I won't attack.

1. Name 1 asset that the City of Burlington owns related to BT?

2. Are you a BT subscriber? Yes? Did you know that when you send your monthly payment in, that it belongs to CitiFinancial? Is the City of Burlington putting all excess into an escrow account. We are on the hook for that too?

3. What color is the sky in your world?

Citi Financial is giving the City Hall some breathing room to come up with a work out. That time will end soon.

Zuckerman logic: "BT does not offer one thing then have you hooked and increase your rates. BT does not charge the hook up fee. So actually, they can have the same cash flow with fewer people because for the first few months of each person hooked up the costs outweigh the income. But after the box is paid for, the income/cost stream for each customer improves." what is different for Comcast David? They have a cable drop and no dead equipment left behind I have about three hundred dollars worth of BT/Citi capitals junk in my garage collecting dust because they left it there. I think I will let the kids harvest it for electronic parts.

I would have to pay BT for at least a dozen years for them to recoup one dollar of their install cost. You think that's smart business you have been out in the sun too long Dave your brain is turning to mush.
It Takes BT 12 years before you break even and that doesn't count operating expenses or debt service profit for future expansion etc etc....

David we do not live in the same reality. If as you posit that fiber and internet speed is so important and life changing and an economic boost why hasn't Vermont enjoyed a larger economic benefit we enjoy the fifth fastest connection speeds in the country, and 80% of internet users are using broad band. surely the high tech world should be overflowing Burlington's tax coffers and we would see a tax decrease instead of the tax increase foisted upon us by the incompetent Progressive Mayor and CAO.

To clarify a couple small items...

1) I quoted a Comcast ad from the Free Press. It said $500 installation fee.

2) I did not say that BT only owes $6-8 million. I understand that we owe Citi $33 million +/-. I was trying (apparently poorly) to point out that the actual cable and infrastructure was worth about $6-8 million.

3) As for the perdiums. I was more than willing to speak to the 7 days reporter because the pay system (which includes the strange perdium allowance system) needs to be changed. It was in the context of a pay cut (but not a perdium rate cut) that the conversation even started. In fact I was the 4th lowest compensated legislator from Chittenden county and the 27th lowest in the State (out of 180). Legislative salaries are totally messed up (only about $10,000 per session, with $4000 to as much as $17,000 for some legislators in the form of perdiums).

The legislators from Burlington and other relatively close places who rent apartments in Montpelier are the ones that really take the cake.

And ultimately, I guess in some peoples eyes, all people who try to serve as publically elected officials are crooks. But really, folks I know, across the political spectrum, are trying to make government work better. It is wonderful to have all the different perspectives and ideas present in the discussions about how to do that. I am not sure that anyone has the perfect answers.

But David,

To clarify, the fiber cable and equipment is valued at 6-8 Million, would cost 6-8 Million to buy or cost 6-8 Million to buy and install. That's the real question, how much to repurchase and install?

We know it cost about 50 Million to do it the first time....

David this is getting tiresome. Nice job not answering the many replies and questions about the near delusional post you made about BT.

The value that CitiFinancial owns is the network (i.e. the equipment, fiber, etc) IN PLACE. You don't just go out and buy replacement equipment and give the other stuff to Citi. Citi has the right to sell the network in place. Kiss is playing a dangerous game with this fantasy of his. Imagine if you defaulted on your home and you decided that you could make the bank whole by going to Home depot and buying all the parts (the lumber, the insulation, the wire, the wallbaord, etc). Voila! "Here Bank - here are the parts you loaned me money for. Now we are settled, thank you."

I don't want to see BT go away at all and I agree that the network adds value to our community, economy, etc. But it is bankrupt and Mayor Kiss has squandered both time and resources in his effort to resolve it, further harming the taxpayers and reputation of the city. The damage he has done alone on the issue of trust between citizens and city hall will take years to recover from. The financial damage we will pay for years as well and frankly we don't know the full extent of how much. BT is toast and it will be sold at a fire sale, hopefully to folks who are interested in restoring and regenerating the value it once represented.

BTW I don't care about your past abuse of meals, incidentals, etc. But the term is "Per Diem" (latin: per day).

Meanwhile, the Mayor tours the city pushing for his tax rate increase on town meeting day to raise 1.5 million to address a shortfall.
The Mayor now seems to have started to use his scare tactics of police force having to eliminate 4 positions if this is not passed, some positions as well with the fire dept.
Well the PD had been operating with only 86 of the projected 100 officers needed, until recently when about 6 new recruits hit the streets after training, then 4 more appear to be on board bringing the number to about 96, so now we are pretty much properly staffed even short four, but now the Hizzoner Mayor steps in with threats of reducing the police force, after getting it back to staffed.
Question this Mayor at every opportunity and do not let him get away with this, He and Leopold are to blame not the police dept. or fire dept.
The 16.9 million Kiss and Leopold urinated into the fiber optic hole would go a long way times 11.27 in solving the 1.5 million shortfall. Anyone see overtaxing here to begin with?

I almost responded to Zuckerman again but decided that it's pointless, as he either understands nothing about the BT situation or is pretending not to in a bizarre and ultimately futile attempt to defend what's left of the Progs. I'm not about to pile on a guy who was involved in a scandal about per diems, but who still doesn't know how to spell "per diem."

Re: Kiss' proposed increase, I say not one more dime until we clean house top to bottom and put some people in who we can trust not to blow the money - or use it to cover up past indiscretions.

Did you know what your salary would be when you ran? I suppose that would have been one of the qualifiers when you talked to your wife about running for what is basically a volunteer position.

Your excuses are kinda lame, you came off as a bit of an ass in that article. Kinda like a farmer who wants to sell his wormy tomatoes for a fifty percent premium in august. Its because they have carbs and a protein kicker!

The point is as a leader you sacrifice its part of the job, especially when you are throwing people out of a job.

I don't question your motives that you want to make positive change but to crow about stealing from the system when you are in a position to change the system is lazy and weak sauce leadership. It struck me as the act of a self aggrandizing narcissist when juxtaposed against the news that week of the layoffs of State workers.
Nuff said.

all of your back pedaling hasn't solved the problem of BT or Kiss and Leopold who are standing in the way of the city moving forward. Look at the press these bums are bringing we are getting de-funded read Vista and Kupferman inept. The FBI is investigating what appears to be serious fraud. The actions of these guys are having repercussions country wide as other municipalities try to unroll a fiber optic program per Obama's mandate.

One more thing: if you really care about moving this forward do your best to persuade your buddy Kiss to resign. Stop acting like he is the victim and its political. Kiss needs to resign. Until that happens things are just going to go poorly for him, the Progs, the City.

Even Prog Queen Carina Driscoll, daughter of the great and wonderful Oz himself, has fled the Prog party and left it on the floor like yesterday's newspaper.

If voters turn down the tax increase (ballot question #2), the mayor will be forced to submit a level funded budget. He can choose to cut police and fire services, but he could also rethink the 2 (two) new $90K staff positions in the clerk's office (in addition to CAO Leopold), and the $56K patronage job he created in HR for Ben Pacy to answer phones (forget it, no one answers phones anymore so he must be listening to them ring). There are many more contractors and consultants on the payroll which are withheld from information available to the public, so we don't even know what those positions are, how much they are paid, when they were contracted, or what their job description is. It's off the public record, but paid for out of the general fund? People who feature prominently today in BT news about reorganization aren't on the list of employees paid by the city and reported in the Annual Report, but they are paid with public dollars.

Great remarks Lea.
I urge all to attend the ward 4 and 7 NPA meeting Tuesday Feb. 15 6 pm Miller center Gosse Ct. Burlington Vt. off North Avenue, location of the former national Guard armory.
City officials will be present to answer questions of tax increases, Burlington electric bond items, school budgets,and city council driven issues on the way we elect a Mayor. Other topics to be covered as well. Please attend armed with questions of the council, candidates, school board members, as well as the Mayor, providing he makes the journey to unfriendly waters.
See you their.

Mayor has been going around to the NPAs claiming that 50% IRV was repealed because of demagoguery. Interesting how denial often leads the guilty to project their guilt on others.

During the 50% IRV debates, repeal advocates did the research and reported what is well known about IRV today -- the math is faulty, 50% IRV favors incumbents, and people don't trust it. IRV advocates told stories about going to the store to buy milk, and other household examples like crayon colors, to convey the idea that IRV is easy as 1,2,3.

Direct plurality election is the Vermont way. The voters elect who they trust and 'recall' incumbents who have failed, by direct election with a simple plurality vote. The 40% threshold in Burlington is higher than everywhere else in the state, and IRV proponents and the mayor want to raise it to 50%.(Ballot question #5)

When an incumbent mayor and CAO were concealing BT facts that would likely have resulted in the mayor losing the election, 50% IRV served them well. The word demagoguery implies deception, manipulation of trust using emotional appeals, and use of lies and distortion. We know now who was deceiving; and who, like lady macbeth, has been going around the city wringing hands, repeating, repeating 'IRV was repealed by demagogues and naysayers.'

The final NPA ballot forum is Tuesday night, Miller Ctr, starting at 6pm. The mayor will have to answer for his accusations of demagoguery, defend his tax increase, and explain how doing away with VT plurality voting in future mayoral elections leads back to IRV.

Lea: right on!

Sad to see that when people try to bring an alternate point of view to the table, they just get shouted down.

BenMac What are you referring to? David Zuckerman?

Depends what their alternative point of view is. If it happens to be inaccurate or unrealistic then shouldn't it be shot down. Seems that the alternative point of view that say.....Bob Kiss has of the financial prospect BTC has, should most certainly be shot down. If everybody stood by and let it go, Bob would most certainly follow through causing further damage to the City's finances.

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