The city of Burlington unanimously appointed two city officials Monday, including one position that has been vacant for months.
Mayor Miro Weinberger created the Racial, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Department in 2019 after declaring racism a public health emergency in Burlington. It has since helped implement the first Juneteenth event in Burlington, among other initiatives.
Weinberger has since come under fire after the former director, Tyeastia Green, wasn’t replaced in recent months.
But Kim Carson, a former director of education and human capital development for the Iowa Judicial Branch, went before Burlington’s City Council Monday and sealed a final approval to start serving the community as their REIB director.
“I feel called to the city of Burlington,” Carson said. “I’m really, really excited to have the opportunity to integrate into the community and be a part of community that I really think is primed for change.”
Weinberger appointed Carson last week after a national search was conducted.
“She brings extensive experience to be our REIB director in training, social justice advocacy and organizational culture and change,” Weinberger said.
Another city appointment approval took place Monday to bolster the city attorney’s office.
Weinberger appointed Kyle Clauss to serve in the assistant city attorney spot left vacant by Tim Devlin’s departure in August.
Clauss graduated from Vermont Law School in 2020 and has served as an associate attorney at a firm in New Jersey since then.
“Kyle demonstrates a curiosity and a professional commitment to the areas of law that are important to our city…as we meet the challenges ahead, work to meet our goals around housing and homelessness, climate action and racial equity,” Weinberger said.
The council also heard from the Burlington Board of Health on their proposal to combat gun violence in the city, including their proposal to create a gun violence prevention office. They also proposed to push state legislators to enact several firearm laws that would contradict the recently enacted State Firearm Preemption Law.
“It needs a two-thirds majority to enact three charter change to face gun violence in our community which have been stalled in the state legislature for eight years,” said Jennifer Tomczak, a member of the board.
Weinberger added his frustration with state legislators.
“It really makes me angry to think and see in the details of some of the gun violence we have seen this year…had the legislature given us the ability to enact safe storage, that could’ve had an impact on some of the crimes we’ve seen here,” he said.
The council also continued their redistricting discourse, as they are contemplating three 8-ward concepts, and plan to vote on one in the coming weeks.