Burlington City Council continues to be at odds over a proposed new municipal body that would increase oversight over the city’s police department. 

A resolution urging Burlington residents to vote against a charter change that would implement a Community Control Board at Town Meeting in March was approved by a narrow 6-5 vote. Opponents said they want more discussion to find an alternative.

“There are some communities that have an independent monitor that they hire,” said Councilor Ben Traverse, D-Ward 5. “There are some communities that offer boards more control over the hiring of their police chief. No other board in the country goes as far as the board that is being proposed here in Burlington.” 

Mayor Miro Weinberger and labor leaders in the city oppose creation of the board, but Progressive councilors say the additional checks and balances will prove to be good for the city. 

“Best practices is not necessarily the thing we need to import to make ourselves safer,” said Councilor Eugene Bergman, P-Ward 2. “It is not a unique experiment. It is looking at what we need and then building it.” 

Bergman and the Burlingtonians that signed on to the petition say the resolution passed Monday misses the mark. 

“It does not remove the chief from disciplinary decisions, it allows community representatives to oversee and step in if they deem their process insufficient,” said resident Amy Molonovsky. 

Former East District candidate Jake Schumann added that “it’s okay to make mistakes, what’s not okay is to fail to take accountability.” 

If passed, the community control board charter change would be passed to Montpelier for final approval from the legislature and the governor’s office. Traverse and other democrats say they think there is ‘little chance’ they sign off on the change.