Resolution asking the Air Force to cancel the basing of F-35s in Vermont

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On Town Meeting Day Burlington voters said yes to question number six– asking the City Council to request the cancelation of the planned basing of the F-35 at the Burlington International Airport.

Now, nearly three weeks later, an F-35 matter is on the Burlington City Council agenda.

On Monday evening City Councilors will be voting on a resolution to send to the Secretary of the Air Force.

Councilor Joan Shannon is sponsoring the resolution.

“The purpose of the resolution is to be responsive to the will of the voters,” Shannon said. “The voters about 55% said that they were in favor of the question.”

The resolution recommends the cancelation of the F-35 and requests quieter and safer equipment for the Vermont Air National Guard instead.

There is also a series of questions included in the resolution

The full resolution can be found here.

James Leas has been following the F-35 debate closely and opposes the F-35 basing in Vermont.

He said the resolution has good questions, but is confused as to why they are being asked now.

“It kind of adds things and takes things away so the request to the Air Force isn’t quite what the voters are asking,” Leas said.

Leas was concerned the questions would lessen the original requests of the ballot question, but Shannon wanted to get it all done in one resolution.

“I think that it’s part of the compromise to do both and I don’t think we need to wait around to get the answers to our questions in order to move forward reflecting the will of the voters,” she said.

The Council asks that the Secretary of the Air Force send a written response related to the requests no later than May 1, 2018.

Shannon said this request is non-binding.

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