Development and Growth Issues and the Sanders Administration
Development issues were a dominant theme in Burlington during the Sanders years. From the proposed development of Burlington's waterfront to the building of the Southern Connector, Sanders played a major role in determining the nature of Burlington's future. But did Mayor Sanders, an avowed socialist, forge a socialist development policy--and what would such a policy look like?
We will first explore general economic and development issues confronting the Sanders administration from the perspective of those most intimately involved with them. From there, we will examine the creation of the city's Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), and then delve into an in-depth examination of two important development issues in Burlington--the waterfront and the Southern Connector.
Sanders has sustained attacks from both his left and his right on various development issues. From the left has come vociferous criticism leveled at Sanders for supposedly abandoning his socialist principles, while many in the business community and those in the Democratic and Republican Parties have attacked him as anti- business. Sanders's position on development is straightforward: "We are pro-development, but that development has got to serve the needs of the people of Burlington."1 He has further defined his approach by saying: