Days before the U.S. Air Force could make its decision whether to base new F-35 fighter jets at the Burlington International Airport, the Burlington City Council voted down resolutions aimed at preventing the planes from flying at the airport. But opponents are not giving up on their efforts.
At Monday’s Burlington City Council meeting Progressive council members offered two resolutions that would prevent or postpone the F-35 from being based at the city-owned airport. Both resolutions were defeated. The first, which sought to block the jet from being based at the Vermont Air National Guard facility at the airport, was rejected 10 to 4. The second, creating "health and safety standards" for all planes at the airport, was voted down 11 to 3.
Progressive Ward 3 Councilor Rachel Siegel offered a non-binding amendment asking that the airport be bypassed during the first round of siting. Siegel believes the council president prevented the possibility of its passage by blocking floor amendments. Seigel doubts the city council will revisit the F-35 issue anytime in the near future.
Green Ribbons for the F-35 creator Nicole Citro is somewhat surprised by the decisiveness of the vote.
Opponents are not giving up the fight. Stop the F-35 Coalition Attorney Jim Dumont sent a letter Wednesday to the Air Force requesting a new Environmental Impact Statement that he says is based on comments made by Vermont Guard officials and city councilors at Monday’s meeting.
Nicole Citro scoffs at that strategy.
Jim Dumont says F-35 opponents have several options they may pursue.
Air Force officials could make a decision on basing the F-35 in early November.