BURLINGTON – Bernie Sanders is once again running for President. The former Mayor and long-term resident of the Queen City could actually be elected President. As he announced his new run this week there are, believe it or not, second thoughts being murmured about in town.
The problem is not Bernie or his politics. He is certainly beloved. It is anticipated that he will overwhelmingly win the Burlington votes when it is time for a primary in Vermont where he will face 2000 or so other Democratic candidates.
There is, however, a growing uproar over the impact a Burlington vacation White House will have on the town. The federal process planning for a vacation retreat if any of the current candidates’ wins is already well underway. For Burlington and Bernie one must anticipate traffic blocking motorcades, surveillance drones, no-fly zones, anti aircraft missiles, walled off streets near the Sanders residence and other security measures.
The City fathers are convinced Bernie will win and are contemplating the impact. For example, Police Commissioner del Pozo acknowledges the headache of providing police support to protect a future POTUS. “We will, of course, do our best to protect the new President, but we have to remember that we are here to serve all the residents of Burlington. We also remind the Secret Service that we do not maintain military grade equipment.”
Chapin Spencer, Director of the Department of Public Works suggested that the city immediately widen and expand the bike lanes throughout the city. Spencer explained, “We will convert them to motorcade lanes whenever the President comes to town in order to ease traffic jams.” Local Motion is dismayed at this suggestion. In a press release it stated its appreciation for the potential for more bike access. However, it also expressed consternation that bikers would then bear the brunt of Presidential visits when the bike lanes are shut for the motorcades.
Mayor Weinberger announced that the City would immediately hold public hearings. These will solicit the public’s input on preventing disruptions when President Sanders visits. Weinberger also plans to send the City Council a supplementary budget request for the likely City expenses related to a Burlington White House retreat. The Mayor added that TIFF money might be available if the bike lane idea was adopted.
Progressives immediately resisted new financial allocations unless comparable amounts were spent building affordable housing and before a study of the impact of the overall City infrastructure was undertaken. Councilor Knodell was quoted as saying, “the onslaught of hundreds of secret service agents and military needed to protect the President will put extreme pressure on the City’s water, electric and fire departments.” She was, however, relieved that the massage parlors that Secret Service agents are likely to frequent are located in surrounding towns.
Neighbors of the Sanders’ are also in a tizzy. They have already been told that gates and a guardhouse will be constructed and secret service agents will patrol the street. Expressing dismay, groups have invited Donald Trump to a political house party once he announces his run for reelection.
A spokesperson for the Peace and Justice Center said protests and forums would be scheduled because of the militarization of Burlington. This was prompted by reports that heat seeking missiles and drones would be employed to protect the President’s estate.
Even Burlington’s Air National Guard was upset. Its chief spokesperson noted that since the Secret Service has ordered a no-fly zone, future Burlington flyovers of the F-35s would have to be scrubbed.
Finally, not to be ignored, the Quebec government issued a statement saying that regardless it was constructing a wall. “If Senator Sanders wins we will have to stop Canadians from visiting the newly socialist America and if Mr. Trump wins reelection we will need the fence to keep Vermonters from fleeing to Canada.”
With all of the hoopla, future President Sanders might have to R&R at Camp David. Secret Service requirements mandate that if elected President, Senator Sanders will not be allowed in his home until a 25-foot electrified barbed wired fence was erected around his home and the guard stations are constructed on his street. However, Burlington’s Planning and Zoning department informed the Secret Service to expect the necessary permitting to take three to five years.”
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