An open letter to the Burlington community:
My name is Tom Licata and I’m writing today - as an Independent candidate - to ask for your vote in the upcoming election for the Vermont State House of Representatives for Burlington’s Chittenden County 6-5 district, previously held by (the retirements of) Joey Donovan and Mary Sullivan.
I confess that six months ago I had no intention of running for elected office. It was the furthest thing from my mind. However, the Coronavirus emergency and the damage caused by the ensuing economic shutdown changed my thinking, just as it changed a lot of things for all of us.
The legislature’s top priority from this point forward need to be helping our economy and our local businesses recover so they can start employing people and serving our community again. Apart from the critical nature of the economics, this is a quality of life issue for all of us. These businesses are why we live in Burlington. They employ us, they feed us, they entertain us, and they help us when we need help. If they fail, we’re in real trouble.
Higher taxes, regulations, and mandates coming out of Montpelier are not helpful at this point. Unfortunately, this is what we are getting from our current elected officials: a pre-Covid agenda of tax and regulate is no longer realistic in a post-Covid world. Montpelier needs to help our small businesses reboot instead of creating roadblocks and friction for them.
We also need to recognize the financial body blow that many families and households in our community experienced over the past five months. People need to be allowed some breathing room to rebuild their financial foundations after lost income and spent savings.
Exploding property taxes along with local talk of a new city-wide income tax and a new city-based property transfer tax are not what Burlingtonians need today. I promise that if you send me to Montpelier, I will oppose higher property taxes, will work for meaningful education finance reform, and will vote against the necessary state charter change required to allow the City Council’s proposed new municipal taxes to become law.
I have the professional background to effectively advocate for these policies having ten years’ experience in corporate and strategic finance and accounting, including jobs with IBM, Virginia Electric & Power, and McDonald Associates, as well as an MBA from the College of William & Mary. For the past several years (nearly 10) I have accumulated very different experiences and skills: caring for others, as I’m currently working with the elderly and individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as a caregiver.
My pledge to you is simple: I will measure every action I take against its impact on jobs and your family’s economic health. My goal is to help heal the damage done by the Coronavirus and bring back a livable, affordable, vibrant Burlington for everyone to enjoy. I hope over the next few weeks I can earn your support and your vote.
P.S. If you would like to support my campaign, there are many ways you can help. See the Join, Volunteer, and Donate sections of this website!