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  The Clavelle Years: Mayor widely admired as he leaves City Hall [Vermont]
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Last EditedCOSDem  Apr 02, 2006 03:34pm
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MediaNewspaper - Burlington Free Press
News DateSunday, April 2, 2006 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionKitty Boyan and her husband, Steve, used to live on Lake Street in Burlington. They bitterly opposed Mayor Peter Clavelle's campaign in 2004 and 2005 to sell the old Moran plant on the Lake Champlain waterfront to the Greater Burlington YMCA. The increased traffic, they argued, would make the street unlivable.

The Boyans expected the YMCA to become their close neighbor and they moved. But the participatory government style championed by Clavelle proved the undoing of the project. Residents in the 2005 city election defeated the idea.

The Moran plant vote was a rare defeat in Clavelle's 15-year run as head of the state's largest city. His successes have transformed the waterfront, North Street and the downtown shopping district. His policies have supported the arts, affordable housing and led police to spend more time patrolling face to face with residents through a "community policing" approach to law enforcement.

Kitty Boyan still bristles at a mention of the Moran plant, but she admires Clavelle.

"He's a go-getter," she said. "He's energized the city and kept the energy going. He's active. He shows up at neighborhood meetings. I don't think there's a snobby bone in his body."

Clavelle, 56, who will leave office Monday after seven terms as Burington's mayor, offered his own perspective on his character: "I'm pretty humble," he said. "As mayor you have a diversity of people to deal with in any given day, ranging from street people to developers and business owners. There's no class barriers I have to cross in terms of connecting with lower-income people. I'm one of them. I don't have a huge ego, but enough to keep me going."
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