Eighteen F-35 stealth fighter jets are set to come to Vermont next year, but on Town Meeting Day, a ballot question with language rejecting the fighters passed with wide support in Burlington. We're looking at what that vote means and what happens next for the F-35s in Vermont.
Fifty-five percent of Burlington voters called for canceling the basing of the F-35s at the Burlington International Airport. Ballot Measure 6 now tasks the Burlington City Council to "request the cancellation" of the F-35 basing decision, and "request instead" alternate "low-noise-level equipment" for the Burlington Air Guard station.
After surviving past council efforts to vote down the fighters and a legal challenge to the site selection process, the Vermont National Guard says the vote won't change their plans to bring 18 F-35s to Burlington starting in 2019.
Vermont Edition looks at what comes next for the F-35s with guests:
- Sen. Patrick Leahy, recorded on Friday, March 9, 2018.
- Retired Air Force Col. Rosanne Greco, an activist who's opposed the F-35 basing decision.
- Joan Shannon, a longtime city councilor from Burlington's South District.
- Maj. Gen. Steven A. Cray, adjutant general for the Vermont National Guard.
- Jasper Craven, a reporter whose multi-part series for VT Digger traces the F-35's path to Burlington.
Broadcast Monday, March 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.