Charlotte Shelburne Rotary

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013

Trinity Episcopal Church Community Room

President Dave Jonah led the pledge and Kris Engstrom gave the devotional.

Dave welcomed a great group of special guests, David Gladstone of Burlington Rotary, Suzanne 

Brown of Colchester/Milton Rotary, Blaine Aicher of Sunrise Rotary, Carol Casey who writes for 

the Shelburne News, Laura Keenan, the new Librarian at Shelburne’s Pierson Library, Jim and 

Anne Goff, guests of George and Linda Schiavone, Katherine Jaffray from Oakville, Ontario, a 

guest of Roz Graham and Sue Dixon, a guest of Dave Jonah.

Coming events:

October meetings:

Oct. 2 – Gene Richards, Director of Operations at Burlington Airport

Oct.9 – Frank Bryan, Retired Political Science Professor from UVM and wry observer of the 

Vermont and national political scene

Oct. 16 – Committee meetings

Oct. 23 – Al Gobeille, Chair Green Mountain Care Board

 

Work Day on Oct. 12 to chip brush at Shelburne LaPlatte Nature Trail.

Halloween Parade on Sunday, Oct. 27 – dave Rice reports it’s all under control. He’ll have sign-
up sheets next week.

Car Raffle on Friday, Nov. 1 – Bob Maynes reported that this will be the 35th

has had a number in the past has received a letter and should be prompt in returning their check 

for this year so the organizers know how many tickets they have to re-allocate. Pumpkin Raffle 

tickets are available and when 25 have been sold, we’ll have a draw.

Reports:

Bill Root reported on a very busy and successful Harvest Festival at Shelburne Farms where he 

and his crew parked 3311 cars – estimated to be about 9000 people. Biggest ever. He joked that 

the facility will need to expand to accommodate such growth. He praised the morning crew for 

coming early and working hard. 

Donations;

Proposed by the Donations Committee and the board, moved, seconded and unanimously 

approved by the Club were:

Camp Agape $200

Veterans memorial $800

Meals on Wheels $800

Shelburne Fire and Rescue $1500

Happy fines:

Sergeant at Arms Richard Fox collected happy fines:

• Terrell Titus – thankful for our fine medical center

• * Sam Feitleberg – seconded her comment

• * Dave Rice – great trip to Oakville, Ontario (when has that city been mentioned twice in 

one newsletter?)

• Bill Deming – the Harvest Festival

• Trafton Crandall – it’s fall !! – missed helping to park at Harvest Festival

• Fritz Horton – missed parking – Michael Shirling is here – fourth time lucky – America’s 

Cup last day

• Linda Schiavone – their guests

• Mark Jozcik -- happy – and looking stylish with a bow tie

• Michael Clapp – happy

• Dave Jonah – for special guests – and for a Montreal trip to celebrate an anniversary

• Carol Obuchowski – for the nice weather – and a question for Fritz: What’s a foil?

 raffle. Everyone who 

• Joan Lenes – happy

• Howard Seaver -- happy

• Linda Gilbert – for the Harvest Festival

• Kris Engstrom – for fall and her grandson’s third birthday

• Kate Jaffray – happy to be in Vermont with her oldest friend

• Richard Fox – daughter’s sixth birthday

Guest speaker

Michael Shirling, Burlington Chief of Police, started off on the right foot by telling his 

audience that Charlotte Shelburne Rotary meetings were more exciting that Burlington’s. 

Chief Shirling has been with Burlington Police Department for 24 years, but began his 

public safety career much earlier, with Colchester Rescue when he was 16. In Burlington 

he has been a patrolman, a detective, a sex crimes unit member, and now six years as 

chief. 

Burlington Police Department has 136 employees, down from a high of 160 a few 

years ago due to budget constraints. He stressed the fact that their work is more about 

community service related to social issues such as drugs, family issues, mental health, F-

35s and safety, and only a small percentage is about solving crimes. “We are dealing with 

a cross-section of every major social issue of the 21st

He said one of their number one challenges is the unrealistic expectations for a police 

officer. :”We’re expected to be everything from social workers to the tough guys who 

kick in doors and fight with drug dealers.” He said, “There isn’t an ideal candidate for 

police work, but we look for someone who thinks well on their feet, not necessarily with 

a degree in criminal justice.”

Burlington faces a problem of being “too big to be small and too small to be big,” he said. 

The biggest crime problem they are dealing with is opiates, on a local and regional scene. 

“The drug dealers and the ancillary problems caused by drug dealing are a complicated 

and costly problem in a small state,” he said. They have decided on a strategy that 

focuses on suppression – making it difficult for dealers to operate. They watch them 

carefully and obviously in their neighborhoods, and catch them on any violation from 

stray pets to broken smoke alarms. “we make it very uncomfortable for them to be here – 

a message that we won’t tolerate them.”

He said he is surprised that people are not marching on Montpelier protesting the lack of 

protection from criminals. He compared the justice system of 1935 when an attempted 

burglary got a criminal two years in jail, to today when justice takes so long and 

punishment is often very light. “We need to put the right people in jail to send a cogent 

message to those who might consider a life of crime,” he said.

 century,” he said.
 
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