The Mountain Times

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News Briefs from the Rutland region 1.19

Troublesome issues resurface

Community dissension always seems to bubble to the surface when the aldermen begin discussing the City budget and items that may appear on the ballot. A number of locals fear pressure to pass a bond issue for a new recreation center. They claim that certain individuals, living outside the city itself, are the ones who push for the rec center, but won't be the ones who pay for it.

If private individuals have to tighten their financial belts in tough economic times, there is no wiggle room for new construction for recreation, desirable as it may be.

Many of these same folks object to any increases in the city budget, regardless of what department it will benefit. And it's just plain bad timing that two city cops have recently been suspended while investigations continue into undisclosed allegations.

To some, these new investigation are all too similar to last year's problems in the police department. By the time that one officer was charged and convicted of mishandling evidence and lying to his department and another used a crowd control device on a handcuffed prisoner, folks began questioning whether the police chief should be fired. Even though the police commission decided Chief Anthony Bossi should continue in his job, Bossi decided to retire at the year's end. A search committee is researching both an interim and a permanent chief.

And that's not all they're dissatisfied about. They question a decision to buy two new police cars this year, replacing units with only 60,000 miles on each. Compounding the frivolity, they say, is using money from the Zamias fund for the purchase; those moneys are for capital improvements that offset Diamond Run's negative economic impact on the city's core. Investigations into these allegations are on going.

Thanks to Chief Bossi

More than 100 individuals recently gathered at the Howe Center to say a formal good-bye and thanks to the freshly retired Rutland police chief Anthony Bossi. He had begun his career as a beat cop before being promoted to lieutenant in 1982, and became chief 13 years ago.

Ira - to split or not to split

The latest statewide re-apportionment effort would split the town of Ira, part voting in with West Rutland, and the rest in Poultney's district. Many residents of Ira don't care for the idea. There are only 432 of them, down 13 from the 2000 census, surely a small enough group to be able to vote together.

Rutland Town selectmen not running

After four years on the Rutland Town select board, Josh Terenzini has decided to hang up his elected official hat for the time being. Other activities are taking a higher priority right now, he says. He's going to be a daddy soon and returning to school as well as performing a challenging job.

Selectman Steve Hawley, on the other hand, does plan to run again.

Helping employees fight disaster/hardship

Vermont Country Store employees will soon be able to utilize a new model program to help them weather disaster and hardship. The developing Good Neighbor Fund grew out of the VCS's new awareness of people's needs as employer and employees responded to the hazards of tropical storm Irene. The Vermont Community Foundation is partnering with VCS.

Downtown parking changes

Rutland City's select board recently approved a number of changes to the way the city handles parking charges and violations. Wales and Church Street un-metered slots are sprouting meters; long-term slots cost 25 cents per hour. Don't think you'll sneak in at the Amtrak lot - it's reserved for rail passengers only. Get caught and you face a $50 fine. Your "reward" for attempting to park in the Downtown Shopping Plaza lot will be even stiffer: your vehicle will be towed away.

The old public parking lots are closing with the exception of The Pit, at the corner of Center and Wales, which costs $3 a day.

Got a problem with these changes? Petition! A public vote is necessary if five percent of City voters (580) ask for one.

Creek Path #2 funding

The Vermont Transportation Enhancement Program recently chipped in $126,000 toward the Creek Path project's section two. This is the portion of the route from State Street to West Street along East Creek.

Lani's picks

Monday, Jan. 16 - Martin Luther Day gives you the opportunity for another three-day ski weekend. Sure seems to me this should be placed later in the month. If you're like most Americans, you'll have enough economic woes recovering from Christmas.

Tagged: rutland report, rutland