News Briefs
June 16, 2016

State election races warm up

Petitions to run for Vermont state offices were due in town and city clerks’ offices May 26. Democrat Herb Russell, Representative from Rutland-5-3 (the Southwest neighborhood), is the only sitting member from Rutland that will not run again. He has served three terms in Montpelier. Running for the seat Russell is vacating are Democrat Mary Howard and Republican John Mattison.
The other three Rutland City Representatives—Larry Cupoli, Doug Gage, and Peter Fagan—are all unopposed for reelection. All three are Republicans.
The Rutland County Senate delegation comprises Brian Collamore, Peg Flory, and Kevin Mullin, all Republicans running for reelection. Korrine Rodrigue (D) is also competing for one of those seats.
Thomas Terenzini, R-House District 4 (Rutland Town), is running unopposed. He has served two terms already.
Four candidates are running in Rutland-2: Republicans Thomas Burditt (incumbent) and Ronald Boucher, and Democrats David Potter (incumbent) and Michael Stimpfel. This election is Boucher’s first attempt in the race, Stimpfel’s second.
Independent candidates need not file petitions before August.
New faces and places
Former Rutland Economic Development Corp head Jamie Stewart is taking over leadership of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC). He replaces outgoing Executive Director Sam Andersen. The CVEDC is one of 12 non-profit regional development centers in the State.
Rutland’s Board of Aldermen confirmed the appointment of Tara Kelly as the city’s new zoning administrator June 6. She replaces interim zoning administrator Alan Shelvey, leaving her position as Rutland Area Farm and Food Link executive director.
Active Shooter Safety Program available to schools, workplaces
Scott Stevens of Castleton Police Department and John Sly of Rutland Town Police Department recently presented an Active Shooter training program for the Rutland Region Workforce Investment Board. The “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate” (A.L.I.C.E.) program prepares individuals for handling the threat of an active shooter. Participants learn to participate in their own survival and lead others to safety. To arrange for similar opportunities for schools and/or workplaces, e-mail scott.stevens@vermont.gov or john.sly@vermont.gov. More information on A.L.I.C.E. is available at alicetraining.com.
Act 46 discussions continue, options weighed
Representatives of Rutland Central and Rutland Southwest supervisory unions met June 8 to start the draft articles of agreement for a new district combining West Rutland, Proctor, and Poultney. No vote on the articles will take place until members of the study committee are comfortable with all of them, consultant Steve Sanborn told the committee.
Once approved by the committee, the articles next need approval by the state Board of Education, followed by approval by each town participating in the new unified district. The committee discussed Article 4 on school closings for some time before agreeing that the School Boards must unanimously vote for closure and that each school’s town electorate must also agree.
The new board could assign membership by population, Sanborn said. A 13-member board could consist of six members from Poultney, three from Proctor, and four from West Rutland. A nine-member board could have four from Poultney, two from Proctor, and three from West Rutland. An alternative is an at-large board with members elected from and by all towns.
Another possibility is a hybrid board. A hybrid might comprise two members from each town, plus three members at large elected from all three towns, voting collectively. Committee members intend to decide on board membership at their next meeting.
During a break-out session, representatives from Rutland Town and Middletown Springs engaged in informal talks discussing their chief merger obstacle: at what level school choice occurs. Middletown Springs students end their local education after sixth grade, when their school choice kicks in; for Rutland Town, the choice is after eighth grade.
Act 46 requires them to be on the same timetable before merger. Rutland Town can close its middle school with choice after sixth grade; Middletown Springs can open its own middle school; or Middletown Springs can send its seventh and eighth grade students to Rutland Town. Act 46 prohibits a school district from both operating a school and offering choice in the same grades. One suggestion has been to grandfather Rutland Town’s middle school program for eight years with reevaluation at that time. Also proposed are online classes and developing a hybrid.
It seems most likely Ira will ask the Board of Education to let it stand alone, Joan Faustian, RSWSU superintendent, said.
Physical therapy clinic, daycare site considered
Rutland City’s Development Review Board considered permitting a physical therapy clinic at 46 N. Main Street and a large daycare at 41 E. Center Street during the Board’s June 1 meeting. Kate Moser and Lindsey Savage sought relief from zoning bylaws in the Gateway Business-1 District and to make exterior changes within a design control district.
Back on Track Physical Therapy presented plans for landscaping, building materials, roofing, parking, lighting, and snow removal. Represented by Attorney Frank Urso, the applicants answered questions about staffing levels.
Property owner Joe Giancola and applicant Teresa Hand asked relief from a zoning ordinance so that Hand may open a large daycare for more than 59 children in a mixed residential (MR-1) zone. Her venture would utilize the original building’s entire first floor.
Neighbors Nora Moore, Angela Champine, Bonnie Grec, and Jennifer Sanders spoke with the applicants about their concerns regarding parking, play areas, traffic patterns and dropoffs, fencing, and the number of children enrolled. The Board also heard a reading of letters from neighbors Andrew Perry and Mark Brown questioning some effects they felt the daycare might make on the neighborhood.
The Board will present its recommendations on both projects within 45 days. Only those who have appeared or written to the Board are considered to have standing to appeal those recommendations.
Project SEARCH graduates five
Project SEARCH, a collaborative program of vocational training for students with disabilities, graduated five students from their internships with Rutland Regional Medical Center. The five—Mackenzie Badgley, Eric Killary, Charles Laplante, Nathan Phalen, and Nicholas Seigfried—each completed a series of three 10-week internships following a week of learning employment skills before entering each department.
Teacher honored for 46 years of service
Mount St. Joseph Academy teacher Martin McDonough retired after 46 years of teaching classes while serving as athletic director and dean at the school. Former students recall his years of service wherever needed, whether in the classroom or shoveling sidewalks, coaching baseball and basketball, or acting as an impromptu counselor.

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