On February 23, 2022

Seven vie for Rutland Board of Aldermen seats

By Katy Savage

Seven people are running for five seats on the Board of Aldermen this Town Meeting Day, March 1.

Paul Clifford is not seeking reelection, leaving one seat open.There are several familiar faces. Incumbents Michael Talbott, Sharon Davis, Matt Whitcomb and Samuel Gorruso are running alongside newcomers Anna Tadio and Kam Johnston. 

Chris Ettori

Chris Ettori

Chris Ettori, who was elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2015 before stepping down in 2021 to make an unsuccessful bid for mayor against Dave Allaire is also running for the Board of Alderman. 

“I’ve had a number of conversations and meetings with Dave,” Ettori said. “This board right now, they work really well together and with the administration.”

Ettori, 45, who was the assistant director of operations at CCV-Rutland for 12 years before the pandemic, said he’s continued to attend all the Aldermen meetings since his term ended.

“I enjoy what happens in the work of the city government and I think I can contribute to the discussion,” he said. 

One important issue facing the board is how to appropriate $4.4 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. There is $7.2 million in requests for housing, infrastructure, and other needs. 

“I really think we need to be strategic about how we use this,” Ettori said, explaining he wants to tackle homelssneess and the availability of affordable housing with the federal funds. 

Anna Tadio

Anna Tadio

Newcomer Anna Tadio, 31, who grew up in Rutland, is also seeking a two-year term. 

Tadio graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2020. She is currently a ski patroller at Killington Resort. 

“I’ve always been interested in politics,” she said. 

Tadio said she wants to use federal funds to focus on lack of affordable child care, lack of job opportunities, affordable housing and safety. 

“We need more opportunities for people,” she said. 

Tadio unsuccessfully ran for School Board last year and lost by 63 votes. She wasn’t sure what her chances were of being elected to the Board of Aldermen. 

“Being born and raised here, I’m familiar  things are the way they are,” she said. “It’s a conservative city and I’m a young person with new ideas.” 

Sharon Davis

Sharon Davis

Incumbent Sharon Davis, 68, has served on the board for 30 years, and is running again. 

“I’ve been honored to be re-elected every time,” Davis said. “(Residents) have recognized that I’ve always stayed the course and represented them to the best of my ability.”

Davis is a full-time nurse with the Visiting Nurses Association. 

“I’m born and raised in this city and I love giving back,” she said.

Michael Talbott

Michael Talbott

Incumbent Michael Talbott has served on the board for two years and is seeking another two-year term.

“We are working really effectively this past year together as a group,” Talbott said.  

Talbott, 42, grew up in California and settled in Rutland in 2014 to teach communications at Castleton University. 

Talbott has been working through the board to establish a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Rutland. TIF districts allow municipalities to easily finance substantial public infrastructure  improvements and developments. 

 “We’re really a prime location for a TIF district,” Talbott said. ‘I’m really hopeful we’ll be able to apply later this year.”

Talbott is also interested in using federal ARPA money to establish a rental rehabilitation program for landlords.

Kam Johnston

Kam Johnston

Kam Johnston, who frequently puts his name on the ballot, is running for Board of Alderman in addition to the School Board. See response on page 11.

 

 

 

Matt Whitcomb and Samuel Gorruso

Incumbents Matt Whitcomb and Samuel Gorruso didn’t return requests for comment.

Matt Whitcomb
Samuel Gorruso

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