On March 1, 2023

Nine candidates seek six Aldermen seats

Nine candidates are vying for six two-year seats on the Rutland Board of Aldermen on Town Meeting Day, March 7. Four of the candidates  — Joe Barbagallo, Thomas DePoy, William Gillam and Carrie Savage are incumbents. The — Sherry Prouty, John Cioffi, Jr., John McCann, Alex Adams and Kiana McClure, are newcomers.

Meanwhile, former state Rep. Larry Cupoli and former Sen. Cheryl Hooker are both seeking unchallenged one-year terms on the Board of Aldermen.  

Cupoli, who has lived in Rutland for 75 years, was appointed to the board in December to fill a seat vacated by Christopher Ettori.

“There are a lot of projects going on,” Cupoli said. “It’s good to be part of that.”

Board of Aldermen President ​​Mike Doenges isn’t seeking reelection as he campaigns for mayor against incumbent David Allaire. Thomas Franco is also not seeking reelection. 

Sherri Prouty

Sherri Prouty, 51, has lived in Rutland for 27 years and works as a career adviser for Goodwill and a coordinator for Companions in Wholeness. She also volunteers at Turning Point to help people in recovery.

“I moved back with my husband who was born here in Rutland,” she said. “I always think everyone should serve somewhere to help their community out.”

Prouty unsuccessfully ran for a House seat in 2020. 

“I complain a lot so I’d figured I’d get out there and do something,” she said. “I’d like to be part of the thought process of wanting to stay here.”

John Cioffi, Jr.

Newcomer John Cioffi Jr., 37, owns Black Dog Guns and Shooting Supplies, Muckenschnabel’s restaurant in Rutland and part of the Cape Cod Potato Chips franchise.

He ran for Aldermen in 2021 and lost by about 300 votes in a crowded 17-candidate field. 

He wants to focus more on getting Killington and Rutland to collaborate more on tourism. 

“We need to do a better job of telling people from out of town we  have this great little downtown with all these little stores,”  Cioffi said. “There are a lot of dreams but not a lot of reality.” 

Carrie Savage

Carrie Savage, 53, a seventh-generation Vermonter, works at Vermont State University as the director of planned giving. Savage has served on the Board of Aldermen for one term. 

Savage said she wants to focus on blighted properties and making the TIF district a reality. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to go,” she said. “I hope to be asked to help finish.”

John McCann

Newcomer John McCann, 38, is a hydrologist. He grew up in New Jersey before attending Green Mountain College. He moved to Rutland two years ago and got interested in watching Board of Aldermen meetings.

“I was trying to learn about what the city was doing and found that was hard to find,” he said.

McCann wants to create more government transparency and will focus on “Making sure people know what the committees do and why they exist.”

He also said Rutland has a reputation issue. Prior to moving here, friends questioned his decision, asking him, “Haven’t you heard that’s the drug capital of the world?” McCann said.  “They would point out all these negative things.”

McCann wants to focus on the positive aspects of Rutland.

“People don’t focus on the positives as much,” he said. “We’ve got to start making people feel more proud of Rutland and the current things that exist.”

Alex Adams

Alex Adams, 34, works as an apprentice relay technician at Green Mountain Power. 

“I’m running because we’re at a critical fork in the road and I see the potential we’ve got,” Adams said. 

Adams grew up in Rutland and moved back after graduating from college. He wants to focus on the housing crisis. 

“Housing is the issue at the top of my list,” he said. “I feel addressing it aggressively will contribute to finding solutions to other issues we face.”

Joe Barbagello

Joe Barbagallo, 73,  was appointed to finish out the term of Devon Neary, who resigned to become executive director of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission.

“I found I enjoyed trying to help the city,” Barbagello said. 

Barbagallo, who is retired, worked for the Center Vermont Public Service Corporation for 44 years, most recently as a power system coordinator.

He wants to improve the job market and housing problem in Rutland. 

“More and more landlords are giving up their rental spaces because being a landlord is not the easiest thing in the world,” he said.

William Gillam

William Gillam, 68, served 16 years on the board before stepping down in 2008. Gillam was appointed back to the board two terms ago and has been on the board since.  

“This will be my eighth term with a little break in the middle,” Gillam said. 

Gillam, who is now retired, works part time for the Green Mountain Council with kids and leaders .

Gillam wants to move the TIF District forward to clean the neighborhoods up and fix the housing issues.

“This is definitely Rutland’s moment,” Gillam said. “That’s my slogan.” 

He also wants to upgrade the water system and sewer pipes that have been in the ground for 150 years. “It’s very important we need to get these projects completed and off the ground,” he said. 

Kiana McClure

Kiana McClure, 23, is the youngest candidate. She works as a marketing associate at Same Sun of Vermont and community outreach coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County. She is also on the board for Downtown Rutland Partnership.

McClure grew up in Rutland. She moved back to the area in 2020 and started getting more involved in the community

“Rutland has great bones,” she said. “Rutland has a lot to offer.”

She wants to create a city that young people want to move to and address the housing crisis. “A lot of our community problems really stem from the lack of housing,” she said.

Thomas DePoy

Thomas DePoy, 52, is seeking a ninth term. DePoy owns a cleaning business and works all over Rutland county.

“There’s still a lot that I feel I can offer the city — experience in trying to get certain things done.” 

He wants to focus on allocating federal American Rescue Plan Act money and repairing the Moon Brook watershed. 

“It’s going to be huge for the city,” he said.

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