RUTLAND TOWN—Barbara Noyes Pulling, chair of the Rutland Town Planning Commission and a senior planner with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC), announced her candidacy for the Rutland Town House District, which is Rutland-4, on Friday, May 29.
Pulling, 65, is a native of Rutland Town. Her family’s Vermont roots date to 1794. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She went on to work as a broadcast journalist, both as a reporter and an executive producer, in a highly successful career spanning 33 years. She earned her master’s degree in public policy from Virginia’s George Mason University in May 2013.
Eager to return to Vermont for a second career in public service, she joined the Rutland Regional Planning Commission in Rutland as regional planner in November 2013. She was appointed to the Rutland Town Planning Commission in 2015 and was elected its chairman later that year, a position she currently holds.
On Friday, Pulling released a statement of her reasons for running as a Democrat in the House district race for Rutland Town: “As a native of Rutland Town, where my extended family has lived for generations, I’m very eager to serve our community and all of its residents. This town is where I grew up; its values are my values.
“I sincerely believe that now is the time for a new voice for Rutland Town in the House of Representatives – one that represents all of our community, is fully engaged, and serves as an active team player in Montpelier. The times we find ourselves in today demand this kind of commitment and much more.
“You can count on me to advocate for the interests of all of Rutland Town, looking for ways we can collectively address our economic, energy, agricultural, environmental, and healthcare needs. All these issues now loom large, magnified in scope and urgency by the corona virus, or Covid-19. This novel, highly contagious disease has left Rutland Town, and Vermont, with both a healthcare emergency and an economic crisis.
“Today we need all hands on deck. We need citizen involvement. I will ensure that everyone’s voice is heard in Montpelier. My campaign is one of inclusion and collaboration. Together, as a community, as a region, and as a state, we Vermonters will find our way forward – as we always have. Our best days are ahead.”
Rutland Town resident Ed Bove, RRPC executive director and Pulling’s supervisor, endorsed her candidacy. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Barbara for seven years and counting. In all honesty, I can say that she is one of the most dependable, thorough, and hardworking people I know.
“I can count on her to work through any obstacle and she’ll take on any assignment,” Bove said. “In fact, I depend on her to not back down from any challenge. Barbara can work with anyone and has a knack for being able to bring people together with a willingness to change her own perspective for the greater good,” he said. “She has worked with towns all over the Rutland Region on some very contentious issues. All have had praise for her work ethic and her commitment to the task at hand.
“From someone who knows her very well and depends upon her daily, I can say that Barbara, without question, will get Rutland Town’s needs met in the State Legislature.”
Attorney Mary Ashcroft, Rutland Town Selectboard member, also endorsed Pulling’s candidacy. “I am very pleased with Barbara’s decision to run for the House seat for Rutland Town,” said Ashcroft. “Barbara is uniquely qualified to be our voice in Montpelier. She understands our town and our region. She works collaboratively and cooperatively to tackle the tough problems we face.”
In Pulling’s post as Rutland Town Planning Commission chair, “she led efforts to develop a new town plan, solar siting standards, and commonsense protection for our streams and scenic areas,” Ashcroft said. “As a Rutland Regional Planning Commission planner, Barbara has worked successfully with neighboring towns to help them plan for their futures. Barbara participates at nearly every Rutland Town Selectboard meeting, keeping us informed of the work of the Planning Commission and flagging grants that are available to help with local projects. She has proven herself to be a collegial, steadying, moderate voice of reason.
“Barbara’s experience and talents are exactly what Rutland Town needs in Montpelier as our Legislature tackles unprecedented financial and healthcare challenges from growing corona virus impacts,” Ashcroft added.