By David Allaire
I want to take this opportunity to formally announce that I am running for re-election for the Office of Mayor of the City of Rutland.
I am humbled and honored that the voters of Rutland placed their support and trust in me these last four years, and for that I am forever grateful.
We have made great strides during this period, and continue to move the City forward, in spite of the challenges we all face, not the least of which has been 9 months of COVID-19.
I have been religiously following guidance coming from the Health Department, listening to the professionals, looking at the data, and making decisions to keep our workforce and community safe.
Public Health & Safety has been a top priority for my administration, but so has city finances, taxes and fees, and doing all we can to support the business community to be successful.
My last three municipal budgets have been flat or presented with very minimal increases. Water and Sewer fees likewise have been stable for the last several years. This is so important for not only residential taxpayers and ratepayers, but for the business community for stability and predictability. Our City finances are strong, with reserves as recommended by our auditors, and have weathered the pandemic storm through cooperation with the Board of Aldermen and leadership from the Treasurer’s Office.
During my first term, we successfully completed projects that had languished for years. We opened a beautiful new municipal swimming pool at White’s Playground, under budget, and has been used by thousands of City residents. Across from City Hall, with great fanfare, Center Street Marketplace Park opened in the heart of downtown Rutland, a greenspace now with several historic sculptures in place and with a gorgeous successful restaurant facing the park.
This last year, in response to voter’s input, we proposed and passed a 5-million-dollar bond for paving which also included 1 million dollars for sidewalks. We can already see the differences in our neighborhoods, and will help us catch up over the next several years.
And this past November, voters wisely passed our bond request to purchase the athletic facility at the former College of St. Joseph campus.
The Rutland Recreation Community Center will serve as a gathering place and real Community Center for people of all ages for years and decades to come. Two years ago, we were afraid the property would remain unoccupied and fall into disrepair. Now with the possible development of the assisted Living facility, and our investment, the property is once again alive and a hub for citizens of all ages and needs.
We have seen new projects and businesses open such as Ocean State Job Lot, Starbucks, Chipotle, VIP Tire on Strongs Avenue, with more to come.
One of my priorities for the next two years would be to work cooperatively with the Downtown Partnership as well as the newly consolidated REDC and Chamber to focus on vacant downtown storefronts as well as looking at our gateways and vacancies commercially city-wide, and develop new strategies to encourage development and spur growth as well as population here in Rutland City and the greater Rutland region.
Finally, Rutland City needs to think regionally, and work cooperatively with our neighbors, because our success is linked directly with the success of the entire region.
Once again, I’ll end with thanking you the voters, for your trust and support over really the last 22 years since I was first elected to the Board of Alderman.
The City of Rutland is full of talented and hard-working people.
Our best days are yet to come. I look forward to the campaign.
I ask for your support.