By Alan J. Keays, VTDigger
RUTLAND—The leadership team under new Rutland City Mayor David Allaire is taking shape.
“It’s time for a reset, a new beginning,” Allaire said Monday night at the first meeting of the city’s Board of Aldermen since his election over incumbent Mayor Christopher Louras on Town Meeting Day.
The new mayor said his first task since winning office earlier this month was to find a city attorney, a key position in the administration. He nominated Matt Bloomer for the post, who will take the place of former city attorney Charles Romeo, who recently resigned.
Bloomer, a former Board of Aldermen member, is a graduate of University of Vermont and Boston University School of Law.
Allaire, a 19-year veteran of the board, was in the middle of a two-year term when he was elected mayor. On Monday night, he nominated former board member Ed Larson to the fill the one remaining year of that term.
Larson did not run for reelection this March after six years on the board. Larson, who supported Allaire and campaigned for him for mayor, said Monday night he agreed to the fill the one-year seat.
Larson said, “with some ‘reluctance’,” he agreed to accept Allaire’s request, but told the new mayor that he would not run again.
Allaire also nominated several department heads to continue to serve in their roles in his administration. They include Jeffrey Wennberg, public works commissioner; Tara Kelly, zoning administrator; Cindi Wight, recreation superintendent; Henry Heck, city clerk; and Bob Barrett, building inspector.
He also told the board that he intends to make a part-time administrative assistant position a full-time job. The administrative assistant works with the city attorney and mayor’s office. The person who held that post resigned following the election.
Allaire said a full-time person was needed, in part, due to having a new mayor and city attorney. He said he would find money from within the budget to make the position full time.
The board tabled all the mayoral appointments for two weeks, as is required, and will vote on them at the next meeting.
Sharon Davis was unanimously elected Monday night the board’s president, replacing Alderman William Notte, who has held the post for the past two years. Notte had earlier agreed to step aside from running for another year in the post.
The six members of the 11-person board who won election on Town Meeting Day were also sworn in. They include incumbents Melinda Humphrey, Christopher Ettori and Tom Depoy. Newcomers are Rebecca Mattis, Tim Cook, and Lisa Ryan, the first African-American member of the board.
The board also agreed to allow Allaire to seek proposals for “outside” legal services to offer assistance during upcoming negotiations with unions in the city.
The board took up few matters during the meeting, which lasted less than 45 minutes.
In one action the board did take, members unanimously rejected a license for a new bar, the Nite Lite, at 24 Merchants Row, home to the recently closed nightclub, The Local.
Board members cited past problems involving police interactions as well as noise complaints at the location as reasons for turning down a request from a new owner for a new bar seeking a liquor and entertainment licenses.
“That is a very hot spot that deserves some time to cool off,” Notte said, explaining his vote.