Let me begin by saying thank you for your support and encouragement over the years. I am truly honored and humbled to be your mayor.
I want you to know I am totally healthy and cancer free, working every day, and am as motivated and excited about the next two years as I could be. The city is poised to move forward now more than it has been in a long time. There are exciting projects in the works. Yes, we have our issues. Public safety and crime are on everyone’s minds. Mine also. We need to address these issues together. Communities across Vermont are facing these same issues. We need to address Public safety issues head on. And we will.
At the police department there are signs we are having some success in our more aggressive recruiting to help bolster our numbers. We have been in contact with the incoming Legislature and governor’s office that we need bail reform to eliminate the revolving door for repeat offenders. We need to lock up the bad guys, and appropriate more funding for mental health and substance abuse issues which underlie many criminal behaviors.
As you know, I have been actively involved in monitoring the state’s homeless program at the hotels that will be ending next March. The state needs to step up and work with our community to find a solution to the homeless population when this program ends. The city is ready to partner with everyone involved, the state and non-profits, but we can’t do it alone.
In order to move forward in the area of economic development the housing shortage will continue to be a top priority. I continue to serve on a steering committee with all the local players at the table to address strategies both long and short term to address housing.
Among the projects currently moving forward are the Center Street redesign, the TIF project, the redevelopment of the western campus of the College of Saint Joseph’s property, and last but not least, I believe the ultimate goal of building a downtown hotel is well within our reach. If there ever was a need for hotel space in the Rutland region it is now.
As a reminder, we have had many successes in the last few years. We built a new municipal swimming pool. We opened a new park in the middle of downtown. We proposed and passed a bond to accelerate our paving and sidewalk infrastructure with the neighborhoods looking better than ever. We continued to work our underground infrastructure that had been neglected for much too long.
And we asked the voters for your support to purchase the athletic facility at the Saint Joe’s Campus. We now have a community center that all of us can enjoy, young and old alike. What a gem and win for the community. And we did a lot of this during a once a hundred year pandemic. We followed the guidance and kept everyone safe.
Our city finances continue to be strong. We have clean audits. We have been a good steward of the public’s funds. And as I have for the last several years, I will continue to put forth thoughtful, reasonable budgets and provide the services the citizens of Rutland expect and deserve.
So going forward, public safety, housing, infrastructure, fiscal responsibility. These are my priorities.
I have a track record of delivering. I answer my phone. I am accessible. I came from humble roots. I know what it’s like to struggle. And I also have never forgotten I work for you.
Again thank-you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to the campaign. I ask for your support.
Mayor Dave Allaire,