Community resource fair eases access to services
Rutland Regional Medical Center sponsors a free community resource fair in the RRMC Community Health Education Center, March 22. More than 28 community partners will share information about the services they provide, giving individuals an opportunity to put a face to community services, ask questions, and find help in identifying additional useful supports. More info is available by phone at 747-1636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clarendon turns down regional initiatives
Voters chose Michael J. Klopchin over Marjorie White Southard for a three-year Select Board seat, 393-95; Heidi E. Congdon over Tammy Hogenauer for a three-year treasurer post, 257-246; and Daryl Tripp over Ralph “Jinx” Loomis for a three-year road commissioner job, 292-209.
Voters approved the $972,030 government and highway budget, 367-144, and the $77,250 road resurfacing budget, 357-148. But they turned down several regional initiatives: a $500 appropriation for NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, 286-209; a $2,571 appropriation for the Rutland regional marketing committee, 351-141; and a $250 appropriation for support of the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District, 260-234.
NeighborWorks launches public arts project for youth
NeighborWorks Western Vermont plans a community art project, Together, Art Grows (TAG), which will bring youthful energy and artistic skills to create and install public art in neglected spaces, beginning in Northwest Rutland. The organizational community input session April 26 will set parameters and pinpoint locations identified as possibilities and cleared for use. Participants in the project will be age 13 through 17. TAG is a nationwide NeighborWorks program that brightens neighborhoods and builds community.
Notte withdraws candidacy for alderman presidency
William Notte has decided not to run for a third term as president of Rutland City’s Board of Aldermen. His intent was to avoid a potential stalemate with longtime Alderman Sharon Davis, who had already announced her plans to run for the office.
Had the year ahead been a “normal year,” Notte told aldermen in an email, he would have run, but due to Alderman David Allaire’s winning the mayoral election, the board will be short an alderman when it elects a president the first time it meets after Town Meeting Day. The board thus comprises 10 seats and must remain so until after the reorganizational meeting. If Notte were to run for the office, the votes would most likely be evenly split between him and Davis and there is no mechanism by which to settle a tie. The city’s lack of a city attorney with Charles Romeo’s resignation further complicates the situation, Notte said (see below).
The board president conducts aldermen’s meetings, makes committee assignments, appoints committee chairs, and steps in as deputy mayor to act as mayor when the mayor is out of town. He or she does not participate in debates, voting only in case of a tie.
The most pressing issues Davis foresees coming in front of the board are increasing the Grand List, funding infrastructure improvement, working on the fire department budget and its fire chief controversy, and marketing the city. Charles Romeo quits city job, reenters private practice
Meanwhile, City Attorney Charles Romeo has taken a job with the Rutland law firm Ryan, Smith and Carbine, as of Friday, March 10. He said he had waited until Town Meeting Day on March 7 to make the announcement for fear that doing so earlier might affect the outcome of the mayoral election.
Then-mayor Christopher Louras appointed Romeo as successor to Andrew Costello in 2013. Romeo had been elected to the board of aldermen and was working as a deputy state’s attorney.
Newly elected Mayor David Allaire will appoint Romeo’s successor, a decision that requires confirmation by the Board of Aldermen. The city attorney position will remain vacant until the confirmation, most likely in early April.
Rutland police dept. brings back youth cadet program
The Rutland City Police Department is revitalizing its cadet program for youth from 14 (or at least ninth grade) to 21 years old. Enrollees receive both classroom and hands-on experience in law enforcement. Working alongside law enforcement officers, they take part in numerous public events, meet federal agents, and learn about the many roles of law enforcement. To learn more, call Corporal Damon Nguyen or Officer Eric Morgano at 802-773-1816.
Rutland Town measures are well received
Voters approved it all —the $983,055 town budget, 658-182; the $254,595 police budget, 549-317; the $894,049 highway budget, 686-179; the $197,850 fire department budget, 718-179; and the $122,274 recreation budget, 607-256.
Comparing the numbers on the various articles, the issue that voters were least comfortable approving was that of $7.7 million for the school budget. But that too passed on Mar. 7 by a 100-vote margin, 484-384.
Looking toward the future, town voters agreed 578-283 to add $0.005 to the tax rate with the intent of saving those funds for eventually replacing Northwood Pool.