My secret is out. I, Diane Alberts, have filed my petition for election to the Rutland City Board of Aldermen. I began gathering signatures in December and have been an early bird in deciding that it was time to serve my community. I see Rutland poised on the brink of a renaissance: a chance to refill its downtown stores, to regain its importance as a transportation center and to draw new families to revitalize the community. I want to take part in helping Rutland develop that potential.
There are many good things going on in the community. One of my favorites is the new indoor Vermont Farmers Food Center. I am thrilled every time I go to the market and see what had once been an empty property in danger of decay or demolition now serving a constructive purpose. The main entrance, once a littered empty lot, is now planted with trees and grass. Greg Cox of the VFFC has also agreed to take in the antique Rutland Railroad car that has been donated to the city, a reminder of Rutland’s glory days as a railroad center.
There are lots of possibilities for the Amtrak connection to become an even better asset to Rutland and the surrounding communities. It would also be great to see daily rail connections between Rutland and the state’s major population centers, as well as Boston, New York — and the rest of the country. Rep. Herb Russell has vowed to repeat “Northwest Corridor” to his colleagues in Montpelier until they’re saying it in their sleep, and the governor is already listening.
The arts are thriving in Rutland. We have several theater groups, the Paramount Theater, local galleries and Art in the Park, and a variety of music, ranging from local rock and folk groups, to Friday Night Live, to the Grace Church’s fantastic classical and avant-garde performances.
Are my eyes closed to controversial issues and some real problems in Rutland? Not at all. I’m willing to listen to all sides, to the advisers hired by the city, to other aldermen, and last but not least to other Rutlanders. I hear your worries about drugs, dilapidated properties, population decline, and an aging population. When I came to Rutland from the furthest reaches of the Northeast Kingdom in 1999, I found a place I consider home. Since then the drug problems have increased, homes have been abandoned, and stores emptied. Wringing my hands won’t change that, and moving to another community is just moving to a different set of problems. Besides, I like it here. Rutland is my town, and I want to be part of moving the city forward on the good things, and helping to solve those problems.
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