I have known Rutland Mayor Chris Louras since we were two local boys living in the same dorm at UVM who met and became friends. Later in life our paths diverged, and I would get my updates on Chris from his dad, Gus, as we exchanged greetings on Center Street and for a period of time the updates were of a more serious nature since Chris was piloting U.S. Army helicopters over Iraq during Desert Storm. Some years later we served together on the Rutland Board of Aldermen, and for those who recall a little history Chris was not exactly my greatest supporter when I ran for mayor against then Aldermanic President John Cassarino.
As Mayor Chris Louras runs for re-election in March, given the challenges that Rutland faces, I am sure there are some who are questioning whether change would be appropriate. Rutland, not unlike many cities across our country, is facing significant economic as well as aging infrastructure challenges. Having known Chris for many years, when he first ran for mayor, I knew he was intelligent, tough and had deep-rooted pride in his native city. I believed that if elected he would be a good mayor. During his mayoral tenure he has demonstrated these qualities and much more. Mayor Louras has faced the tough infrastructure issues head-on. He has introduced some very talented fresh faces at City Hall. And he has shown an open-mindedness and inclusiveness at City Hall that has frankly surprised me. These continue to be tough times, and as mayor, Chris Louras has made some tough choices, but Rutlandís future will continue to be brighter with his leadership at City Hall.
KEVIN B. JONES
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