The word is out that two members of David Allaire’s mayoral election committee are none other than former Mayor John Cassarino (who is presently running for alderman) and former city attorney Christopher Sullivan. Have the voters forgotten that it was the Cassarino administration that left the city with millions of dollars of debt? Those were dark, disheartening days. When Mayor Louras took office, he inherited a city in financial shambles. In addition, Sullivan, on behalf of former disgruntled employees, was hitting the city with several lawsuits. Fortunately, he lost every case.
Allaire complains that taxes are unsustainable. Yet as board president, he has not encouraged the aldermen to make significant cuts to the budget. His latest scheme is “tax incremental financing” (See Feb. 8, Rutland Herald) whereby a neighborhood is taxed at the rate of “improved property” before infrastructure improvements have been made. So if my street shall one day be paved, it will increase the value of my property? Crazy idea!
My vote goes to Mayor Louras, who has served honorably in the military during war time. His organizational skills have rallied our various departments and agencies, which have kept us safe during two devastating storms and the difficult recoveries that followed. Our new police chief is resolved to reduce crime. Drug-related arrests are on the rise. The city had a clean financial audit in 2012, the first in over 30 years. Our infrastructure is being repaired at a steady rate. The Farmers’ Market has moved into spacious quarters. The seeds have been sown for the city’s revitalization. Are we there yet? Not completely, but there are definite signs of “progress,” and lately I do see more residents taking pride in their community. We must remember that change in leadership does not always lead us in a positive direction.
DAWN D. HANCE
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