Rutland Town votes in Chioffi, rejects school budget
By PATRICIA MINICHIELLO
Staff Writer | March 06,2013
Don Chioffi won a three-year seat on the Select Board and the school budget failed by 22 votes in Rutland Town.
Chioffi, who lost a race for Select Board last year, ran against Chris Kiefer-Cioffi this year and won by 79 votes, 499-420.
After standing at the polls for 12 hours — switching back and forth between Center Rutland and Rutland Town School — Chioffi said he was pretty tired, but happy with the result.
“I am very pleased that the townspeople put their confidence in me, and I’ll do my best to make the changes that the townspeople want made.”
He laughed that it pays to run on a platform.
“I always campaign on a platform and on issues,” Chioffi said.
He said people vote for the candidate as much as they do the issues.
“I felt pretty good all day long,” he said. “A lot of people were just giving me words of support and I got to see people that I don’t see often. It was very encouraging for me during the day.”
In money matters, voters passed a municipal budget of $1,070,488 in a vote of 686-264. The newly approved budget is an increase of $49,175 or 4.8 percent more than this year’s budget of $1,021,313.
The school budget failed by 22 votes, in a vote of 479-457. Voters rejected the proposed spending plan of $8,127,036, which is $454,120 or 5.9 percent, more than this year’s budget of $7,672,916.
Chioffi commented on the school budget failure by saying there is too much tax pressure on people these days. “Its not like there’s a rosy economy predicted,” he said.
Town Clerk and Treasurer Marie Hyjek said voter turnout was about 35 percent, which she called about average.
“I think it picked up in the afternoon. It was low in the morning,” she said.
Hyjek also said there was a scare around 6 p.m. when one of the voting machines flashed “power fail” in Center Rutland. Apparently the power strip was accidentally turned off, but after the problem was found, it was back up and running.
Another special article on the ballot asked voters to approve up to $127,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for science lab and classroom renovations at Rutland Town School. It passed, 643-307.