City Hall Reporter’s Notebook: Tables and chairs edition
Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., joined the ranks of those saying they are still committed to the Western Rail Corridor last week.
Welch did not discuss it in any detail during his appearance Thursday before the Rutland South Rotary Club, but he made a point of mentioning it specifically.
“I hear all the time about the need for the Western Rail Corridor,” he said. “I’m working on it.”
Infrastructure in general was highlighted by Welch as an area where federal spending needs to be increased, rather than cut. He likened America’s infrastructure to that of a third-world country.
A taste of limelight
Table 24’s Steven Sawyer recently found himself on a list of the best chefs in America.
The list was in a book titled, conveniently enough, “Best Chefs America,” compiled by a newly launched publisher of the same name. The book is a who’s who-style compendium which includes 45 Vermont chefs, though Sawyer is one of two from Rutland County, along with Robert Barral of Cafe Provence in Brandon, and the only one from the city.
The entries are sparse — simple listings of the chefs’ names, restaurants and locations, with no indication of what in particular got them onto the list.
“I think kind of the point is, if you’re not in the top one or two percent of the people who do this, you don’t really get a lot of recognition,” Sawyer said. “There’s a heck of a lot more of us standing their station, not doing interviews on the ‘Today Show,’ who are making this industry go.”
The publishers say the list was compiled after interviews with 5,000 chefs. Sawyer said he was one of those interviewed, though he recommended a number of his colleagues, including some in the Chicago area.
“The genesis of everyone’s name is via a peer,” he said. “It’s not how many good Yelp reviews you have.”
credit is due
Two weeks ago, I wrote of my hope not to see any signs of payback in the aldermanic committee assignments.
The assignments came out this week and, nope, I don’t see any. Everyone who voted against David Allaire’s bid for another term as board president kept or received a chairmanship — except Charles Romeo, but that’s because he’s (probably) quitting.
Any attempt to cast Alderman William Notte’s transfer from the Public Works Committee to the Charter and Ordinance Committee as a slight was stifled by Notte himself, who said his new post is an important one.
“It seems like whenever we want to do any real change in the city, a significant shake-up, it comes down to the charter,” he said.
Notte also threw some cold water on the notion of a division between older and younger board members, pointing to Tom DePoy, who is closer to Notte’s age, backing Allaire while the more senior Jon Kiernan was among those supporting Notte.
“I think the voting blocks that some people think are shaping up just don’t exist,” he said.
Tonight, the Board of Aldermen meets at 7 p.m. Subjects include mayoral appointments, planning grants and the purchase of a new fire engine.
The rest of what I have for this week is all on Wednesday.
The Development Review Board meets at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed construction of a detached storage unit on a Woodstock Avenue property.
At 7 p.m., Dartmouth professor Barbara Will offers a talk at the Rutland Free Library on how Paris become home to a vibrant art and literary scene during the 1920s. The talk is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series.