Rutland city aldermen face three challengers
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 28,2014
Every sitting alderman seeks to remain on the board while three challengers are hoping to unseat some of them.
Five two-year seats are up for re-election while Alderwoman Melinda Humphrey must run for the remaining year of Charles Romeo’s last term.
Humphrey was appointed to Romeo’s seat when he resigned to become city attorney. If she wins — likely, as she is running unopposed — she can seek re-election to a full term next year.
So, three challengers — John Mattison, Kam Johnston and Marge Johnston — will face Board President David Allaire, Alderwoman Sharon Davis and Aldermen Chris Siliski, Gary Donahue and William Notte.
The list makes for a thinner ballot than last year, when 12 candidates competed for six seats. The ballot was also more open that year as two sitting aldermen had decided not to run again.
Perennial candidate Dan White is also missing from the ballot for the first time in almost a decade.
The three challengers are all familiar names in some way.
This is Mattison’s third attempt to join the board. He came to public prominence as the organizer of the petition drive that ultimately overturned the 2011 recreation bond vote. He appeared on the 2012 and 2013 aldermanic ballots and also made a run at the Legislature in 2012.
Kam Johnston has been a constant presence at Board of Aldermen meetings for the last year or so. He began by haranguing the board about a dispute he had with City Assessor Barry Keefe — to the point where Allaire now refuses to call on Johnston during the “outside the rail” portions of board meetings — but expanded his interests to critique the board on a wide variety of issues.
Marge Johnston is Kam Johnston’s mother and made two unsuccessful runs for mayor in the 1990s.
The Johnstons have a case against the city pending in Rutland civil court regarding their 2011 tax assessment.