Mayor David Allaire plans to reconstitute the city Board of Health.
Allaire nominated Mary Nemeth, Courtney Collins and Mark Woodbury to serve on the dormant board Monday. The nominations were tabled for two weeks, at which time they are voted on by the full Board of Aldermen.
The move comes after the high profile closures of KFC by the state and of Holiday Inn by the Rutland Town Board of Health, but Allaire said his decision originated elsewhere.
“There was some concern about some events down on Library Avenue in a certain household,” Allaire said Wednesday.
Nobody was sure how long the board had been vacant when city government attempted to revive it in 2013. Then-Alderman Gary Donahue suggested retooling the role of the board to advise city government on matters of public health after a debate on which disinfectants to use in the city water system. Then-Mayor Christopher Louras nominated a slate of members, but they were ultimately rejected by the board.
Louras found an acceptable collection of names in late 2014 and aldermen filled the seats.
“There’s no record of the board ever meeting after that,” Allaire said. “They don’t remember ever serving.”
Nemeth, a former vice president at Rutland Regional Medical Center, and Collins, a current emergency room nurse, were among the previous slate of nominees. Allaire said Woobdury, a chiropractor, was suggested by the city health officer.
The city charter calls for the Board of Health to hold meetings “as necessary” and gives it the duty “to see to the enforcement of all laws and ordinances relating to the preservation of the public health.” Allaire said the exact role the board would play in the city was to be determined. He said it might serve to hear appeals of health officer decisions, or it might be an front-line body with the Board of Aldermen hearing appeals of its decisions.