Candidates for mayor outlines their plans for their first 60 days this week.
Six of the seven candidates participated in a forum organized by Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region and were asked what they would do during their first two months in office.
Alderman Chris Ettori said he would create a COVID advisory group of business and health leaders as well as an advisory group on “diversity, equity and inclusion.” He said he would also review the city’s contract with the Rutland Redevelopment Authority.
“I think it’s all about setting that foundation,” he said. “Making sure I’m meeting the right people, inviting the right people in, making those connections and advocating for the city.”
Kathleen Krevetsky said she would start collecting data, talking to city employees about their issues. She said it was possible there would be a number of new leaders in the city come March.
“I think what we’re going to need to do is learn how to work together,” she said. “We’ll need some kind of training program there.”
Krevetsky also said one of her first acts as mayor would be to end the fluoridation of city water.
Kam Johnston objected to the question, calling 60 days an “artificial deadline,” but said he would make sure accounting systems were in place “so we can find out where things are going.” He also said that with a new city assessor coming in, he would do an audit of best practices in the assessor’s office and overall make sure that jobs that need doing are being done.
Mayor David Allaire said the first task would be to get department heads in order, filling the vacancies in Department of Public Works and Building and Zoning.
“If you don’t have the right people in the right places, it’s hard to get your agenda moving forward,” he said.
Allaire said he hoped that COVID numbers would soon begin to level off as more people are vaccinated, and that there would then need to be a discussion with the business community about the post-pandemic future.
Alderman Sam Gorruso said he would meet and get to know everyone working for the city and then talk to taxpayers and business-owners.
“Go meet people, go see them,” he said. “Let them help you. Let them tell you what they need and how you’re going to get there.”
Matthew Godnick Seager said he would start with an assessment of city efficiency.
“The city needs to be run as a business,” he said.
Seager said choosing the department heads is a key task, noting that the city lost money having to make payouts when it terminated the fire chief’s contract. He said he would quickly move to create partnerships on training local tradespeople and continue working on the drug problem, focusing on bringing people into the workforce.
“A key part of recovery is having meaningful employment,” he said.
The seventh candidate for mayor, Marge Johnston, is the mother of Kam Johnston, who has said he is acting as her media advisor and that she is not participating in forums.