Alderman Scott Tommola said he would have voted in favor of bias training if he hadn’t left the meeting first.
Tommola was silent through the portion of the Board of Aldermen meeting he did attend Monday, during which a number of people addressed the board about the proposal to arrange bias training for city officials — a proposal the board had referred to the General Committee and that Tommola, chairman of the committee, said two weeks earlier he had decided not to schedule a meeting on.
A motion to authorize $2,500 from the contingency fund to pay for bias training was approved later Monday night.
“I’m glad the training passed,” Tommola wrote in an email Tuesday. “I wish I was able to stay long enough to vote for it.”
Tommola said that with the light agenda, he wasn’t expecting the meeting to go more than 40 minutes, and that he had somewhere to be at 7:45 p.m.
Share the Road
Meanwhile, I got more than one earful this week about aldermen preparing to take a look at traffic safety for pedestrians.
One woman who called me was very concerned about the speed and volume of traffic on Allen Street between 4 and 5 p.m. and the threat it posed to kids trying to cross the street there. A gentlemen from Shrewsbury emailed me to say that he is often nervous about crossing the street in Rutland, but he also sees a number of pedestrians who are not doing themselves any favors by wearing dark clothes while walking along the street at night.
Karen McCalla, executive director of The MINT and a teacher at Mill River, didn’t have a road crossing horror story for me, but wants yours. McCalla advises the Rutland Robo-Rhinos, a robotics team made up of 9-14-year-olds who, as part of a state robotics competition, are working on a pedestrian safety project.
“The kids have done some research and found out there was a state pedestrian safety study done in 2015,” McCalla wrote. “Rutland was chosen for the study because it is the most dangerous place to be a pedestrian in the state! The kids have generated a couple of ideas that they think could help, but they would love more anecdotal data about where people have trouble staying safe.”
McCalla said people can email her at email@example.com or call/text her at 779-4242.
City Hall will be closed Monday for Veterans Day. The Police Commission meeting, however, is still on for 6 p.m. at the police department.
Tuesday, the quarterly Board of Tax Abatement meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the aldermanic chambers.
Budget season begins in earnest on Wednesday, when the Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. to look over its portion of the FY 2020-21 budget.
Thursday, the Public Works Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. for an update on the water meter system changeover.