It was with disappointment and concern that I learned the Rutland City Board of Aldermen declined to pass a resolution condemning the insurrectionist violence that occurred at our national Capitol. Make no mistake, this vote hurts Rutland.
To start, let’s examine the claim by one alderman opposed to the resolution that it was too divisive. The resolution in question was very similar to an official statement released by Governor Scott condemning the violence and President Trump’s part in encouraging it. The governor is a Republican.
The resolution also mirrors a resolution passed by the Vermont Legislature. This resolution had many co-sponsors, including the leaders of the House Democratic, Progressive and Republican parties. Looking locally, all four Rutland City state representatives were also co-sponsors, two Democrats and two Republicans. When the resolution reached the Vermont Senate, all three Rutland County senators voted to approve, one Democrat and two Republicans.
Vermonters of all political persuasions were appalled by the violent attempt to prevent the certification of a presidential election. Vermonters of all political persuasions recognized the actions at the Capitol that day were an assault on the very concepts that have made America the greatest country on earth.
The Rutland City Board of Aldermen, or at least the four members whose votes killed this resolution, have done considerable damage to Rutland City’s reputation – a reputation on the ropes after some aldermen’s opposition to refugee resettlement, after some aldermen’s open disdain for implicit bias training, after an alderman shared a racist meme and then a debunked conspiracy theory on social media.
Rutland City is in a desperate struggle to grow our Grand List by attracting new residents and new businesses. We are in competition with the rest of the state and beyond in regards to this and the good people of Rutland do not deserve to see these efforts constantly undermined by our elected officials. And aldermen who cannot bring themselves to support a resolution condemning the attack on our nation’s Capitol send a negative message about our community. The inability to pass this resolution makes our community look backwards and just adds fuel to the fire of negativity we have been working to overcome for years. The votes of these aldermen hurt us now and will continue to hurt us.
I strongly encourage city voters to remember which aldermen refused to support a resolution condemning the violence in the Capitol that mirrors the sentiments of our governor and state representatives and senators of all political parties. Rutland City can do better and will have the ability to choose aldermanic candidates in the March elections who are ready to repair this damage and move Rutland forward.
William Notte lives in Rutland City.