The Board of Aldermen has some questions for the Chaffee Art Center.
The Chaffee intends to go forward with Art in the Park on Aug. 8-9 and Oct. 10-11. The two weekends account for roughly half the Chaffee’s revenue and, as reported earlier this week, Executive Director Sherri Birkheimer Rooker said she has had long conversations about how to hold the event while adhering to the state’s guidelines.
The Chaffee does not yet have a special events permit for Art in the Park, and when they go before the Board of Aldermen on Monday, Acting Mayor Matt Whitcomb said the process will not be a mere rubber-stamping.
“We’re all unanimous Art in the Park is a great event for the Rutland area,” Whitcomb said. “The challenges are the volume of people that move in and out of something like that.”
Main Street Park is fenced off during the event, which Birkheimer Rooker noted earlier this week makes it easy for the Chaffee’s volunteers to control access and make sure the number of guests won’t exceed the state-mandated 150 cap at any given time. Whitcomb said the board will want assurances on that score, as well as to hear about how the organizers will enforce social distancing and mask compliance.
“There are so many questions you raise about how you’re going to run this event,” he said. “What if someone shows up and they’re not wearing a mask?”
Whitcomb stressed that city government wasn’t hostile to the event, but wanted to make sure everyone has performed due diligence.
“None of us want to be in the position where we say, ‘No, you can’t go forward,’” he said.
Bill Meub said he isn’t going anywhere.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how both of his partners at Meub, Gallivan & Larsen have set off on their own to launch an injury-focused law practice. I’d called Meub to find out what this would mean for his firm — now named Meub and Associates — but didn’t hear back until the paper had gone to press.
When he did call, he said the firm was doing well, and he had just hired Steve Crowley, son of prominent Rutland lawyer John Crowley, as one of three associates. All of them, he said, are keeping busy.
“The real estate market is very active with a lot of people coming here and buying property,” he said.
While court activity has slowed during the pandemic, Meub said they have had plenty to do with remote court hearings and mediation.
“The practice of law is different with COVID and Zoom and all the new things we do,” he said. “It creates a different environment. ... Technology has changed a lot. We’re embracing it.”
The Board of Aldermen meets at 7 p.m. Monday. In addition to the permit for Art in the Park, the board will discuss a resolution calling on city residents to wear masks and a proposal from the city attorney’s office regarding “Board Member Requests for Legal Department Resources.”