City races shape up at filing deadline
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | January 27,2015
A Rutland man is running for mayor, alderman and city assessor.
Kam Johnston filed petitions Monday to seek all three seats.
“I’m willing to serve the city, and I think I have attributes that would work in any of them,” he said. “While I realize it would be a stretch to be mayor, I think that would give me a platform to get known.”
For mayor, he joins a field already occupied by incumbent Christopher Louras and fellow-challenger Alderman David Allaire. For city assessor, he challenges incumbent Barry Keefe. For alderman, he joins nine candidates seeking six seats.
Johnston made an unsuccessful bid for alderman last year. He said he recognized there was a risk this year’s strategy might keep some voters from taking him seriously, but he felt the increase in exposure justified the risk.
“If I’m not willing to spend the money on yard signs and Facebook, I hope people will take the time to look me up so I don’t have to send them a mailer to be a serious candidate,” he said.
In the unlikely chance he wins all three seats, Johnston said he would prefer to serve as mayor, and that he would take the assessor’s position over alderman, though he was not sure if holding the latter two positions simultaneously was forbidden.
Allaire, who is president of the Board of Aldermen, unsuccessfully challenged Louras in 2013.
This is the first time in recent memory Keefe has faced a challenge. He did not return a call seeking comment late Monday afternoon.
The Board of Aldermen will have at least two new members. Appointee Abby Brodowski and incumbent Jon Kiernan both decided not to run again. Appointee Matt Bloomer and incumbents Melinda Humphrey, Tom DePoy and Ed Larson are all seeking new terms.
Among the challengers, Kam Johnston is joined by his mother, Marge Johnston, who also mounted an unsuccessful campaign last year, perennial candidate Dan White and political newcomers Jon Skates and Chris Ettori.
Rutland County races take shape
STAFF REPORT | January 27,2015
Some residents heading out to vote on Town Meeting Day will find a ballot full of races while others will find few choices.
The following is a look at candidates running for contested offices in towns around the county:
Brandon — Incumbents Ethan Swift and Doug Bailey will face Dennis Reisenweaver for two one-year seats on the Select Board. Seth Hopkins, a member of the Budget Committee, will face Richard Baker, former chairman of the Select Board, for the remaining two years of Maria Ammatuna’s Select Board seat. Incumbent Town Moderator and School Moderator Arthur Doty will run against Hanford “Skip” Davis for the two positions.
Castleton — Joseph F. Bruno is running unopposed for a three-year term. Bruno has a one-year seat on the Select Board but is now running for the seat held by Thomas Ettori who is not running for re-election in March. For a one-year term on the board, incumbent Robert “Bob” Spaulding is running against challengers Jim Leamy and Zack S. Holzworth. Neither Leamy nor Holzworth is an incumbent, but Leamy has served on the board in the past. Town Clerk Katy Thornblade, who has been clerk for nine years, is not seeking re-election. Nedra A. Boutwell is running unopposed for the position.
Chittenden — Deborah A. Singiser and Elana Svoren are running for the three-year position of School Board director.
Clarendon — Incumbent Selectman Arthur Knox will face off against former Planning Commission member Marjorie White Southard for a two-year term on the Select Board.
Danby — Michelle Bushee, Margot Stone, and Douglas R. White will face off to fill a two-year unexpired treasurer position. Janice Arnold, the current town clerk, and Selectwoman Hope Blucher will compete for a three-year Select Board term. Chip White, chairman of the Select Board, will face Byron Battease and Steve Haines for a two-year Select Board term. Colleen Battease, J. Cassandra Bender, and Terry Parker will compete to be the delinquent tax collector. Charles O. Davis, Thomas O’Brien, and Maureen Staples will compete for a one-year lister job.
Fair Haven — There are three candidates for two open one-year seats, Richard “Dick” J. Frazier, Sean A. Galvin and Mary McNeil. Incumbent Chris Cole, the board’s chairman, and David Ward are not seeking re-election. For a three-year seat on the Select Board, incumbent Robert J. Richards is being challenged by William Schaumloffel.
Hubbardton — The Select Board is seeing several races. Incumbent Janet Morey is being challenged by John Demgard for a three-year seat. For a one-year term on the Select Board, incumbents Dwayne Gibbs and Richard Grabowski are being challenged by Paul Martel and John Reed. There are two open one-year seats on the board.
Killington — Jim Haff is running against incumbent Chris Bianchi for a three year-term on the Select Board.
Mendon — Rhonda Bates and Erica McLaughlin are both running against incumbent Michelle Erickson for a three-year school board seat.
Middletown Springs — A single challenger is running for two seats on the Select Board. Former Selectman James Webber is running against incumbents Carl Haynes and Terry Redfield for a three-year seat and two-year seat, respectively.
Mount Holly — Three newcomers are competing for a seat on the Select Board left empty by James Heald who stepped down. Ted Crawford, Peter Berger and Brigid Sullivan are vying for the three-year seat.
Pawlet — Three candidates are running for two one-year seats on the Select Board. Incumbents Clarence Decker and Sarah Ludlam are facing a challenge from newcomer Edgar Cleveland.
Pittsfield — The town nominates officers from the floor at town meeting.
Proctor — There are no contested races in town this year. However, just before the 5 p.m. deadline, no candidates were seeking Select Board seats left open by Richard Horner and Vincent Gatti who are both stepping down.
Rutland Town — Two people are competing for the delinquent tax collector position left vacant by Richard Lloyd who retired in April. James Scholtz, who was appointed as tax collector in April, is competing with Christopher Howland for the three-year position. A race on the School Board, meanwhile, will pit two incumbents against each other. Board member Marnie Roussel is facing a challenge for her two-year spot on the board from Nichole McPhee who was appointed last year to fill a vacant three-year seat.
Tinmouth — Andy Gilmore is challenging incumbent Matt Patry for a three-year seat on the Select Board. Kevin Ruane is seeking to unseat 35-year incumbent Road Commissioner Hollis Squire. The position has a two-year term.
Wells — Appointee Mary Haskins and challenger Carole Duquette are vying for a three-year seat on the Board of Listers. On the Select Board, Ward Cyr and Paul Woodruff Jr. are competing for a vacant seat. The Planning Commission has four candidates for a trio of three-year seats — incumbents Edgar Corey and Felix Reed and challengers Paul Woodruff Sr. and Timothy Makepeace.
In the Rutland County towns of Benson, Ira, Mount Tabor, Pittsford, Shrewsbury, Wallingford, West Haven and West Rutland, there are no contested races. Information from Poultney and Sudbury was not available at press time.
In other towns around the region there are five candidates for two one-year positions on the Select Board in Dorset. Incumbents Ryan Downey and Steve Jones are being challenged by Henry L. Chandler, John “Jack” Stannard and Brad Tyler. For Dorset’s School Board, David Chandler, who has a three-year seat on the board, is running unopposed for a two-year term on the board that will be open because incumbent Robert Allen is not seeking re-election. James Mirenda, a newcomer to the School Board, is running unopposed for Chandler’s three-year seat.
Also, in Manchester, Carol Lattuga, an incumbent, is running for a two-year term on the board against newcomer Brian Marthage. For Manchester School Board, Katy McNabb, chairwoman of the School Board, is being challenged for a three-year term by newcomer Jon Wilson.
And in Middlebury, Elaine Hammond and Leslie Bodette will compete for a three-year seat on the ID#4 School Board, which represents Mary Hogan Elementary School.