Flory’s Plaza Upgrade called a Route 4 priority~ RH 1-29-16

Flory’s Plaza Upgrade called a Route 4 priority~ RH 1-29-16

Flory’s Plaza Upgrade called a Route 4 priority
By Emily Cutts
STAFF WRITER | January 29, 2016
WEST RUTLAND — Redeveloping the Flory’s Plaza site was recommended as a top priority Wednesday night at the final public work session for the Smart Growth Connection project.
About 17 people attended the work session at the West Rutland Town Hall to discuss potential improvements to the Route 4 corridor between West Rutland and Rutland Town.
 
Representatives and residents of both towns listened to the presentation along with members of the Rutland Economic Development Corp., the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the Rutland Chamber of Commerce.
 
“It’s a long time coming, a lot of work has gone into it and the feedback I’ve gotten from folks … is that it’s all very exciting, and I would share that,” said Tom Donahue, CEO of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce.
 
“Part of it is that corridor has been neglected for a long time,” he said. “Now that it has the infrastructure, i.e. water and sewer connecting the two towns, it definitely has that potential for very positive growth.”
 
Jim Donovan, project manager for Broadreach Planning & Design, said the draft recommendations that have come out of the project were aimed at enhancing the economics, transportation and overall livability of the area.
 
The recommendations divided the 3.6-mile portion of Route 4 into three study areas — Center Rutland, West Rutland and the Business Route 4 strip. Donovan said while no overall priorities were outlined in the recommendations, priorities were outlined by section.
 
While speaking of land use recommendations along the Business Route 4 strip, Donovan spoke of the need to create incentives for under-performing properties. He added that properties such as that often discourage businesses from moving in. He said the second priority in that section was the redevelopment of Flory’s Plaza.
 
Donovan drew a laugh from the crowd when he referred to the property as underdeveloped.
 
A recommendation that drew mixed reactions was turning the Route 4 entrance intersection in West Rutland into a roundabout.
Transportation engineer and project adviser Chris Gendron said a roundabout would be safer for pedestrian traffic and vehicles.
Gendron said traffic would get through the area faster with a roundabout than with a red light.
 
“It does slow you down, but everyone is constantly moving,” he said. “You’ll get more traffic through.”
 
To promote economic development, project adviser Doug Kennedy gave a list of priorities that included relocating and expanding the existing railroad museum. He outlined highlighting the area’s arts community and building upon the rich marble history.
 
“You may think the word is out,” Kennedy said. “The word is not out.”
 
After the presentation, those in attendance were able to ask questions and take a closer look at the projects proposed for the area. A final presentation to both town’s select boards is planned for March. A final draft of the plan can be found at www.broadreachpd.com/west-rutland-rutland-town-smart-growth-connections-plan/.
 
“I applaud Mary Ann Goulette and the West Rutland Select Board for taking the time and the energy to go through a strategic planning process,” said Lyle Jepson, REDC executive director. “Strategies that provide for growth and development, like the one they are going through, clearly pay dividends when it comes to providing what both the community and businesses would like to see.”
 
emily.cutts @rutlandherald.com

Candidates line up for March races: RH 1-26-16

Candidates line up for March races
STAFF Report | January 26, 2016
Some towns in Rutland County will have full ballots at town meeting, some have trouble even getting enough candidates for each position.
Petitions to seek municipal office were due Monday. Results for the area as of 5 p.m. Monday are as follows:Rutland County
Benson
There are no contested races in Benson.
Brandon
Brandon’s sole race is for a town and school moderator position, with Hanford Davis and William Moore facing off.
Castleton
In Castleton, the three-year Select Board seat has competition. Selectman Robert Spaulding, who previously held a one-year term, has chosen to challenge Selectman John Hale for Hale’s three-year seat.
A seat on the library trustees has competition between Tina Rampone and Nancy Mark.
Chittenden
There are no contested races in Chittenden.
Clarendon
Clarendon has two contested Select Board positions. Daniel Pinkowski and Marjorie White Southard are running to fill a seat to be vacated by Robert Bixby, who chose not to run again. Incumbent Rick Wilbur is running for re-election, also against Marjorie White Southard.
Danby
In Danby, there are several races for Select Board. Running for a one-year seat on the board are Byron Battease, Lynn Bondurant and Steven Haines. Bondurant is the incumbent in that race, but she was appointed to the seat, and is running for the first time to retain it.
Running for a three-year term on the board is the chairman, Daniel Garceau, who is being challenged by Paul Pearce.
The delinquent tax collector in Danby, Terry D. Parker, is being challenged for a one-year term by Douglas R. White.
Fair Haven
There are two contested races in Fair Haven. Three people are running for two one-year terms on the Select Board. Sean Galvin and Dick Frazier are seeking re-election for one-year terms. Christopher Cole, who has previously served on the board, will run for one of the seats.
The race for second constable also has competition. Incumbent Andrew Reid is not running for re-election. Shane Carvey and Selectman Sean Galvin are running for the open position.
Ira
Information for Ira was not available.
Hubbarton
In Hubbardton, two candidates, Eva Osmun and Kathryn Krakauer, will face off for a three-year School Board seat. While John Demgard Sr. challenges incumbents Richard Grabowski and Dwayne Gibbs for a one-year Select Board seat.
Marissa Nemergut is taking on Hubbardton Town Treasurer Dawn Custer and Town Auditor Linda Pritchard for the two, three-year slots.
Killington
In Killington, Jim Haff will challenge chairwoman Patty McGrath for a three-year seat on the Select Board.
Mendon
There are no contested races in Mendon.
Middleton Springs
In Middletown Springs, Christopher Fenton is challenging incumbent Raymond “Tony” Lamberton for a two-year seat on the Select Board, while Carl Haynes challenges Patricia Kenyon for the three-year seat.
Mount Holly and Mount Tabor
Mount Holly and Mount Tabor have no contested races.
Pawlet
In Pawlet, there are no contested races, but there are a few open seats including the town agent, grand juror and a library trustee.
Pittsfield
Pittsfield nominates all officers from the floor.
Poultney
There is a vacant seat on the Poultney Select Board, as incubent Ed Lewis did not seek re-election. The one-year term will likely go unfilled until after town meeting. A couple of lister positions are open as well, but have been vacant for a while said Patricia McCoy, town clerk. There is also a vacant seat on the School Board.
Proctor
Three Select Board races appear on the Proctor ballot.
For a three-year term, incumbent Bruce Baccei seeks to defend his seat against challenger Carol Grace. Incumbent William Champine is running against Susan Feenick for a two-year Select Board seat. Finally, for a one-year unexpired term, Selectman Jeffrey Durkee faces Joe Manning.
The School Board also has a race in Proctor, with incumbent Lisa Miser and challenger Joel Tate competing for a two-year term.
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury has no contested races. However, as of close of business Monday, three elected positions are open, with no candidates to fill them at this time — moderator, auditor and lister.
Sudbury
Sudbury nominates candidates from the floor.
Tinmouth
In Tinmouth, Amanda Buffum Gill and Frank Sears are challenging incumbent Selectman Gregg Casey for a three-year spot on the Select Board. Carmen Fallar and Carolyn Feury are vying for the lister’s two-year position. Eric Buffum and Kevin Ruane are in a race to finish out the last two years of longtime road commissioner Hollis Squier’s three-year term.
Wallingford
Wallingford has no contested races.
Wells
Wells voters will have to choose between three candidates — Alexander Brewster, Kirk Dennison and Kevin Moffitt — for one two-year lister seat.
West Haven and West Rutland
West Haven and West Rutland have no contested races.

Addison County

Middlebury
North of Rutland County, Middlebury has five people vying for three three-year seats on the Select Board. Incumbents Nick Artim and Gary Baker will vie with challengers Dick Terk, Heather Seeley and Victor Nuovo.
Bennington County
Bennington
Down in Bennington County, there are seven people running for three open seats on the Bennington Select Board.
Incumbent Tom Jacobs is seeking re-election and Mike Bethel, Jason Bushee, Jeanne Conner, Jeannie Jenkins, Michael McDonough and Don Miller are also running for the at-large seats. Incumbents Sharyn Brush and John McFadden are not seeking re-election.
For the Mount Anthony Union School Board, incumbent Ed Letourneau is being challenged by Sue Plaisance.
In the race for the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center’s School Board, there are five candidates, Art Haytko, Leon Johnson, Francis E. Kinney, James Salerno and Kenneth Swierad, for four seats. Johnson and Kinney are incumbents.
Dorset
Dorset voters will have some choices to make with at least one new Select Board member to elect.
There are two one-year terms on the Select Board and incumbent Brad Tyler is not running for re-election. There are three candidates for the at-large seats and the two who get the most votes, among the candidates of incumbent Henry Chandler and challengers Dan Frost and Megan Thorn, will win the seats.
Also for the Select Board, incumbent Michael Connors is being challenged for a three-year seat by Jack Stannard.
Manchester
Manchester will get a new Select Board member. Greg Cutler is running for the two-year seat that is currently held by Lisa Souls. Souls is not seeking re-election.
For School Board, Joe Hoffman and Patrick Monroe, neither an incumbent, are running for a single two-year seat while Brian Vogel, the chairman of the School Board, is being challenged for a three-year term by Jim “Coach” Lind. The two-year seat is held by Mary Beth O’Donnell who is not seeking re-election.
No one has filed to fun for school or town moderator in Manchester.

Windham County

Chester
Over in Windham County, Chester has two races for the three seats open on the Chester Select Board.
Dan Cote is challenging incumbent William Lindsay, who currently holds a three-year seat. There is also a three-way race for two one-year seats, with newcomer Ben Whalen challenging Thomas Bock and Arne Jonynas.
Londonderry
Londonderry nominates from the floor.
Ludlow
Ludlow has no contested races.
Springfield
There is a five-way race for the two seats that are open on the Springfield School Board. Current Chairwoman Jeanice Garfield is running for re-election to a three-year seat, along with four newcomers: Mike Griffin, Joseph Costello, Pamela Young and Samantha Snyder. Incumbent School Director Ken Vandenburgh is not running for another term.
On the Select Board, incumbent Stephanie Thompson is being challenged by Chuck Gregory, a member of the Springfield Planning Commission.
Other contested races include a race for one five-year term as cemetery commissioner, with incumbent John Swanson being challenged by Steven Osterlund.
Rockingham
Rockingham voters have an abundance of choice.
Four people are running for one, three-year seat that was held by Selectwoman Ann DiBernardo, who is instead running for one of the two, one-year seats.
Running for the three-year seat are Lamont “Monte” Barnett, Selectwoman Susan Hammond, Bellows Falls village trustee Stefan Golec and newcomer Charles Thurston.
Hammond currently has a one-year seat on the Rockingham board.
Four people are seeking the two, one-year seats on the Select Board, as Stefan Golec has filed petitions for both positions, according to Rockingham Town Clerk Kathleen Neathawk. Golec, if successful, will have to choose which seat he wants, she said. In addition to DiBernardo and Golec, newcomers Steven Adams and Cass Wright are running for the board.

Chairman set to resign; 3 seats open in March~ RH 12-31-15

Chairman set to resign; 3 seats open in March
By Dan Colton
STAFF WRITER | December 31, 2015

Joseph Dicton, chairman of the Rutland Town Select Board, will resign on Town Meeting Day, March 1, raising the number of vacant board seats in March to three.

Dicton didn’t attend Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting but made the announcement via Selectman Don Chioffi, the board’s clerk.

“Serving as Select Board chairman and representing the people of Rutland Town for the past five years has been a privilege and true honor,” Dicton wrote in a letter. “As of Town Meeting Day … my service to Rutland Town as a selectman will end.”

Dicton said his term would have expired in 2017 and declined to specify why he decided to resign the position early.

Dicton resigned as a selectman once before, in April 2010, with 11 months left on his term, citing personal reasons.

Another former board member, Paul Clifford, resigned last summer after several months in office. He said a new job required more of his time. Selectman Joshua Terenzini won the open seat in August.

Rutland Town residents interested in running for office need signatures from 1 percent, or 27, of the town’s registered voters. Petitions are available at Town Hall and online, and must be filed with the town clerk by 5 p.m. Jan. 25.

Elected for three Select Board terms, Dicton served five years on the board. Board members elected Dicton as chairman earlier this year and they said they will miss his presence.

“I think serving on the Rutland Town Select Board with Joe Dicton as our chairman made me a better selectman,” Terenzini said Wednesday. “Joe is fair and balanced, and he’s a real gentleman, and he will certainly be missed.”

Chioffi — who recently exchanged heated demands for respect with Dicton during a board meeting — agreed with Terenzini.

“Good man,” Chioffi said Wednesday. “Good chairman. … His heart has been for the town, and he just for his own personal reasons can’t complete his term.”

Both Chioffi and Selectman John Paul Faignant have terms expiring in March and both said they are running for re-election as incumbents. Only Chioffi has submitted a petition so far.

Faignant needs to solicit signatures, he said Wednesday.

With Dicton’s resignation and two board members up for re-election, that leaves three seats on the ballot in March. Remaining board members, Selectwoman Mary Ashcroft’s term ends in 2017 and Terenzini’s term ends March 2018.

Board elections generate excitement, Terenzini said.

“I anticipate learning and collaborating with different people on different problems,” he said. “I think we have a good board, for the most part, right now. But it’s not up to me. It’s up to the voting public.”

dan.colton @rutlandherald.com