Elected Officials

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

Debate crowd comes to see Bernie, and more~ RH 11-15-15

Debate crowd comes to see Bernie, and more
STAFF WRITER | November 15, 2015

Chris Graff opened an evening of politics at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday night, acknowledging that the Democratic presidential debate would be very different “than if it had been held 36 hours ago.”

Graff, former longtime Vermont bureau chief for The Associated Press, said CBS changed the debate rules Saturday to emphasize foreign policy after terrorist attacks killed more than 120 people Friday in Paris.

“It would be interesting for us to see how the transition to foreign policy questions would affect Sen. Bernie Sanders,” said Graff, author of “Dateline Vermont,” a memoir of his 30 years in journalism.

“We as Vermonters can learn much from how Bernie Sanders is being treated by the press, much like Sen. Jim Jeffords and Gov. Howard Dean,” he said. “They speak authentically, which we take for granted here. The nation embraced them, because they all spoke directly and honestly and exude authenticity.”

The debate’s 9 p.m. start time was too late for press deadline, but people arriving for the event were interviewed.

Among those in attendance was Maria Davis of Rutland, an independent whose reason for attending was “I love Bernie.” Likewise, her friend Caitlyn Frazier of Rutland, who favored Sanders, said, “I’m anxious to see how Sanders approaches the crisis we witnessed last night in Paris.”

Danielle Payton of Shoreham, a student working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work at Castleton University, had a lament: “I wish Castleton students would be more interested in politics.”

That’s what the Project 240 program, which aired the debate Saturday night, is intended to address.

Payton came with fellow Castleton student Matthew Smela, a philosophy major. “I’m for Bernie, but I want to hear from (Hillary) Clinton and much more from (Martin) O’Malley,” Smela said. “In the last debate, he kept saying how he rescued Baltimore.”
Payton agreed and added she had seen some of O’Malley’s ideas on the web, which “were awesome.”

Marsha McLean, a management consultant from Pawlet, was collecting Vermont primary signatures for Clinton. She said she worked for Clinton, then the secretary of state, at the Department of State from 2009 to 2011.

The crowd in attendance — about 125 — attended the event for a range of reasons. Some had no cable television, some came for the discussions, and a few representatives of Sanders and Clinton came with signature petitions in hand for the Vermont primary.

The Paramount Theatre and Castleton University sponsored the event as part of a collaboration, Project 240, designed to elevate public discourse around the 2016 general election while bringing the community together for a series of events in celebration of the nation’s 240th birthday next year.

Bruce Bouchard, executive director of the Paramount, said Saturday night’s airing was the first such event in a grand theater in the country.

Graff’s role in the event was twofold — to deliver formal remarks and to engage the audience in discussions before and after the televised debate. He prepared his audience to think about differences between Washington, D.C., and Vermont.

Next up in the Project 240 series is “The American Experience,” hosted by Ken Burns, at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. Tickets are available from the Paramount Theatre box office for $35.

The next televised debates at the Paramount are Jan. 17 for the Democrats and Feb. 6 for the Republicans. Both are free of charge.


Annual Tinmouth Dinner~ Sunday, November 8th


Rutland County Democratic Committee Meeting: 2-9-15

Rutland County Democratic Committee Meeting

Monday, February 9, 2015
at the RRMC CVPS_Leahy Conference Room A
6:15 pm – doors open, refreshments
6:30 pm – meeting begins

The RC Executive Committee is currently working on inviting new members to join the executive team, recruiting for alternate representatives to the Vermont State Committee, getting focused on building stronger relationships with the town chairs across the county, as well as starting to think about our work for 2015 and into the 2016 election cycle.

It will be important for all Town Chairs to be engaged as you of course know the people in your communities and what those local issues and concerns are!

Please share this e-mail with your town committees and all others that may interested in attending.

Thanks so much!

Rutland County Democratic meeting for 2-2-15 post-poned

We are going to post-pone our county meeting scheduled for tomorrow night at the Rutland Free Library (2-2-15) until another evening due to impending snow advisories for tomorrow.

We will be in touch when we re-schedule.

Thank you.

Halloween Parade October 26!

Our theme this year was:
The ACA: It’s not a scary thing”

We were excited to be marching in the Rutland Halloween Parade again this Saturday. We were in section 4, which is on Madison Avenue and our line up time was 5:45 pm.

You are not allowed to drive a vehicle onto Madison Ave to be dropped off. We were between Prospect and up past Morse St. If you want to pass out candy, please note that the parade staff are very concerned about child safety. All individually wrapped candy must be handed to the children alongside the parade route.

All marchers must be dressed up. We wore scrups and/or lab coats — and we were happy we had fellow Democrats come join us, have some fun, and help support our Democratic representatives and elected officials by walking and waving to the crowds in Rutland.

The parade was held on October 26 this year (weather permitting).

Call Cindy Murray for more information: 558 5113

This year’s Halloween marchers included (left to right: Cindy Murray, Kathy Hall, Treasurer Beth Pearce and Senator Eldred French!


Mendon Mountainview Lodge fundraiser Sept. 28, 4-6 pm

A mix of current legislators, including Anne Gallivan, Herb Russell, Dave Potter, and Steve Carr, and  former legislators, will host a fundraiser at the Mendon Mountainview Lodge on September 28 from 4-6 pm. The VDHC Fundraiser (Vermont Democratic House Campaign) will include House Speaker Shap Smith and Willem Jewett and Tess Taylor, majority and assistant majority leaders. Background music will be provided by Steve Spensley and Marcos Levy. The autumn evening reception/fundraiser will help kick off the 2014 House campaign with great food, drink and music! Suggested donation $25.00

Please rsvp to vthouseparty@gmail.com

September 16 -19 Town Reorganization

Town Committee Reorganization Caucuses – September 16-19

Every two years, political parties in Vermont are required by law to reorganize. This process begins at the most local level – the towns and cities. The chair of each town committee has been sent instructions about how and when this process needs to happen. Your local caucus will be a meeting in your town, set sometime in mid-September. It is very important for the success of our party that we have a strong committee in every town possible.

Please remember to elect alternates as well as delegates.

Find out the date of your local caucus, plan to attend, and bring a couple of Democratic friends.