Parking company to focus on customer
The city is in the final negotiation phase with the company it
hopes to hire to run the downtown parking deck. LAZ Parking of
Hartford, CT, is the company recommended to the board of aldermen.
Mayor Chris Louras noted that the company bases its business on
customer service, planning for a flexible parking system with
allowance for hourly, daily and monthly parking rates. The aldermen
have already voted to lease the deck from the state, the first
hurdle in providing local-needs-oriented parking in the
Rec audit at a standstill
Before appointing a new recreation superintendent, mayor Chris
Louras wants to have a departmental audit completed and to have the
Courcelle Brothers building roof repair underway. Mayor and
aldermen seem to still be at loggerheads over who will prepare the
bid request for the audit, with the board asking the mayor to
prepare the RFP and the mayor believing the board should set the
parameters. Louras also has said that it is up to the board to find
funding for the audit, refusing to spend contingency fund moneys
for that purpose.
At question is whether the board can insist that the mayor
Citizens around town have questioned why roof repair on the
Courcelle building should cost close to $100,000, with some
commenting "what do they plan to use? Copper?" Maybe replacement is
a better long-term option because roof insulation has also been
damaged by water leaking through the surface.
Barre police have supposedly been looking into former City police
officer Andrew Todd's allegations of corruption in the Rutland
department. After 100 days since Barre police detective sergeant
Hal Hayden began working the case, Todd is questioning whether the
investigation has made any progress other than minutia. Todd
believes his concerns on civil rights violations and aggravated
stalking are being ignored.
The investigation began in late May but seems to have made no
progress, Todd wrote in a letter to the head of the Rutland police
union, Lynette Gallipo. Gallipo has observed that the union has not
received a formal update on the investigation's status. Gallipo
plans to bring the subject up at an upcoming union meeting.
A 10-year study released by the American Civil Liberties Union
earlier this year seemingly adds weight to the possibility that
Todd may have some real grounds for concern, and not
hypersensitivity. In Rutland County (not the city alone) black
people were nearly 17 times more likely to be arrested for
marijuana possession. In 2010, 70 Caucasians and 7 blacks were
arrested in Rutland County on that charge; statistically, black
arrests were 17 times higher per capita.
Statistics also show what may be interpreted as racial bias across
the state as a whole. Blacks faced more than four times more likely
to face arrest for possession across the state.
Rutland police chief James Baker has said he wants to dig deeper
into those statistics and develop a plan to reduce what appears to
be police bias in his jurisdiction.
Max Schlueter, director of the Vermont Center for Justice Research,
has agreed to review the report and do a trend analysis. He has
already been working with the city, analyzing the calls and
locations to which police respond as a means of identifying
criminal activity trends.
Baker has also initiated bias training for Rutland police officers
and changed policy on traffic stops. A data collection process is
tracking the number of stops involving racial minorities and their
handling, a process that the ACLU says is lacking in most
departments in Vermont.
West Rutland construction improves roads,
West Rutland's High Street improvements are complete. The street
itself is now wider, complete with sidewalks, and stormwater system
improvement so that cars no longer throw up a wall of water on
heavy precipitation days.
Skyline Drive, a residential area, is to receive a 550-foot water
line, closing the loop between South Lane and Skyline Drive without
adding any new customers. A new sidewalk is also to run from South
Lane to the housing area.
The first project was a street widening, sidewalk installation and
stormwater system improvement project on High Street, while the
upcoming project will be a water line and sidewalk project on
Skyline Drive. Fabian Earthmoving, a West Rutland company, brought
the bid home for $125,357, well below an estimate of $162,000.
Lani's weekly calendar picks
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 4-5 - Prepare for cold and blowy days by stocking
your book shelves from the Rutland Free Library's fall book sale.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 7 - Listen to A.J. Croce, son of singer-songwriter Jim
Croce, at The Brick Box in the Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St.,
7:30 p.m., 775-0903.