Rutland re-elects Christopher Louras as mayor
03/03/09 10:59PM By Nina Keck
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(Host) In Rutland, voters chose a mayor and took part in a historic education vote.
VPR's Nina Keck has that story.
(Keck) For the first time yesterday, voters in Rutland City had a chance to do something most other Vermonters take for granted. They voted on their school budget. Historically only school board members have had that authority, but that was changed by a referendum last year. Rutland city school board commissioner Gina Fucci says it was nerve-wracking asking voters to approve a $42.5 million school budget in this economic climate. But she says the school board worked hard to educate voters and she says she's ecstatic that residents overwhelmingly voted yes.
(Fucci) "This is a good feeling - it's like after you get your grades back. All that hard work paid off. It makes it better for the next vote. Because now, if people understood the math and how it works for the budget now - they'll retain that and the next time they will be even more educated and the next time it will be a snowball effect."
(Keck) Voters also overwhelming chose to re-elect Mayor Christopher Louras to a second two-year term. Louras defeated challenger David Trapeni by a three-to-one margin. The mayor says he's spent the last two years getting Rutland's fiscal house in order and many voters cited that as a reason they supported him. Louras says now it's time to move the city forward.
(Louras) "My number one priority for the city of Rutland is to increase the grand list. Because if we increase the grand list, all the other good things that happen come along with it. We get the jobs, we're able to provide the essential services to the taxpayers of the city of Rutland and we're able to bring the city forward. Right now Rutland, like the rest of the country is in a little bit of a trough. And we're going to position ourselves to come out of this recession very strong and thriving and that's what I'm going to start working on first thing in the morning."
(Keck) For VPR News, I'm Nina Keck in Rutland.