Just before the dedication ceremony for the Martin Henry Freeman sculpture, Curtiss Reed asked me about the city’s demographics.
I warned Reed, executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity and one of the speakers at the dedication, that my memory was probably off by a bit. It was. I mangled how many African Americans vs. Latinos vs. Asian Americans Rutland has, but I correctly remembered that the city was 95% white.
“The sculpture trail is more diverse than the city,” I told him.
However, that wasn’t where Reed was going with his question. In his remarks, he offered a statistic that I might have known somewhere in the back of my head, but had forgotten. I reported it in my story on the dedication, and I’m going to repeat it now because it’s something we need to bear in mind.
Thirteen percent of Rutland City Schools is made up of people of color. That’s more than twice and moving up on three times the balance in the city as a whole.
This city is changing. It would be a good idea for all of us to keep that in mind.
I was just about to call Board of Aldermen President Matt Whitcomb on Tuesday and ask him if there really weren’t any committee meetings scheduled this week when he emailed me the agenda for Tuesday’s General Committee meeting.
The aldermen have been sending issues to committee significantly faster than they’ve been having the actual committee meetings of late. Last week, I was surprised at the lack of committee meetings and Mayor David Allaire commented on the backlog.
Whitcomb said Friday he had a “mild” concern but it was alleviated by conversations with the various committee leaders.
“They’re putting a substantial amount of time into research and having pre-meeting conversations to make sure they’re getting the right people at the table,” he said.
Whitcomb said that was refreshing because it was more advance preparation than he was used to seeing for committee meetings. He also said that some of the newer and more experienced members of the board have been upbeat about the way the city is conducting business.
“They really do feel hopeful we can function as a cohesive unit and get things done,” he said.
CalendarMonday, the Board of Aldermen meets at 7 p.m. The agenda includes a study of Moon Brook, the Grove Street Bridge project and an update on the wastewater and stormwater bond projects.
It does not presently appear on the City Hall calendar, but Whitcomb assures me the Charter and Ordinance Committee will meet Thursday to discuss the resurgence of stray shopping carts.
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