RUTLAND, Vt. (WFFF) — A crowded Town Meeting Day when it comes to Rutland’s mayor’s race. Seven candidates are in the running.
Matthew Godnick Seager is a Rutlander, born and bred. His grandfather was a former Rutland mayor. “I have to say that he inspired me,” Seager said. “Growing up it was so cool to go around town and it seemed like everyone had something to say.”
Seager spent time living abroad and runs a small study abroad business which he believes brings him a different perspective. His two priorities are workforce development and the drug problem in Rutland. “When it comes to not having meaningful work opportunities that contribute to the drug problem, and providing those opportunities to people that are in recovery really helps them to get back on track,” he said.
Sam Gorruso is a business owner and also a native of Rutland. He served on the Board of Aldermen from 1992 to 1998 and was elected to the board again in March 2020. Gorruso is running because of a recent spike in taxes and water bills. “My intention is to get Rutland on a better track and get its expenses down and pass those savings on to the taxpayers, and hopefully, not hopefully, I will get their taxes and water bills down, I will do it,” Gorruso said.
Gorruso has over 30 years of experience working in radio and newspapers. He wants to work closely with the city to bring in more people and business to Rutland. “The first thing, I want to get to know every employee of the city, I want to go see them, look them straight in the eye and say ‘hi I am Sam, I want to work with you,’ and I don’t think that is being done,” Gorruso said.
Chris Ettori has been serving on the Board of Aldermen for six years. He was involved in creating Wonderfeet Kids, a children’s museum, and various community groups like Project Vision. “I think it’s really about leadership, and standing up for Rutland,” he said.
Ettori wants to focus attention on the small businesses struggling during the pandemic. “How do we help them moving forward, and they are the ones that know the answers to that, so it’s really about bringing them in having the conversations,” Ettori said.
Ettori believes it’s important to engage and listen to the youth in the community. “Especially after this year of the pandemic,” Ettori said.
Rutland city residents will vote on Tuesday.