By Patricia Minichiello
Speaking frankly Monday night during the Board of Aldermen’s meeting, Alderman Gary Donahue said he doesn’t understand the purpose of the board’s Marketing Committee.
“Everything … is geared towards young people. Young students. With no reference to citizens who pay their taxes in the city for years. And retired folks,” Donahue said.
Donahue said he could live anywhere and said, he didn’t mind if that sounded bad, it was just how he felt.
“All this business about loving Rutland. I love my family, I love my friends and there’s even some enemies that I love. But the city, I don’t love.”
Donahue’s comments came after Alderman Chris Ettori, chairman of the Marketing Committee, gave his report, which foreshadowed dipping $100,000 into the Zamias fund to propel efforts to highlight the downtown, and market Rutland as Killington’s downtown.
“The idea of marketing for me, is that you’re trying to sell something,” Donahue said. “But I have to ask the chair of the Marketing Committee, ‘What are we selling?'”
Ettori said now that the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce and Rutland Economic Development Corp. have joined forces, the group aims to, “rebrand Rutland as the perfect place to blend career, family and recreation in order to counter the projected trend of population decline.”
So far they have raised $100,000 for the marketing campaign and are asking for a matching $100,000 from the mall impact fund to spur interest in the city.
He said the purpose of the committee is to encourage new people to move here and encourage them to invest in the community.
“What are we selling? We are selling what we have here in Rutland that is unique to us,” Ettori said. “I would leave it to the market professionals … to answer what exactly it is we are selling.”
Donahue responded by saying he was baffled that the chairman of the Marketing Committee “doesn’t even know what we are selling.”
Ettori made a motion to move the Zamias request for $100,000 to the committee for Community & Economic Development. It passed with one no vote from Donahue.
Patricia Minichiello is a freelance reporter and editor of vtpresspass.com. You can reach her at email@example.com.