Mayor Chris Louras of Rutland has run for reelection unopposed -- but not this year. He's got a real fight on his hands. Long time Board of Alderman leader, Dave Allaire, is running against the Mayor.
Mayor Louras has been in office since 2007 and Allaire said he feels it's time for change. "I wanted to make sure we had a spirited debate. I think competition is good," he said.
Mayor Louras said he is all for the competition, but highlights progress during his time in office. "We have made a great deal of progress over the last six years and we just need to continue with the momentum that is taking us forward," he said.
While both candidates said Rutland is moving towards a brighter future, their main points of focus differ.
"Home ownership in our most challenged neighborhoods is really the glue that binds these neighborhoods together. So we are looking at it from a public safety perspective as well as a neighborhood stabilization perspective -- with the goal of addressing the quality of life, crime and blight in our neighborhoods," Louras said.
"Get out and market the city and really get aggressive about doing something with our buildings that are empty across the neighborhoods and empty storefronts downtown. And I think focusing on those two issues brings a whole new perspective to the city hall," Allaire said.
Louras said his strength comes in his ability to make tough choices. Allaire said he is a people person and can easily collaborate with others. Both names are very well known throughout the city and both candidates have spent over a decade on the Board of Alderman.