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Questions raised over resignation of Rutland Rec superintendent - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Questions raised over resignation of Rutland Rec superintendent

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"I love the park; they have done a lot with it. I mean, I loved it before they fixed it up, but now that they've fixed it up, too, and added so many more trails, it's a lot more fun," Tom Frank said.

Frank says he has been coming to Giorgetti Park in Rutland for 15 years. He says the outside space is a necessity for the area.

The recreation department has been looking for ways to invest in things for families and kids to do, while Rutland continues to combat drugs and crime in the city. But after longtime department superintendent Ejay Bishop abruptly stepped down Monday, some have concerns about the department.

"There comes a time when people have to make a decision about what their future looks like, and without getting into all the details about what has been going on recently, without finding out more, I'll just say that I wish him the best," said Dave Allaire, president of the Rutland board of aldermen.

After 18 years with the rec department, Bishop did not give a reason for his resignation in a brief letter to the mayor. But earlier this month, it was brought to the board's attention that he OK'd upward of $50,000 in checks to an architectural firm for plans at Giorgetti Park. Allaire says the board had not approved that.

"That is something that I think the board of aldermen wants to look into a little bit more and find out exactly how that came to be," Allaire said. "And try to bring this all out into the open. That is a big level of concern for me and for a lot of us."

We had hoped to interview Mayor Chris Louras, but in a statement he said that Bishop left the rec department better than he found it and he wishes him the best.

And while the aldermen begin to sort out any financial implications from the unauthorized spending, another rec facility is also causing trouble. The city bought the Courcelle Building from the Army Reserve to be the new home for rec department offices and equipment, but roof damage may now cost the city up to $100,000 to replace. Allaire says the board still believes the repairs will cost the city less in the long run.

Bishop's resignation is effective Aug. 5. There will be a board of aldermen hearing Thursday to start sorting through these unanswered financial questions.

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