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Mom, son run for Rutland Board of Aldermen - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mom, son run for Rutland Board of Aldermen

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

Marge Johnston has always been encouraging her son Kam to try new things.

"She made me go take swimming lessons. I hated it the first time, and then I got all the way through junior life-saving. She made me take gymnastics, that only lasted one time," Kam Johnston said.

Now the Rutland mother and son are both running for the board of aldermen. There are eight candidates running for five seats who are elected at large.

"By having both of us there, that guarantees that the city will have a voice-- so that everybody that comes to the board will be treated the same," Kam said.

Kam, 50, says he and Marge, 80, are a two-for-one by representing different demographics and community interests.

"We don't agree on everything," Kam said. "She wants a dog park and I don't know if we need one. But the idea is we believe everybody should be heard and ideas should be debated."

But they say they know how to compromise. While campaigning in Rutland's downtown, they bring along their dog, Rufus. Kam wanted to name the dog Dufus, but Dufus with an R was the final decision.

They say running together isn't a gimmick and they are qualified to serve the people of Rutland. Kam has a degree in public administration and says his background as a computer trainer could improve the Marble City's access to information via technology.

"I think that's one of the things that the city could do is have much better outreach through better web pages and better access so that people don't have to go searching for it, it's right at their fingertips," he said.

Marge is a 30-year resident of Rutland and says she knows what people in the community are talking about and want to see.

"There's quite a push on redevelopment, but what they are trying to do is push out the inhabitants that have been there now," she said.

They say no matter what happens at the election, they will continue to work as a team.

Marge Johnston: Of course I'm proud of you.

Kam Johnston: You need to articulate that, because otherwise it suggests that you're not.

Kam also says he hopes to encourage more art in the city by creating a no-graffiti policy, but commissioning artists to make more murals on buildings in downtown.

The board of aldermen election is March 4.

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