Rutland wants to change how it’s perceived when it comes to refugees.
The Board of Aldermen has unanimously approved a resolution proposed by refugee advocates at Rutland High School. The resolution aims to show Rutland welcomes everyone, including refugees.
The resolution follows years of tension between the city and its leadership.
In 2016, then-Mayor Chris Louras planned to make Rutland a Syrian refugee resettlement site. Many on the board and in the community felt residents and officials weren’t kept in the loop, leading to heated debate.
“There was a bit of a blemish on Rutland, I think,” Board of Aldermen member Rebecca Mattis said. “I love this city. This is the favorite city I’ve ever lived in. This is an amazing place. We deserve to have everyone know just how welcoming we are.”
Mattis also says the three Syrian families who’ve resettled in Rutland are doing well.
As many as a hundred Syrians were planning to make Rutland their home before new Trump administration policies canceled those plans.