His status with the Rutland department became an issue during the mayoral campaign when he made an allegation that the city wouldn’t let him return to work.
Campaign finance filings with the Vermont Secretary of State show that Louras raised a total of $24,872, compared with $5,835 for David Allaire, a longtime city alderman, and $5,550 for Michael Coppinger, the executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership.
“We’re going to move forward. We’re going to do it together,” said the new mayor, who has some appointments to make for key city roles. He wouldn’t say whom he has chosen.
“As much as I said during the campaign that this was not a referendum on refugee resettlement … looking back at it, absolutely a referendum on refugee resettlement,” the defeated Rutland mayor said.
The Vermont refugee program director had more questions than answers, and Rutland Mayor Chris Louras said Monday’s revised order doesn’t raise his hopes of welcoming more Syrians.
With just over a week to go, the incumbent had raised more than $15,000 — nearly four times as much as any opponent. But it’s not the most ever for a mayoral race in Rutland.
Controversy over the program inspired several to run. Seventeen candidates are vying for six seats at March Town Meeting.
Chris Louras says the upcoming mayoral election on Town Meeting Day isn’t a referendum on refugee resettlement in the city, a proposal he strongly backs.
The Board of Aldermen adopted a budget that includes money for the department, while seeking to express support for firefighters and “disdain for the budget as presented” by the mayor.
The vote of no confidence comes amid continued conflict over the department’s funding and staffing.
“This is a time for support, love and compassion, not angry protests,” said a spokesperson for the volunteer group Rutland Welcomes.
Mayor Chris Louras said that “from a human perspective, history will prove this to be a monumental mistake for both the country and for our community.”
Another family is on the way, officials said. The mayor said he had met and talked with the first arrivals.
The chief will try to persuade the union Friday to accept a proposed restructuring plan. The issue has led to a stalemate over the city budget.