Writing on the Hall: Pistol Specter | Local News

I would like to open today with a minor request from my readers.

Can we please not take our Airsoft guns – or BB guns or pellet guns or for that matter, real guns or other things that might reasonably be remotely confused with real guns for walks on or near school grounds?

If we could limit these activities to the woods, where they are unlikely to make already nervous school employees feel the need to gather my daughter and her friends in the library, that would be great. Thanks.

Speaking of real firearms

The week started with an issue that resolved itself before I finished writing about it. Eric Fletcher withdrew his request to open an armory shop next to North East Primary School around noon on Monday, but it was again briefly brought up at the council of aldermen meeting that evening .

Alderman Sharon Davis noted that the zoning rules for home occupancy talked about traffic and neighborhood impacts, but didn’t seem to distinguish between types of businesses, such as hair salons, breweries or gun shops. She asked Zoning Administrator Andrew Strniste if that might change in the rewrite of the zoning ordinance.

Strniste said municipalities don’t have much leeway to regulate gun sales and that it’s mostly up to the state. With home-based professions in general, he said he had “blinkers” regarding the product.

“There was really no leeway for me,” he said.

Later in the meeting, Alderman Christopher Ettori, the council’s liaison to the Planning Commission, said they were using the rewrite process to increase permitted uses – a different section of the order where companies are distinguished by type – so that they pass more quickly when they meet other requirements.

on the money

A trip to City Hall may become more expensive in the near future.

Aldermen voted this week for the finance committee to review a variety of charges at different city offices after Strniste offered some ‘non-tax revenue’ opportunities.

Strniste noted that his office issues 115 zoning permits a year and only charges a registration fee of $15. He said the building department was “hammered” with requests for certificates of occupancy. Not only are these free, he said, but homeowners aren’t even charged when they waste the home inspector’s time (which taxpayers pay for) by scheduling an appointment. and canceling it at the last second.

“It’s about running around town and getting nothing in return,” he said. “Sometimes people cancel with us on the spot.”

Strniste said a $5 to $10 processing fee could generate a lot of revenue.


On Monday, the General Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. to discuss a request for proposal for technology upgrades. The police commission meets at 6 p.m. with its usual agenda.

On Tuesday, the Community and Economic Development Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the future of the Business Incentive Program.

On Wednesday, the human resources committee meets at 4:30 p.m. to discuss pay scales and personnel policies at the fire department. You may have noticed that it’s an hour earlier than most committee meetings. That’s because they want to be done by 6:30 p.m., when Rutland Middle School hosts the public forum on the various issues in and around the city’s hotels, which have become de facto homeless shelters.

On Thursdays, the parking committee meets at 5:30 p.m., as per the city’s schedule, on the third Thursday of each month. No agenda was posted Friday noon.

Scott R. Banks