As I travel around the US meeting with citizens concerned about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, patterns are developing and one of those is that there is no doubt that when your town is targeted for a new resettlement site (or expansion of an old one) it is done with the utmost secrecy and very often involves an over-zealous elected official (a mayor or city council member).
A secret plan to make Rutland a permanent refugee resettlement community has divided residents and put the mayor’s political future in doubt. But at least one member of the Board of Aldermen knew about the secret, and that official told Watchdog he is “stunned” at how fast the plan was carried out.
Prior to announcing the resettlement of Syrian refugees, Rutland Mayor Louras held secret meetings with representatives of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, the State Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and Gov. Peter Shumlin. He also consulted with a single alderman: Board of Aldermen President William Notte.
In this interview, Notte answered Watchdog’s questions about his role in the backroom deal to make Rutland a refugee resettlement community.
Watchdog: Mayor Louras hid his refugee resettlement plans from voters, police and even the Board of Aldermen. What is your response?
Notte: To make clear, I did know that the mayor had suggested Rutland to the VRRP a couple of months before his announcement. I was the only alderman that knew. I had the opportunity to sit in on one meeting with him and VRRP.
As far as the secrecy before the announcement, I really don’t have much issue with that. It was a fact-finding period. Quite frankly, if Rutland was put under a microscope and it was found that we didn’t have a stellar job base or we did not have a supply of good apartments for people who want to move into this community, those are problems to work on, but certainly nothing I want to bandy about as a public banner.…Notte: I’ll just say that I support refugee resettlement in Rutland — I think it’s the right thing to do (and) I think it’s a good thing to do for this community — but I remain stunned at how quickly everything clicked into place.
Notte: The point I try to get across to people when I’ve been called about this is, the mayor didn’t make this decision, nor did the Board of Aldermen. The mayor didn’t decide to have refugees resettle here; the mayor asked the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program to consider us. The decision as to whether or not refugees are going to come here ultimately rests with he State Department.
He didn’t sign any official document, and the Board of Aldermen didn’t sign any official decree saying refugees are going to come here. The mayor essentially said, “Hey, please consider us,” and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program decided to do so, and now the matter rests with the State Department. And I think there’s some confusion about how the process actually is playing out, which is understandable whenever bureaucracy is involved, and we’re talking about a federal program, so the bureaucracy is convoluted to say the least.
But this isn’t a case of the mayor making a unilateral decision for Rutland
Actually it was. The mayor unilaterally offered up Rutland without seeking input from residents. Both the mayor and the alderman who knew about it were 100% for bringing in Syrian Muslims to Rutland and still are. They don’t care if people oppose it, even if a majority oppose it. Both will likely flee town when the shit hits the fan.
As Ann Corcoran, whom Donald Trump should offer a position of some sort, writes:
The lesson I’m learning is this—-as it is confirmed to me repeatedly that refugee seeding plans are done in secrecy, you must be working locally to get the right people elected to political office and get mayors like this one out!
And alderman/women and city council members too.
We’ve been alerted it’s happening in South Carolina too: Another Refugee Resettlement Planned For SC – COMPLEX WOULD BE LOCATED FIVE MILES FROM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT!