Scott Tommola | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Scott Tommola 
Member since May 26, 2016


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Re: “Critics of Rutland Refugee Plan Grill Aldermen, Resettlement Officials

(I serve on Rutland's Board of Aldermen. These are my personal views and not representative of the Board or City of Rutland.) There is no doubt in my mind that a moral imperative exists to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I have been following this story through all of the media outlets, and generally refrain from responding. However, I take issue with the suggestion of "racism and xenophobia disguised as a play for political transparency." I am not anti-resettlement. I am against secrecy and a lack of government transparency. I am against any agency that has a $2.6M budget but provides only $625k in Direct Aid to Refugees (USCRI Audited Financial for FY 2015). VRRP's Amila Merdzanovic looked me straight in the eye last night and lied, saying the last time they were audited by the State was last year. I've spoken with State Auditor Hoffer. It was 1999, and it was an unfavorable audit.For six months, secret meeting were being held with VRRP to plan this. I'm not against refugee resettlement in Rutland, just not with this agency who is profiting ($1.3M in salaries vs $625K refugee aid) from the plight of the vulnerable. SevenDays ran a story about Iraqi refugees in BVT (Exiles on North Street, 12/10/08). Not one had a kind thing to say about VRRP. Staff of SevenDays said I would be contacted regarding a follow-up piece to that story...still waiting.

29 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Scott Tommola on 05/26/2016 at 5:03 PM

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