Disappointing from city

The city announced the two new heads of its redevelopment authority Tuesday.

A press release announced Brennan Duffy, most recently of the state Dept. of Economic, Housing and Community Development as the new executive director and the elevation of board member David Cooper to the chairmanship.

Duffy seems eminently qualified for the job and Cooper has plenty of experience on the board; the disappointment is that neither Duffy nor the outgoing chair, Mark Foley Jr., were prepared to tell what Duffy’s salary is, nor was it included in the press release.

These are smart people. It shouldn’t be too much to ask that they know state law states that public sector salaries are public information. It’s the check and balance of being paid from the public purse: Taxpayers get to know how much they’re paying you. It’s particularly disturbing in Duffy’s case, as he comes from a state job and would be expected to be conversant with state labor law in a job where he was attempting to attract businesses to Vermont.

We’ll get the information. I just find it disheartening that we have to ask more than once for basic information. The chronic, reflex lack of openness in Rutland City government is the No. 1 fuel for the paranoiac crowd’s fire. But seeing as how the last time we asked the mayor to justify nondisclosure to us, he laughed it off by pointing out flaws in Secretary of State Jim Condos’ record of openness. It’s not about what Condos did 10 years ago in South Burlington. It’s about what the City of Rutland does every day of the week in 2011.

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