- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - The Rutland Board of Aldermen is moving to make the Vermont city’s charter gender neutral by replacing the pronoun “he” with the words “they” or “he/she.”

After voting for the proposal Monday, the board sent the proposed changes to City Attorney Matt Bloomer. Board members hope residents can vote on the issue on Town Meeting Day next March. If approved by voters, it would then go to the Legislature for approval.

“I think it makes sense,” said board member William Notte. “The charter is a creature of its times. These are much more inclusive times.”

Communities across the country have been changing charters and other official documents for years to remove gender-specific pronouns, such as “he.”

The Rutland Herald (https://bit.ly/2pTvlX6) reports that longtime alderman and former state legislator Thomas DePoy said he objects to sending the proposed changes to Bloomer now because he already has a lot to do.

“I think that something like this can wait,” said DePoy, the only board member to vote against the idea. “I think it’s an undue burden we’ll be putting on our city attorney at a time when he has a lot on his plate and we’re spending money to bring in more attorney help.”

He said he wouldn’t object to the proposal in the future, but added, “It’s silly. It’s a waste of time.”

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