Selectboard Meeting Notes – Community Safety RFP Review

selectboard aug 6

The Brattleboro Selectboard held another special meeting via Zoom to discuss an RFP for review of police and community safety. It was long meeting that resulted in sending the draft RFP to town staff for further changes and possible approval at the August 18 meeting.

Community members were surprised that the board decided to revisit already agreed-upon issues, and there was a long discussion about the loss of the chat feature in meetings.

Comments | 4

  • Annoying, and Preliminaries

    To attend, one must register with a corporation and give them personal information. Then wait for a confirmation email. Then solve CAPTCHA puzzles for another corporation. Then request another email confirmation be sent and solve more CAPTCHAs… ugh. Took over 10 minutes.

    Seems like lots of people are having trouble. The board is waiting for people to register and go through what I just did.

    Chair Tim Wessel – On Tuesday we had a disgusting intrusion into our meeting. I want to point out that we were all on a mobile zoom and couldn’t see all the images coming through. I thought it was just audio, but I would have reacted a little quicker if I could see them. Our intruder left or was forced out and we did the rest of our business. We also had a hurricane, and not much battery power. Should it happen again, I’ll shut down the meeting more quickly, and you’ll have to check back when we reworn the meeting. We have more security features in place now, and we’ll do more.

    Town Manager Elwell – Amber Arnold asked the question and asked why I wasn’t speaking at the meeting about these issues and I didn’t answer at the time, and apologize for the awkwardness, but I had more comments later in the meeting about the legal requirements imposed on us by the state and the Charter. I want to say more. Here’s an organizational chart for the town. The people elect the selectboard, and they provide policy leadership on behalf of the people. The board appoints the Town manager, accountable to the board to implement the policies and supervise and administer town government and staff. One responsibility of mine is to appoint and supervise the Police Chief, and the Chief carries out the operational authority of the department. The way this relates, unlike times when we do matters brought by town staff and I speak a lot, this matter came to the board by the people and there has been an ongoing discussion with the board and community, so the top two boxes of the chart is where that conversation is occurring. The board will decide what to do. This process is not yet defined, so I believe that tonight the people and the selectboard will interact. If the board needs assistance from me or the Town Attorney, we are ready to assist, but we won’t seek opportunities to leap into the conversation. I hope that clarifies. I apologize for my awkwardness and not responding that night. I was trying to stay in my lane. Didn’t want to dominate the meeting. Providing clarification tonight.

    Wessel – I should point out that we are fairly new to zoom. One great thing is if you open up the participants, it’s different for mobile, but if you are on a laptop you can raise your hand, which will be wonderful for us. People on the phone can raise their hand. GoToMeeting didn’t have this. One last piece of business. Lisa Newall, if you can go on mute, we can’t mute you. Okay, board comments?

    Brandie Starr – I had a couple of things to say. A reminder, if you want to see the meeting, BCTV does stream it, so you don’t have to log in. Some people are missing the chat, because they could connect during the meeting. It’s like being out in the hallway at the Municipal Center. That’s now gone. Don’t know how to solve that. It is a loss. If anyone had ideas…

    Wessel – I’ve thought about it but will hold off…

    Ian Goodnow – Election Update – if you got a mail in ballot, you are past the safe date for mailing it back, so you’ll want to go to the Municipal Center in the back and drop them in the marked box. As long as you follow instruction, your vote is counted. There are great YouTube videos about VT ballots, so take a look. If you are planning to vote in person, it will be at the Legion next Tuesday, 7am open til 7pm.

    Public Participation

    Rikki Risatti – is there any way to enable the chat that we used to have at the GoTo Meeting?

    Wessel – it is, but functionally hard to run the meeting from my perspective, and hand raising is more accessible to all in this version. Accessible to phone callers and people on the computer. I really like this way but won’t rule out discussing a change.

    Rikki – can we take a vote of the participants?

    Wessel – no – the board could make a motion…

    Rikki – will you make the motion?

    Brandie – I make a motion to enable the chat function for selectboard meetings, this meeting….

    Tim – I didn’t expect to do this now…

    Brandie – it can be voted down…

    Tim – not sure if it is possible…

    Daniel Quipp – when I’ve used Zoom and have participants windows and windows open – it works for me.

    Brandie – I’d just have the vote.

    Wessel – I’d like to speak to it. We don’t have an obligation to produce something that doesn’t appear in our regular meetings. They can use another service…

    Brandie – we sat in meetings and listened to whispers in meetings.. communication was able to take place.

    Ian – I think.. I appreciate the motion. The issue with where I see where you are coming from – the way the chat is functioning is not emulating what happens at in-person meeting. If they go into a hallway, the whole board doesn’t get a blow by blow, or when they are whispering. Important to talk about. It was creating something that does not exist in the in-person meeting. To say the chat was replicating unperson meetings… I think it is a new thing. Should we have the new function? When we go back to in-person meetings, that function won’t exist anymore.

    Liz – the chat was used to insult me, and I didn’t appreciate it. If this were in person they’d keep to themselves, or speak up. I didn’t appreciate the disrespectful speech, but if you want to say it it should be on the public record.

    Tim Wessel – we used it for saying your name and raising hands, and the chat got out of control. It’s ok, cuz it was there. But it was far too distracting. It seems unfair that some people can have a chat that people watching on BCTV cannot see. That with the combination of the new way to raise your hand, it sold me on Zoom. Anyone else?

    Ian – as a board we have a responsibility to maintain precedent. The way things ran until coronavirus there was no chat function, and after there will be no chat function. We need to replicate the board meeting.

    Motion defeated, and Patrick doesn’t know how to enable a chat anyway.

    Sascha – You should reconsider opening the chat in the future. The precedent for these meetings is to have chat. There is no chat in person, but people talk among themselves. You have set a precedent in these meetings to have a chat, so you are changing that. People talk in person. Chat is really more similar to unperson meetings. You have a room of people watching you with duct tape over their mouths. You don’t have to listen to them or look at the chat. You don’t have to look at it. You can facilitate the meeting without the chat, as you are doing now. Chat is the precedent. You voted to change that.

    Kurt Daims – I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention an aspect of Portland and around the country with Trump’s stormtroopers being sent in to suppress free speech, done under the NIMS system. A huge protocol of rules to give control of local law enforcement to federal agencies when someone in the fed decides it is appropriate. It allowed Trump to send in troops. Brattleboro signed on to NIMS, the measure wasn’t properly warned. Just intials. The public wasn’t informed, and the debate on June 5 2012, no one on the selectboard had read it. They delayed their vote, then approved it at the next meeting. A gross violation of democracy in Brattleboro and we should rescind that’s it is gross and threatens free speech. It was an improper vote, Mr. Chapman defended his right to approve legislation he didn’t read, as did Gartenstein. We signed on, and need to rescind this. There are financial reasons to sign on, to get grants, but it is not worth our soul and democracy.

    Tim – I know nothing of it so I will look into it.

    Terry Carter – a couple things. I was able to watch the last few meetings. Last week I wanted to participate in the CPCC meeting and could not get GoTo to work. Will everything go to Zoom. I’m more familiar with Zoom. If the CPCC goes to Zoom it would be fine with me.

    Tim – we’re really feeling our way right now. The reason I wanted to go to Zoom is that we are considering it for Representative Town Meeting, and we need to get used to it before RTM. We may use either one for committees.

    Terry – I support it all going to Zoom. I support keeping out chat. It should be as basic as possible, and techie dinosaurs like myself – the less distractions, I think it is better.

    Doran and Danielle – Doran – in terms of the chat, we are restrained to imperfect tech here, but this is the only way for people to communicate on the side. People are going to praise you and criticize you as public officials. The chat is for side discussions. You can boot someone if you want. Boot ’em if they abuse it. We’re wasting time talking about this.

    Tim – yes, it would be wise to move on now and have that discussion later.

    Jackson Stein – I’m reading on behalf of Frank Austin – as a disabled member of the community, I feel the loss of the chat room. I’m nonverbal, and if we had the chat I can message someone to speak for me. This is less accessible than the last few months.

    Tim – we’re done with public participation…? Callers, to raise your hand do *9 and *9 to lower your hand. *6 is for unmuting.

    Ryan Stratton – I would like us to explore us having a chat in the future. I made a google chat and will leave the link as my photo.

    Ian – if we could maintain the hand raising and have some chat.. that would solve a reasonable criticism of disabling the chat.

    Tim – concerns are heard. I got a note from Patrick to remind you that hand raising is from “participants” and in that there is an option in lower left is “raise hand”. Strange world we live in.

  • Police Review and Community Safety

    Tim – we are looking at an RFP submitted. Anyone want… as far as procedure, I’m happy to go ahead with a representative to present some of it. It’s a long document. You can read it, or in sections. I’ll turn this over to the folks that did the RFP.

    Daniel – you can go to the selectboard section of the town website and look for supporting documents to read it.

    Wichie Artu – So, hi. I am here to present the RFP. A quick intro of who I am. Thanks for the opportunity to keep talking about this. I’ve done this work a long time and it takes many meetings. Thanks for the time and the transparency of the organizational chart, and the pursuit of accessibility. It’s a big part of the RFP. Access and equity. About me… I’ve done this work for more than a decade., I work at BMH addressing racial justice, at the Root, and a state board advising the governor. This rfp came from a conglomerate of people. many of us have done this work a long time, and continue to experience injustices. Whether it is because we are BIPOC, or psychiatric, or with disabilities. We do this work because this work needs to be done. This rfp is in hopes of being able to introduce and ongoing process to evaluate public safety. An independent facilitator with experience with antiracism and vulnerable populations, to have a review committee where power differences do not result in less privileged people being excluded, and to gather input from as many community members and groups as possible – how do we define safety as a community. What’s the current safety system? Through this process we hope for two recommendations – a short term one prior to Nov budget – easy things we can do right now, and one that is for a longer term solution with an ongoing process. Be done by March to be reviewed by RTM. That’s a summary. It’s on the town website or you can email me. I do want to note that there are several organizational rep that I want to name. They want to talk about the RFP – Mel Motel, Ann Mulaney, Doran Hamm, … and (I missed it but we’ll get them as they speak. sorry. and Rhianna Kendrick.

    Wichie – I outlined a few parts. It’s been out there to read. Not sure who should speak first. I suggest them to raise their hands, or the seldctboard can have reactions we can discuss.

    Tim – I don’t see hands… oh wait.

    Mel Motel – It is so nice to look around and see so many people I know on this meeting (75 people). Appreciation and respect and care. That’s my real name. On behalf of the Brattleboro Community Justice Center and restorative justice… our organization supports the process and the rfp. In restorative justice we ask the question – what happened, who was harmed and how, what are your needs, what makes it right, and how do we make sure it doesn’t happen again. This rfp is profoundly restorative. It aligns with what we do. The who, the how, and depth… they attract me. The who… in the rfp it names a priority of groups more likely to be harmed by police – poor people. LQBTQ, BIPOC, people who use substances… they come through our door and are most left out of community functioning. This names the people who have been left out. The how… providing stipends and childcare, and providing access to meetings by meeting people where they are. We are centered on those most directly impacted. The scope… I love that we are examining the police and that it has expanded to go deep and ask what community safety looks like to those most harmed. It will be a long haul. We won’t be done by spring. It does ask us to go really deep on these questions. It might be uncomfortable, but will create safety for those whose voices matter most. These are deeply restorative principles. Those are reasons we support the core of this. There are details to work out. We want to offer our presence to this process. We have good meeting processes and an in-depth understanding of how criminal justice happens in the community – call on us. We’re here for the messiness, and for the love. We can do this together.

    Malaika – Health care and Rehab Services – HCRS – a statement from the director of adult services at HCRS – to the board and community, we lend our support to the proposal that has includes those most impacted, and we support the stipends. We’re reviewing our own practices and if we’ve done harm, we will analyze our use of law enforcement. We look forward to partnering to better serve.

    Rhianna Kendrick – (Diana with an R) I work for Groundworks and want to thank everyone for their time. We at groundworks support the rfp. We work with people experiencing homelessness and poverty. There is injustice. We need to best adapt and change these system. The people we support aren’t at this meeting, primarily due to access. We support the paid facilitator and the stipends. We and staff look forward to being part of this.

    Wichie – A quick note… I retract the Ann Mulaney.

    Doran Ham(m) – born and raised in Dummerstion. In Bratt for 7 years. The Tenants Union of Brattleboro are in support. We know this is the truth. Gentrification increase policing. The young BIPOC community is asking for assistance changing principles and systems. The movement is on the right side of history, but could be caught up in red tape. I was told the other day that Brattleboro is already lost to gentrification. I refuse to believe it, looking at this group. There is a rope that connects everything Vermont struggles with – to work on all of these we start here. The group has the experience and has done the research. Listen to them. We want what is best for the town. This proposal is best for the town.

    Tim – board, anyone want to speak.. oh, Kurt’s back…

    Kurt Daims – I’m excited about this review plan. My own organization has a proposal for police reform. The committee is bigger than police reform. RFP is a big P a big proposal. Not police reform but as a reform of the reform process. It will be a great model for doing all kinds of way to bring community into town government. It’s a revolutionary change. Keep that in mind. Its a way to reform reform. Cool.

    Tim – board? Kick it around a bit?

    Daniel Quipp – I appreciate everyone who has spoken and worked on this and this board – pat us all on the back. I have one question. Do we feel like this is good to go, and if not, what do we have questions about. It is clearly written… is it good to go and if not what needs to change?

    Brandie – I’m curious to hear the answer to Daniels question. I support the proposal. It was written by the people most affected by what the proposal addresses. The Police Chief has helped me out and I have my own unique perspective. I’nm curious to know what we aren’t sure about. There is a lot of really solidified organizations and passionate experienced people behind this. That’s why I support it.

    Ian – Daniel – I’m right there with you. If this is good to go, or what needs to be changed. I don’t think it is good to go yet. I have some questions. I think we are moving so much closer. I’d like to start by thanking the community for doing all this work. You’ve brough voices to the table and did work the board can’t do. We’re five white people, and you guys have done this. I respect that. Much in here I agree with. We are in a place where I want to focus it a bit more. I want to echo Wichie about this being an ongoing process. This committee should exist from this point forward.Building a string foundation for this committee is essential. Need to make sure the goals and direction is really clear. I find it a little unclear what the direction is. What Mel was saying – the who, how and scope… I’d add the What. Not sure it is fully answered in this iteration. I have more but …

    Liz – I have, actually, a lot to say and hope it is ok to do on for a bit. I want to thank everyone in this group for the hard work and dedication, and knowledge and perspective, and bringing the insights to the selectboard. It helps us understand more. I also want to say I believe everyone on the board is eager to keep this promise to do this study and want to act. We can’t wait to review the police use of force. Thanks for the opportunity to chat with people last week. I learned more and I was able to speak of my perspective. There are a lot fo people who have reached out – we all share the same goals and we can work together. To this RFP, I see two dominate themes – an examination of the police, and an examination and healing of harm and trauma of systemic racism that exists in Brattleboro. They are interrelated and distinct – the way I see us going forward is two ways – create a public committee for rigorous police review, and to understand the hurst and harm in the community which is a larger conversation, to have a cultural change in Brattleboro. The second larger story is something that should be led by a non-profit. We should be empowering these great organizations in town. I think we should have full study of the police and at the same time I think these nonprofits so very involved now should be applying for funding from the Human Resource Committee to have the open, healing process in the community. I’m sure it would be supported. We should begin ourselves at this board by setting forth this police examination, to include Brattleboro’s policies of policing, community oversight, examine use of force policies, review police incidents, what’s the use of body cams, take profit out, make sure training is what we want, and yes, there should be listening sessions to bear witness – both public and anonymous, and a review of social work in policing and outside of policing, and we need to have nonprofits to work with police need to discuss improving or removing that interaction. How to reduce potential of people entering criminal justice system, what sort of budgets achieve these goals…. having said that I have specific edits to the RFP. Want them now or…?

    Tim – go ahead.

    Liz – the preamble and background are great statements of intent, but not appropriate for a municipal bid application. Also think this should be broader qualifications for bidders, and clearer tasks – overall coordination, aid selectboard… we need to review proposals that are apples to apples – we need to finish all work by Dec 31 so it can inform our budget and RTM budget calendar. It’s not November – you get more time, but RTM begins in the fall and is wrapped up by the end of January. As to Process Overview – I agree – not sure we need to have the scope will include community desires… maybe? #3 – the application will be evaluated/chosen in public meeting. #4 – the facilitators will assist the selectboard and others. Participation is compensated – I agree and we should set up a budget. #5 and 6 aren’t appropriate. #7 is interesting. The facilitator shouldn’t be leading, just facilitating. #8 I’d move the date. March deadline isn’t appropriate as it isn’t meaningful. The board will vote on these recommendations. Assumptions of the study – I agree and add that all meetings have to comply with open meeting law. #8 – yes, in person meetings in locations around town. #10 I agree with the two points but not sure they need to have the language about challenging white supremacy. But yes… the part about causing harm, and needs unmet… yes. yes to facilitators not being a part of police or selectboard. #12… so many people in our town receive funding from the town, and those people shouldn’t be lanbelled or prejudicial in any way. Facilitator Qualifications – yes antiracism, but no to specific credentials. Yes on safe spaces and qualitative reach. Not sure if I agree with decolonizing but I agree we need solutions. yes on handling sensitive data, but this next element… this is therapeutic language for the broader longer terms study… should be removed from this RFP but remain part of longer study. yes, experience with populations, … as for list of preliminary participants – no – that limits the selectboard. A brief description of possible endporduct – not sure we should have any preset limits. Cost, yes. Stipends, yes. Evaluation criteria, yes. And a new date should be suggested by the town for responding to this. I’d hop these comments and the rfp I prepared earlier be incorporated by reference – I had a scope of study that had listening sessions, review of police practices, draft policy statements, training options, a detailed nonprofit conversation, and how the town will act. My goal into ask the board to ask staff to make comments and edits on this RFP and the Town be free to make changes to make this conf9rm to laws, so we can meet again and vote on a revised RFP prepared by town staff to move this forward.

    Tim – it’s gotten late. A break? 10-15 minutes?

    Ian – that was a lot from Liz – we should see how the rest of the board feels, but we can break.

    A break of 10 minutes.

  • Round two

    The board discusses coffee vs tea, and child raising before resuming.

    Tim – let’s restart the meeting. Where we were… Ian didn’t need to speak immediately, so should I go? That way everyone knows where the board is at. I, you know, have a lot of highlighted section. I have to thank everyone who put so much work into this, and for Liz for kicking it all off, and thanks to Liz that she pointed out things I had issues with on a point by point basis. I’ll point out a couple that boggle my mind a bit…I’m confused about CPCC folks not being invited into the process – some of them want the best police force for Brattleboro. we have two new members. I’m confused by that. If the problem is the CPCC… I think the CPCC is ready for a rebuild/reconsidered. There are concerns that it isn’t effective. The people currently involved shouldn’t be excluded. I keep coming back to the presupposition of outcomes. It starts with very political statements. From an activist point of view, it should. From a municipal body, we shouldn’t. We need to fly examine the role of the police, and acknowledge the truth of white supremacy is polarizing. I’m looking for something our entire community can get behind. I wrote something… the selectboard is constrained legally to work within constraints. There are rules we have frustrating rules – it preserves the rights for all of us. So in the future, when there is a conservative board, your rights won’t be trampled upon then, either. It’s a big, slow turning ship, so no small group can grab the wheel and make sudden changes without approval of a democratic majority. The selectboard is elected, and we have an oath to do justice to all. If we fail, we should step down and let others serve, but that’s the role we have. The people can change the entire system – a change to the Charter, a review of which will be coming up if we return to normal. Then that has to be approved by the VT legislature, and Bob can review other citizen recourse, such as petitions to make desires to the selectboard. You can even recall a selectboard member. It’s doable. If you don’t like us, you should vote us out. People don’t really think about that every year, 3 of 5 members can be replaced. You can replace the majority every year, and three votes can move things. That power is already in the hands of people. I agree with so much of the RFP, but can’t support an undemocratic effort that is presented. We can take this national moment to take a hard look at our police budget and policies. Everyone is ready and sympathetic, and I don’t want to squander this moment. We have to operate in legal bounds. Let’s not lose this moment to improve safety in Brattleboro democratically. I do support the idea of trying to do this two prong approach is interesting to me. One problem – the suggestion that there be opportunities to speak without police present… we can’t prevent that. It’s open meeting law. Some of this work can be done outside by community groups and the board and town can consider financing that it some way, but we have to be careful about the structure of the committee we are creating. Ian, hopefully… you still have questions?

    Ian – what I had wanted to say was we hadn’t heard from Brandie or daniel – we heard questions, but what are they thinking?

    Brandie -it is important to me that the rfp retain its integrity . maybe it isn’t customary, but we are learning that the status quo isn’t always helpful and can be harmful – we had accepted the language and tone, so why dissect it point by point. I’m uncomfortable of holding any power because my own privilege is not relatable. I can’t lead on this. It wasn’t put together by ad hoc people. It’s organization we know and people we trust. We should act like that. Thank you.

    Daniel – I’d like to stay practical. I appreciated Liz’s walkthrough and putting her cards on the table. I want to move forward. I trusted the work that went into this. I felt coming in that were we all to get behind every character on the page, I’d do that too. I’m also willing to find some common ground, on issues about legal issues. I do agree, I did not want to presuppose an outcome. WE should have an outcome before we start. I want to trust our process will take us to unexpired areas… a good place. Then we’ll have hard decisions, what to do with the information, and RTM plays a part as well. Let’s do the practicalities of the proposal, but community wants to speak. I’m looking to move forward and we can all leave tonight we can move forward.

    Liz Francese – my notes are scattered. It’s the dog. A couple fo comments… as a citizen and as a member of the tenants union and someone who has rented here a bit and wants to be here long term but finding it difficult financially to be here. I want to say we have been reviewing for the last couple fo meetings a well written proposal from a large number of community members, and then we looked at a revision, then other revisions and document. I guess what is on my mind is why are all of these people working day and night writing these proposals, making them available, then we have these comments that the public isn’t properly warned, yet we sit here and have to absorb all these contradictions in a ten minute period. Liz – it was so hard to follow you. The community proposal – when there is a contradiction, we spend unpaid time to make changes to please you… it’s difficult. Gentrification can destroy communities. There’s a lot fo sus. We love this town and are just trying to bring it to the next level and want you to come with us to the next stage, but these contradictions and last minute grandstanding over four meetings. We can’t wrap our minds around it. We just hope we get something at the end of it. It seems like an aspect of gentrification. I’m 30 and will never afford a house in this town. I can’t sit e here and believe that this is my town and we are working together. All of this is tied together. Police, housing. It’s all part of the same thread, and this proposal comes with so much effort. How are we not communing on this point? Why spend 4 meetings talking about differences? Why not go forward? The Town gives 1% to human resources. $20k is the most we go ve to a nonprofit right now. That’s not a salary. Nonprofits will do more, but the incentive isn’t there. They are trained and ready, and others are ready to step up. As someone who wants to stay in this town but not always thinking it is possible,. please make this work for us, and we’ll make it work for those wo come after us. We’ll pass on that torch. Thank you.

    Sonia Silbert – People got kicked off and others were before me… want to go to them then back to me?

    Shea Witzo – I’m in a building this time. Moving up in the world. I wanted to share the text I have of what you agreed to last meeting – a motion to accept the proposal in full and ask reps to draft a more full rfp, and release it broadly to discuss and vote today. I am surprised. We were in a room until 11:15 last time talking through these issues and I felt a lot of hope. The cynical part of me was quelled. I felt I heard you all agreed to accept the language in full, and to write an rfp based on it, and that would be discussed. I now hear a grand divergence, especially from Liz. We can’t focus narrowly on police cams…I now hear a line by line revision back to Liz’s proposal. We don’t agree, and the community supported our proposal. We can’t have two processes and have one just look at police, They are all connected. Involuntary psychiatric checkins are a form of incarceration. I thought we had come together. It is very valid to ask about timeline and budget – we had no dollar amount in here and you can set some parameters. We thought about the town’s role. The acknowledgement at the beginning is just true. You agreed to something, and if you diverge too much it will erode this track. We thought this board could collaborate – we’re all on the same page in community organizations. I’d like to rust your word means something. I still have a cautious hope we can agree enough to move forward. Step into the motion the community is in and look deeply… a body camera view won’t do it. We don’t have time to move backwards. I feel surprised that were are now dissecting things that were agreed upon.

    Tim – I feel strongly we should kick that around a bit. I’m feeling like there is a disconnect about that vote. Daniel – if you recall, you wanted a vote and others resisted. I said I had serious problems with some of the documents. If we go forward with accepting the document… if we accept in full that means we take it as an honest document of their position. Before the vote I made it clear I had issues, but I was speaking of the trust of the moment and go forward to say we will accept the current document as we move forward. RFP is what we wanted to get to. I don’t think there is any malfeasance or betrayal?

    Daniel – we voted to accept the proposal that was being discussed in full and asked to write an rfp, and that’s what happened. The stuff that was in the proposal last time, I want it in this rfp. They wrote and RFP. I’ve never written and rfp, I’m sure others would write it differently and some elements are less than common but I don’t want to throw them out. can we get behind this, or three of us get behind this, and put it out in the world.

    Tim – you understood that accepting it as full didn’t mean everything in there would go into the rfp. The community proposal is framework, but now we go to what we can get behind. We did a disservice to Liz”s document by not addressing it at all. It was getting late and you wanted a vote.

    Daniel – I do not presume there is 100% agreement on the board. I’m fairly practical. I’m interested in the details. The inspiration to do this is very real and comes from personal history. last time we said we trust you and we want to collaborate, but ultimately we make a decision of the board. There will be compromise or disagreement.

    Tim – I don’t want to lose that spirit. I do think we can move forward together but we need to stay within our constraints. We can talk about things, but why take time if we don’t have control over these things?

    Liz – I feel there are elements contrary to selelctboard authority. Those elements need to be corrected. That’s why I suggest our comments be given to Town manager to put together an rfp that can pass muster. That’s why I suggest the alternative path of RTM funding to get together and discuss issues that aren’t strictly selectboard issues. The nonprofits can do a study on a different track than the police investigation.

    Brandie – I was reading the minutes, and trying to see why people are surprised. The motion says to accept it in full and draft a more detailed rfp. What shea read was verbatim, and the minutes don’t say anything about hesitation. That is the place people are coming from, including myself.

    Ian – my understanding was the document produced by the community group was a response to Liz’s rfp, so I was under the impression the two go together… it’s a response. I thought the two would be put together. There were a number of us who needed more clarification. In the heart of the motion we are discussing this right now. I’d like to keep this constructive. Where Liz stared us was helpful, we can see if they agree with your changes now or not. Some things need to be talked about or modified.

    Daniel – what are the things preventing us from moving forward. Liz named a bunch. Some I agree with. The timeline to make things ready for RTM is important. The CPCC not being involved – I’d like to hear why from the community , and from Tim and Liz that the selectboard role has been removed so the committee won’t be appointed by the selctboard – we appoint committee members and do interviews. I’m sure the 5 of us would do good interviews. I trust my own professionalism. I’m hear for the discussion, and how do we move forward. Some will want everything or nothing, but there isn’t that agreement on the board right now.

    Emily Megas-Russell – thanks. This is taking up much of our lives. We are trying to find out what public participation looks like in government. I thought you accepted the core principles of the proposal, and what this group of folks have brought forward, and why we came forward. We were concerned about a narrow police review process. That feeling came back when I heard the two pronged approach come up. I appreciate the organizational structure… much of what the police respond to are mental health issues and people who use drugs or live with homelessness. These aren’t totally separate. You have to consider the scope of the board, but we have talked about community safety, not just police. We’re looking at how to become a safer community. It has a lot to do do with the police, but if we just look at police it won’t get to community safety. We want to do things differently and creatively. We have to attune to safety when we ask people to share what is unsafe. Just two days ago you had a really unsafe zoom call. The things people experience in our community and all over right now. We want people to share what makes them feel unsafe. Think not just the what but the how. We’re asking to explore and question potential facilitators to make sure they are attuned to people feeling safe. I’m against nonprofits taking over part of the proposal – they support THIS proposal. This is a community issue. Being an elected official doesn’t absolve you of having to share power.

    Sonia Silbert – Initially I had a comment of Ian’s question – you asked more about the scope and the What. And Liz asked about it… how many meetings and such. WE thought about it and didn’t put that in here because we heard so strongly that you wanted us to propose a process. We felt strongly about qualifications and the process and makeup of committee, and testing them to run a process that gets what we want. If we were to lay it all out in detail…we could do that, but we wanted to focus on the process and the facilitator with the experience we want, and let them come up with the best way forward. The what and the scope will come from the facilitator. The people who contributed to this proposal are experts, and we hope to hire and expert facilitator. Liz asked about transparency – CPCC people being not involved… being transparent about those commitments isn’t being prejudiced. If this is a people led effort, transparency isn’t prejudiced. If they were on the CPCC, or a an organization that can earn money from this process.. transparency will be important throughout. The timeline… it’s tough. Many people were hoping for throwing it all out in two weeks, and now Novemeber’s budget. We want something now, and the budget process takes a long time, so we want immediate recommendations when the budget process gets going. Liz said DEc 31… that feels a bit easier than early November. This can’t be just about budget allocations. There could be other things that could go to RTM… if that needs to be earlier, we need urgent short terms steps and the long haul. It’s transformative to have a board willing to have the people lead this process toward what we actually want. Trust the people, and they’ll become trustworthy. Do something radical. Brandie offers up sharing the power and trusting the people. WE could do something transformative and we don’t know what it would look like, but trust the people and organizations that have signed on to this. It has been two months. It has been a long time. make something wonderful happen.

    Wichie – a lot of things got mention, I’ll speak to a few. “First they came for the communists…., then they came for the trade unionsist…then they came for me and no one was there to speak out for me.” In #10 of our intentions, we want to challenge white supremacy, and in this meeting you said you don’t want to do it. You are challenging it, or letting it happen. Last meeting you had someone use racial slurs – you either challenge it or let it happen. As we move forward we need to be very aware there is no neutral ground, you are either heading in one direction or another. Complacency is not a thing. Ian – the rfp was formed around Liz’s proposal – I used some of the language and it was collaborative. The end product – we didn’t mean that an outcome should be presupposed. We meant something more project-managementy – you need to tell us the format. On open meeting law, the seldctboard needs to have a final say, but we want is a voice in that recommendation. There are exceptions to open meeting law – doing research is assigned to someone and excluded from open meeting law. Want to protect people from backlash. We do have a sympathetic police chief, but it isn’t about him. It’s about the system governed by this town. We’re not asking police members as residents not show up at meetings. We don’t want police showing top wearing guns. When you talked about not having control over mental health – the chief deals with mental health issues and we can control how we respond to crises in town. And, you mentioned accepting the proposal in full didn’t mean it would all be transferred. If it was accepted, why challenge it later. Will you challenge the facilitators report the same way? I don’t want to see things rolling back.

    Gary Stroud – I was at that meeting when the incident happened. It was deplorable and distasteful and you handled it well. I had to really kick back and think of what happened. This is a reason we need to get this done. You mentioned the CPCC and we should see the mission statement and have a meeting… but there is no dialogue yet. To really give the experience of me being the only African American on the CPCC. I’m hoping this happens. I lived in Yonkers NY. The last city in NY to be desegregated. This is alike a deja vu. It was hell. You should sit back and catch up with the rest of the world. Everything needs to come together as a collective. Why can’t we do it. I don’t see the problem with making this happen. We need to come to consensus to go forward. We need to brainstorm this together. We can bring in other agencies later on. Experience is the best teacher. Statistics can lie. We need to do this and move forward. I’ve been on every committee, treated with respect, but the only african american male. We can heal and bring the city back to where it needs to be. We shouldn’t be like Congress. Let’s make this happen. We have other issues in town to address. We’re going to make this happen. It can be done. At the next CPCC meeting, there may be something we can do as well. I want a safer better Brattleboro for the next generation.

    Steffen Gillom – lots of muting and unmuting… so, thank you all, it is quite late. I’m here as president of Windham County NAACP. WE have not been that active in this process, but observing from afar, and now I’m here. I won’t lie. I’m disappointed in this process. I watched a plethora of videos and it is frustrating. WE know you have duties as a board. This is feeling ridiculous. You’ve asked questions – who do you represent? You should represent the voicelesss. I’ve watched as many people have shown up for these – 1% of town. When you talk of majority communities, who are you talking about and what do you mean? I’m calling on board members who say they are in favor but cautious – vote your conscience. How long will you drag this out. What are we here to do? What part are you playing? Are you being a barrier? Could we do this better? There has been so much talk of labor of the community – they weren’t elected. You had multiple asked, and you were given, and now we get more bureaucracy? I’m calling on you to be swifter, more precise, and not so passive aggressive as to cause six more meetings. If you give this to Peter… you should have brought that up before. There are things happening that feel problematic here. NAACP pushes for structural change. This is great work and we can show who we are. I’m just hoping that not only we push for the change, but do so bravely and with purpose and have three people vote for this. A question – when all is said and done and this momentum, this moment happens, what will it look like? As a black man, as someone who does this work, it ain’t looking pretty. I hope we move forward representing the community. Don’t weaponize the process against change.

    Tom Grasso –

    Tim – someone asked me to read something to the board. Tom, are you able to join us? Call in?

    Malaika – some comments and share a story – a lot of powerful stuff has been said, can we hear where you are at? If that doesn’t derail us…

    Daniel – similar to where I started. I feel pretty good about the proposal. I think I’d like to see CPCC members be a part of it, and the slight change in dates of deliverables. That’s all I need.

    Tim – I’m still where I was. I’d like to go forward with something we can agree with. so I’d like ask town staff to ask us help write this and at the next meeting we can approve something, but can’t support this now.

    Liz – Tom is now on the phone…

    Brandie – fine for voting for th proposal. I trust they’ve heard our thoughts tonight and they’ll be good partners and I’m ok being guided by that.

    Liz – I think there is a dispute that we could call upon town staff to resolve for us – something legally acceptable and within the power of the selectboard to enact and get an rfp to send out.

    Daniel – what is legally unacceptable?

    Liz – a number of things – it takes away selectboard authority and takes away a public process for appointing a committee.

    Daniel – yea, we’re on the same page then.

    Ian – I’m trying to listen to everything, and there are powerful things to be heard. It takes time, and I hear the frustration. I believe this is a good faith effort to make something successful. There are some things that have to change to make it work. WE can’t vote right now. We had an interesting philosophical discussion tonight – about facilitation. If we aren’t more specific it may fail. I might be wrong. The part about the selectboard not being a part of things – we can’t appoint ourselves to a committee. I’m about where yo are Daniel. And Liz, I’m not sure about incorporating your rfp into this as well. If there are specific things to incorporate, then let’s talk about it.

    Liz – at the end of my long statement I had some specific points in my proposal – #4-10 in the scope. Those things, plus also if we take out the stamens of purpose, I’d suggest the preamble and background of my proposal give an overview of Brattleboro so if people aren’t familiar it will be easier for them to bid on this.

    Ian – one other thing – can each paragraph be numbered sequentially for easier discussions in the future.

    Liz – it can be line numbered…

    Ian – it would be much easier.

    Daniel – so, where we are at is that about 90% is acceptable to us

    Tim – it’s a big 10%…

    Daniel – I don’t want another 4 hour zoom meeting about this. We should eb able to get this done before bedtime. Not a final document…

    Tim – we need something concrete. Our last vote was mischaracterized – this document doesn’t have the votes and it won’t get done tonight. That’s why it should go to staff.

    Daniel – CPCC members should be part of the committee, the selectboard should remain power structure and appoint people – do you agree?

    Tim – huge question.

    Liz – that’s a big discussion.

    Daniel – I’m okay talking about this…

    Liz – we have a responsibility to set and rfp, hire facilitators and appoint a committee, then they are off. I’m not willing to give up my responsibility of setting a proper way to go froward. Ultimately this committee will have responsibilities and we won’t be a part of it. We’ll get recommendations to act on. I won’t give up my responsibilities.

    Tim – I support that.. another transformer has blown… Ralph B asked me to read aloud – “I’ve reviewed the document – a few questions – the proposal for the facilitator is to be paid as are contributors. Not sure why people need to profit from this work. The committee seems to be asking to make policy and the selectboard put it in place. I’m not in favor.” He sent me that horus before the meeting but it was germane.

    Daniel – I trust we will come to good decisions given good information. W don’t need to abdicate our responsibilities.

    Tim – but the document needs fixing. We can move fast if someone helps us, I think.

    Ian – I don’t think “fix” is the right word. This isn’t broken. We have had long meetings and we are moving forward. We need this to make it work within the framework I was elected in, and needs to be represent the Town. Then I’ll vote for it. The Human Services Committee hasn’t been mentioned yet

    Liz – I mentioned it…

    Ian – there is integrating of committees and they do great work and this will overlap with this.

    Daniel – SEVCA will get money from human services – it won’t really change anything. It will partly fund some work. Human Services is too small to deal with these issues. Let’s look at the big puzzle. I have hope…

    Liz – the recommendations will have financial implications for police and human services. We may act separately on social services… that’s a result act will come from this study.

    Ian – do we need to build that framework, or have the facilitator do it? Just curious?

    Liz – this is a new process and we’re trying to grapple with it. If we do this study that we agree will be police, the public and human services and restorative justice and public safety – they’ll all talk and dialogue and make recommendations. When they come back to us we’ll deal with it.

    Daniel – (reads intro to the rfp) If we get that, it will be great.

    Liz – the resolution of this issue.. Peter is a capable guy…

    Elwell – before I speak – we have more people in the queue. You were asked for a quick checkin, not an hour. But I have some things to say… before we are done tonight I will need clarity from you.

    Malaika – I think that it sounds like some concerns are technical and we can figure that all out. I am not totally clear with Liz and Tim if there are other concerns. My sense is yes. One part that is important to me is that we look more broadly, at community safety. That’s why we want it open-ended for a bigger, fuller picture. When I was new in Brattleboro, I didn’t have a lot fo community. I had hard times and no one to talk to. I called local crisis support. The response I got was “are you suicidal or homicidal”… if not, then it is mind over matter was the response. I called another time and was told that I would need to come to the emergency room to talk to someone. Going there is terrible. It’s an emergency place. But if you are there for emotional distress, if there is mild noncompliance, there is restraint and involuntary medication. It is so violent. To know you have to go there if you are wits end – I didn’t want to go there. I asked if I could come to a crisis center, but they said two people would need to be there to interact with me. So I went for a run over there across town, waited outside, was cooling off, then a cop showed up with lights on and told me I was behaving in an agitated way and the crisis care person didn’t feel safe. That’s the reality right now, if people don’t know what else to do. The options are to call police, crisis, or get shackled for noncompliance. What are the resources are missing? We need to do less harm but build new things. They exist. Things need to scale. Don’t lose that core piece. You’ll just create a worthless process. No one has time to waste like that.

    Tim – there is a chance hands got swept off or people put them own. Apologies.

    Tom Grasso – I’ll be brief – thanks to the board for the time and effort put into this and thanks to the community for putting time into this. This is the most important issue to discuss as a town and if it takes more time, so be it. 5 more hours… fine! Let’s get a proposal that can be put to a vote.

    Ain – Wasn’t planning to say much, but want to clear up some misconceptions. We genuinely believed the board accepted our proposal, and now hearing that core pieces are in debate again. We feel like there are things to collaborate on. There are good points. Who will be on the committee, that’s a good point. Facilitator questions, deadlines… we wanted your expertise tonight, but now we’re talking over things we thought were settled points. We copied directly from the approve document. We even made changes in the rfp to make sure the board was in this document – we didn’t say you weren’t in the process anymore. And about creating safe space – we thought we settled that. We thought the qualifications had been approved. We left payment up to discuss. That’s where we’re coming from. We’re blindsided by revisiting settled issues. I’m really curious, where is the dissent? I hear dissent from this board. We had one person last meeting – these are warned, we are all hear. No one wants to reject good community ideas. It is confusing that the dissent is coming from this body. Why do we redebate these key issues? I hope we can continue in the spirit of collaboration. I thought you agreed to this process, and we were excited by this. So I ask, can the board members submit their specific concerns so we can work with town staff to resolve this?

    Tim – the dissent is by no means this body – many people have contacted me opposed to this process – they have some well founded objection. I read Ralphs two points, and you mentioned Franz Reichsman who also has good points. No sexist statement in there. he’s served for many years and held this board to task more times than I can count. Not defending any statements , but he makes some good points. The dissent is not just from this body, and many don’t want to participate in this process. Some aren’t comfortable – that’s what you are trying to do with the community.

    Ain – the substance was lost – it wasn’t a criticism. We got the statement as well and answered them as well… it was pointed and unfair that you didn’t want to read Franz’s statement. We are answering those points. I want you to know that. We do want that input.

    Wichie – sort of want to clarify a few – Ian asked why a facilitator needs to be involved –

    Ian – no – I think one needs to be involved…

    Wichie – when we talk about the process and who needs to be included, some of these agencies we want to include, some are also doing harm and we need to take into account how systems target vulnerable populations. I heard we are taking select board’s power away. We know you are a voted in board with a final say. That makes sense. We’re trying to have a committee in some way independent of the institutions that are powers that have caused harm. I also feel like Ain’s question didn’t get answered. can there be a conversation – if the problems are legal, that should be brought to the table. A town staff rewrite… we’ve been doing this for months, bringing people together, looking at it from different perspectives, taking in feedback. We don’t want a proposal done in a silo. In hopes that everyone wins, I’d like to know if there is a way for us to stay involved int he process to make legal adjustments – doing it together.

    Tim – I hear that. I honestly believe our staff will be best at taking everything said and smooth that stuff out. The most efficient way out is to go to staff, then back to us for a vote. If we have to have one more meeting, we’ll have one more meeting.

    Wichie – how do you feel about everyone who has come forth with concerns about it not being just police…

    Peter Elwell – there are people in the queue – happy to answer a question, but people have been waiting a long time.

    Ian – let’s hear from the queue

    Jessica Gilter – part of planning commission. I signed on to the first document and brought it to the planning commission for our consideration. First, Tim, you mentioned you have been receiving comments in opposition o this process. It feels very NOT transparent not to share them in an open meeting, especially if you share them with other board members. 2. Liz made points on changing the rfp. She did mention being opposed to the land and oppression acknowledgement. It is important that in the town plan we say the same things. That’s the histroity of where we are coming from. Acknowledging oppression is key. It’s not a political issue but it is a fact. 3. The idea that nonprofits could do a side job on evaluating community safety – that would be a frustrating process to be outside the system and got through this process without any power, to bring recommendations that will get evaluated by lawyers and looked over…it sounds like there are some simple amendments to make like including the CPCC, changing some deadlines, a lawyer finding redundancies and conflicts with the charter, and have Peter review to make sure the board has its power. The board should say they are open to more community involvement in the hiring process.

  • Part 3

    Jackson Stein – These are public meetings. People should show up and express dissent. You choosing specific times to insert messages sent to you isn’t conducive to the process. Someone other than the Chair should read them. You deciding when statements should be heard is undemocratic. If we want the public to comment and public dissent in this forum… it goes back to the chat we discussed. Everyone is crying out for accessibility and you decided not to accommodate them.

    Franz Reichsman – Two things – I did write to the board and the newspapers but it isn’t in print. I thought I could get it out to the public. There is only one important point I wanted to make. In this process of looking at public safety – it is wrong to exclude anyone from the process. That was brought up at the last meeting. Certain people have no place in the process? I can’t accept that. Everything else I agree with. I welcome people into this process, but not excluding others. I used the term namely pappy is a literary reference to something that means it is weak an ineffective,. It is not a homophobic slur. I would never do that. You don’t know me or my sexuality. That is not what happened. I reject that allegation. let’s do this, open and unrestricted.

    Deb Witkus – this has been amazing. The work is really powerful. I wanted to mention I had some visceral responses when the board said the staff should make changes. I get that it needs legal review, and it should be done with the community. The staff has power and privilege, that has bias that can lead to missing the point. I support looking at legal ramifications, but it should just be staff. Work with all these amazing people.

    Daniel – that brings us back to the question…

    Peter Elwell – I think the degree of additional collaboration necessary to ensure the integrity and the work that has gone in depends a lot on how clear or vague the instructions are. I don’t think there is a vote you can take tonight that will provide that direction. We’ll take that direction if you give it. It’s 10 minutes to 11 and I don’t hear a consensus within the board. I think we’re left with – either collaboration with community group – we can do that and it will take time. I can commit that time, but not sure it is necessary. I want to propose another way forward. Depending on how able some of you are to accept element s that you wouldn’t;t have embedded in it, I think I can summarize a few significant points made tonight that would significantly narrow the work that needs to be done. Everyone could leave this meeting with confidence that we could get this back quickly to the board. It could be done and ready at the end of next week and be on the Aug 18 selectboard meeting. We can do it either way. Not trying to sway this, but where I think we are… it will disappoint … I’m hearing three or four things to change and bring back, to get you something 95% of what the community has done. It looks like this: we address CPCC involvement and the broader theme of exclusion in the document. Transparency requirements are essential; to exclude people from participating is counter to the underlying essential principles of building a stringer safer community. We can still center this on voices not often heard. Our work would eliminate exclusion and enhancing transparency. The timeframe issue has no real debate. We can put the right dates in. The idea that things are presented in March to RTM because of the warning – needs to be done by the end of january. I see one deadline – December 31 – get work that can be done by then done, and that will inform the January discussion about the budget, and there are ways for the community can petition certain items, too. If we ask that they report back by Dec 31 with everything they can offer by that point, with more work to follow, I think it is sufficient. We probably need to be more specific for the facilitators’ deliverables. I’ve heard the community say their intent was to retain the selectboard authority, and the board concerns, but I have heard a majority speak to being clear about board’s authority and responsibility. Finally, and I would like some direction, do you feel comfortable with us doing that work, or is it still more complicated? Want a deeper dive that takes longer? That’s fine, too. The specific question I want guidance on is -neither the focus will remain broad on community safety review and will include the police but is part of a more complex undertaking and systems. I think for this to move forward quickly and become action, it is important that it be that, and there be some uncertainty of how much of that is actionable, or content within town govt decisions will be made, and how much is beyond the reach of town govt. That could be a paradigm shift. The part squarely in our responsibility is the police department, but the impetus of what has been proposed is the broader context – it is the heart and soul of the proposal. If you can’t agree to the minor fixes that maintains the broad view, then we need the deeper dive and an idea of where we need to go. But if you feel okay with the small adjustments… we can move this to an actionable item for the 18th. if not, just let us n=know.

    Liz – let’s do it.

    Brandie – I’m there.

    Ian – I agree. peter, thanks.

    Tim – I’m there, too. We’ll still need to be able to trust. It might be outside my comfort zone. I’ll trust, i hope people trust us as well.

    Daniel – yeah, all of that.

    Tim – this is why we pay Peter the big bucks,

    Ian – out of my comfort zone a bit… I just hope we don’t get something we can’t do anything about because we don’t have the power, but I don’t want fear to drive this. One point… when I read this, in the acknowledgment about the land, when I read it, I looked for a footnote and citation, could it be included? I don’t know what that date is connected to…

    Peter – that’s the year the town was chartered.

    Ian – that’s the only thing.

    Tim – I feel like some of my language objections I had was to make it less polarizing, but that’s something I need to let go.

    Elwell – one reason why I offered the broad scope is that it is a point of common ground. It’s fully there in the conversation. For those who want to stick to town responsibilities, the board review will inform us of those things. It doesn’t require the board to act on things beyond your authority, but we’ll learn things and for things that need to happen, it lays the groundwork for that, too. Everyone agrees we want to start, so we should keep the scope wide.

    Liz – I agree and know that we’ll find the interconnectedness to be very enlightening and it will set the stage for next steps.

    Sonia Silbert – Peter/Selectboard – can members of the crew be a part of the dining process with you so we don’t have to start on Aug 18 with our problems with it…can we work it out and be on the same page before we come back to this?

    Elwell – yes. That speaks to my concern about how it my drag things out. I have family responsibility and a minor medial procedure in the next few days, so I’ll be back Tuesday. I can work on this late next week and be done by Friday. Not sure we can collaborate that quickly but want to work with you toward a document that can be approved. I’m fine with committing to that, but if we aren’t ready by next Friday we may miss the Aug 18 meeting. If we get started a bit late on a long haul, I’m not sure it is critical. It might take longer.

    Sonia – on Tuesday or Thursday we could get together?

    Elwell – Thursday might work. I need to meet with some town staff and will know what work we need to do. I can take a good bite or complete it by a week from today. If you want to review it Thursday afternoon?

    Sonia – we’ll email you…

    Liz – reminder that the thing we’re all in on was that he’d do something by the 18th and some may be happy with some and some will not be happy but we need to trust and get to a good place on the 18th.

    Elwell – so, I think I saw four people nodding, so I’m still happy to have the thursday conversation, but the board is directing me to release something for the 18th…

    Daniel – there will be an attempt at collaboration late next week and if that doesn’t yield perfect … if you can’t agree, you’ll release what you came up with for the 18th.

    Elwell – yes, my best effort, and if the community group thinks I failed you will know that. Okay, I know what I need to do, and the community will reach out to me and we’ll get together.

    Tim – it is late but Steffen has a hand up…

    Steffen – I want to point out or ask questions… has there been diversity training? For the selectboard (yes). There is some more growth that could happen. Has anyone on the board advocated for people of color with law enforcement, or entities like that? (no) I ask because either you are on the site of advocating or you have been on the receiving end of discrimination. Either end is uncomfortable. I want to name that. I want to know if that raw experience has been brought into the room. I’d challenge you to do more work on growing in those areas. Diversity and inclusion can be damning to a community if interpreted incorrectly. You have age diversity, and class diversity, bu similar experiences with your skin tone. I’ve seen board members today wrestle with their own social location. If folks of color were on the board that wouldn’t happen. i respect your time and hope to work for you. It is important to name these things. I hope the training… continues and this scenario is in that training as a teachable moment.

    Tim – I’d like to reach out and have a conversation with you… I think…

    Daniel – can we adjourn?

    motion made… approved

    11:21 pm

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