Comments | 9

  • Preliminaries

    (FYI, I’m going to set my own time limit of about 9 pm, or the housing ordinance…)

    They start a bit late.

    Pre-meeting banter: none.

    Chair’s comments: we have vaccine in our midst but will be slow to come, so continue to follow guidelines, it may be a long winter. Be careful, wear a mask, avoid big holiday things…

    Manager’s comments: another thing is there is some snow coming this week. It was iffy until recently, but updated forecast is more certain, and at 4:45 they said a forecast we’ll get 5-18 inches in Brattleboro, likely 8-12 inches. Starts Wednesday evening and ends Thursday. The more recent forecasts weren’t;’t as significant of a storm.

    Tim – that’s news to me.

    Selectboard comments or committee reports:

    Daniel – happy vaccine is here and health care workers are getting scheduled for shots. Hopefully as many of us as possible will get that shot and maybe next summer be looking at a much easier world to live in.

    Public Participation:

    Ian – do you want to touch on the consent agenda again?

    Tim – we will use a consent agenda again tonight for a few items. They are easy decisions for us (reads them) so thing like that we look for ways to pass these as a package. If any of us wants, we can pull and item out. It’s on after public participation… so you can make a mention about one of those things and request it gets pulled and added to the end of the meeting.

    Dick DeGray – Couple of things. First, in a couple fo weeks we will lose Chief Fitzgerald and I want to say when you look up class in the dictionary his picture is there. There is a line by Donovan that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone. I’ll miss him. I hope he stays involved. Real honor to have him on staff. My second item, being a merchant downtown, I want to thank all who shop downtown. It’s been fantastic and thank you. Merry Christmas. I thank the board for your service. have an enjoyable holiday.

    Tim – Merry Christmas to you.

    Liz – the quote was from Joni Mitchell and it is the quintessential planning rock anthem – paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

    Tim – yes, I’ll miss the Chief. Hard transition for me.

    Gary – thanks again for a good year. Since old man winter is coming in, Daniel Quipp – Dec 15 was the deadline…

    Daniel – it was an hour an a half ago. The arrears program for electric, water and sewer. There is more assistance for people now that the program has closed, so reach out to SEVCA and call 211.

    Gary – yes, it is getting colder and the holidays and people are struggling. Resources are there. Thank you Daniel.

  • Consent Agenda

    A. Monthly Financial Report – Through November 30

    B. Certification of Errors and Omissions on 2020 Grand List – Assessor’s Office

    C. Interlibrary Loan Courier Grant for 2021 – Accept and Appropriate

    Tim – I’ll accept a motion

    approved 5-0

  • Water and Sewer Commissioners

    Springtree Sewage Pump Station – Grinder Rebuild

    Steve Barrett – The Springtree Pump Station at the north end of Putney Rd. 150k gallons a day. The channel monster shreds undesirable materials before they get into the pipes. It is critical to this whole station. We’d like to spend $15,849.15 to rebuild the channel monster grinder in the Springtree pump station. Done by the manufacturer.

    Tim – I think we all heard you. You were breaking up.

    Daniel – I understand dit. It has lasted 9 years?

    Steve – yes. It was new.

    Daniel – it will be rejuvenated. Will it last another 9 years?

    Steve – probably, but other parts could fail. The grinder wheels do the work and that piece is worn. The motor could wear in the next 10 years. Normal operation.

    Ian – Is this the only channel monster?

    Steve – there are other names – grinder pumps – we have an assortment throughout our system. There is a large one at the wastewater treatment plant. They all do basically the same thing. Lifespan varies, depending on use. This one is 150k gallons a day, millions a year. Depends on volume.

    Tim – it grinds thing up before they get to the pumps…like a ham. A small ham.

    Steve – there are all sorts of things that go down… gotta find some humor in these things.

    approved. All board members are pro-monster.

    Pleasant Valley Radio Tower Agreement – Renewal and Modification

    Steve – In the 70’s we had an agreement with WTSA for a tower at Pleasant Valley. They are the emergency broadcast station for the area, they own and operate the tower, we own and operate the building and grounds. The tower was installed in the 70’s. We’ve upgraded our town radio components. We split revenue from tower with them, but it isn’t an option because of all the Town’s equipment. The new agreement eliminates the revenue. They pay for almost everything about the tower. Town has three departments using the tower and pay little. We’ll take these additional fees out of there. They are locally owned and business is down so it makes sense to take out the extra fees. I think it is a fair agreement this way.

    Tim – seems straightforward, like a good long term partnership for the Town to maintain.

    Ian – what does at capacity mean?

    Steve – think structural – the antennas aren’t big but tall, and we have additional antennas mounted on there, at different levels for different frequencies. There is only so much equipment that can go on the tower, or it has to be upgrade, but that is expensive.


  • Unfinished Business

    Tim – two items related to housing… a discussion of request from board members

    Sue Fillion – I was asked to look into whether any nonprofits would get grants to start a landlord risk mitigation fund. SEVCA might want to partner with the town, but not seek funding themselves. I looked into some funding opportunities. It has some grant potential for Town or non-profit, most are small around $5k. Might need a few. Groundworks has a landlord risk mitigation pool for their landlords renting to their clients. There are resources out there for landlords and tenants, particularly low income tenants. We should aim to NOT duplicate existing efforts. If we do this, we should take our time and wait for the housing study to get more information. There are existing programs.

    Liz – so, the grant for the housing study is awarded? Timeline?

    Sue – we got the grant. Very excited. Should be done within 6 months of hiring someone. By summer, we hope.

    Tim – I knew Groundworks did something like that, but, it is provided by the office of economic opportunity. That would be interesting to explore?

    Daniel – Brandie did that for a while…

    Brandie – I did that for Groundworks for a time. I’m rusty, but basically if you try to keep someone housed – if something needed to be repaired we worked with landlords. I think you can apply for back rent if you are trying to keep someone housed. It’s good to know protections exist for those who house the lowest income.

    Liz – Daniel, every time I turned around SEVCA does something wonderful. Say more…

    Daniel – I work there full time. I work in the crisis fuel program, and a community solar program. Liz is talking about the work we do around homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing. We help people stay in there housing, or get into housing. I’m not the housing person, so… we have some federal monies and some private money. Much comes with strings attached, eligibility requirements, caps on spending . Then we do case management to work with clients in fdanger of losing housing. We support them along the way. It’s never super-quick. We have some emergency housing funds – economic services helps qualify for a certain number of nights in a motel. There are all sorts of criteria. The motel program in COVID happened because there were few strings.

    Brandie – it has to be temperature and precipitation, not just 19 degrees, but also snowing…

    Daniel – people usually need to help when the shelter is full … while SEVCA does good work around security despots and back rent, there is always more. We use federal HARP funds, with strings on it, and it runs out in the spring, and other programs end. I could speak to the numbers… there are also funds – the HELP fund, so churches and others pool money and people make applications with a community partner to this fund. Not sure of the criteria. Often, one fund is tapped to a certain amount, so you bolster it with another and you get a security deposit. I got an email from Morningside – if this rental ordinance passes, they wouldn’t need to beg the HELP fund.

    Ian – Sue, thanks for doing all this work. It’s a big discussion. I want to keep to the warned agenda item, but I have a question about the housing survey. Once thing we look at could be identifying housing protections, How set is the scope of the housing survey? Did the grant confine it, or can we design it?

    Sue – it’s confined in some ways – the deliverable and public outreach. There is some latitude and we only have so much funding. I’ll draft an RFP and we have a steering committee of housing org people. There is some latitude.

    Daniel – there have been previous studies, maybe not Town funded. How much can we direct the questions. I’d like to think we have total control.

    Sue – some is a basic housing study, with a Brattleboro lens to it. We’re different than Dover, for example. Different issues. It will be tailored and we can pose those questions.

    Daniel – basic housing study?

    Sue – they’ll look at number of units, distribution of types of unites, income in the community, age of housing units, assessed values, and also there will be outreach as to what we need and where are the gaps? More affordable housing, more small units? Then we’ll look at programs that can help meet the needs. That’s the basics.

    Brandie – someone is texting me about participating by phone. Star 9?

    Tim – the study – are they more of a point in time, or does it look over time and make projections? Depending on whether we pass the ordinance, it would be good to see effects. Could it be picked up? Look back in the past to see if AirBnBs have they affected our full housing stock.

    Sue – probably not too far back. They can look at.. they may have a couple of years of short terms rental data.

    Liz – I hope the study will talk about how to go about increasing the number of housing units. I assume it will talk about supply and demand, and what we can do to increase supply.

    Sue – yes.

    Daniel – I guess some of that we already know. I looked at the Windham County needs assessment- it pulls from census data, at the county level. WE just completed a census… will our report use that data?

    Sue – to early.

    Daniel – I was most impressed with the data about building owners and get real on the ground up to date numbers. Lots of credibility.

    Sue – that would be my intention. I prefer local data as well. I imagine there will be surveys for that.

    Bob Fisher – I looked into whether CDBGG fund could be used for landlord risk mitigation, and further research reinforces my view that they cannot be used for those types of expenses. We also checked with ACCD. The said if the town had segregated pre-1993 funds, we could use those, but Brattleboro has always co-mingled funds as program income, so we don’t know what is pre or post 1993. Money came in, went out, was paid back. We can’t do it. You also asked about repairs, but that type of expense is an income expense. Only one exception – for short term housing for displaced persons, not risk mitigation funds. There are other programs, as Daniel explained., but through different funding sources.

    Tim – thanks for doing that. Not what I wanted to hear, but we may partner with agencies with more experience as a possibility to create a landlord risk mitigation fund.

    Brandie – Landlord risk pool for groundworks is for clients of groundworks only. Just to be clear.

    Daniel – you mean people who are currently experiencing homelessness?

    Brandie – or are in their case management programs.

    Tim – any more questions?

  • Ordinance Regulating Housing Lease Deposits Second Reading and Public Hearing – Chapter 8 (Health, Sanitation and Fire Safety Inspections) Article 5 (Rental Housing Security Deposits)

    Peter Elwell – I’ll describe it. This is the second reading of a vote you may take, to adopt the ordinance. There is a public hearing required, with discussion, then the board can decide to vote or not. If you do, there are several sections that are required by law in this… logistical things. There is a substantive paragraph that would be added that is about security deposits. What it would do is limit the amount of money a landlord can charge to a tenant prior to occupying a unit… limit to one month’s rent and a security deposit of up to one month. You’ve had lots of discussions.

    Tim – I open the public hearing. Go to the public first?

    (phone number) – hi, this is Frick Spruyt – I haven’t read the latest but have a number of concerns – I worry it will do the opposite of what it is intended to do. I have a number of tenants that have taken on because I am able to charge a last months’ rent. I have some financed it over time and what I do is create a situation where people have an easier time moving. Tenants and landlord interests are largely overlapping. We have to work together. This current eviction moratorium and this on top of that, I am going to be super picky about who I let in, and I’ll leave things empty rather than take someone problematic. When evictions are allowed, it can be helpful to charge more upfront, or college student who get their money from grants or loans. I’ve gotten paid for summer rent, without worrying about income qualifications. O during the school year when they cam in and couldn’t hold down full time employment, so they’d pay me 6-9 months ahead…anyway. I guess I should also say that if this does pass there are some of us ready to test its legality. It sounds like there is a survey idea coming up. Landlords and tenants should get surveyed about who gets paid, and which landlords rent because of the last month’s rent.

    Ivan – Hi. I’m glad Frick spoke first. he confirmed something i arrived at about what landlords talk about when they say risk – it changes not what is owed, but when it is paid. HHe said he’d have to be more picky. Charging more at the beginning allows renters to screen themselves – not for risk but savings. That group of people who don’t have three months rent in savings, that isn’t a universal cross section of society It is good news that we are addressing that and that sort of discrimination.

    Trevor – Thanks – thanks for getting this far. We have the research, Housing values are up, things are tougher for tenants. Increasing the supply doesn’t fix the cost if it – it can drive gentrification. We don’t think there is an undue risk for landlords. This will help get people housed.

    Ibrahim Dhalstrom-Hakki – I live in Greenfield but am a landlord in Brattleboro. I’ve made my comments in previous meetings about this not achieving the outcomes you hope it will. I want to focus on risk mitigation, to help tenants without putting pressure on creating housing. Groundworks and SEVCA have some risk mitigation funds. I’ve worked with these agencies. There is a lot fo low income individuals who don’t qualify. They don’t solve the problem. For risk mitigation, the board doesn’t have funds right now, but one idea I have is to have a program that would allow landlords who have unpaid rent or damages, could apply for a tax abatement from he town, so instead of a fund we could instead apply for a tax reduction in the amount of the losses. In looking at some of my buildings, the amount I make each year is about what I pay to the Town every year. A lot goes to the bank, utilities, and repairs, and the Town.

    Bob – he’s talking about deductions The Town doesn’t have that authority. Income tax is state and federal. It is an authority issue. If landlords have losses, they can take losses against income.

    Tim – town tax abatement.

    Bob – it doesn’t meet the statute for abatement. One criteria is inability to pay or lister mistake, but not being paid a last month’s rent or being short on a security deposit, that’s not an avenue of relief.

    Ibrahim – would a modification of abatements have to go through the town of legislature?

    Bob – that would need to go through the legislature. Set by state statute. Same with valuation of properties. We can’t reduce values based on someone not paying security deposit. When assessor evaluate rental properties, they look at income and expenses.

    Dory – I’ll keep it short… can landlords speak for themselves but not for their tenants. That’s not right, by many standards. Congrats that we’ve gotten here. This is important but is small in what we have to do, but we have to get over this to make our town affordable for everyone. Landlords talking about feelings of housing people… we’re talking about feelings. We need to look to the stomachs of the citizens. Keep on keeping on.

    Jackson – I agree that landlords shouldn’t speak for their tenants. Frick said housing was more accessible when more is paid upfront. That’s never been true for me. This proposal had over 200 signatures saying to was hard to come up with 3 months rents. Thankful it has come this far. It is an awesome thing we can do right now and people need housing. It could pass tonight and make everyone’s lives better.

    Louis – I live in West Brattleboro. I rent. Even before the global pandemic, coming up with 3 months rent was an acute hardship for people like me. I’d like to see it passed. It will help me and all my peers and friends.

    Sophia – I also live in west brattleboro. I want to speak in support of the proposal, Not sure it is necessary after everything that has been said. You mentioned begging for extra funds earlier, I had no idea. We shouldn’t be leaning on emergency services for something everyone needs to access. This seems like an excellent thing to pass. Thanks for grappling with this. I’ve learned a lot listening and this seems excellent.

    Fhar – the process that got us here. After 3 months of adding to this, and we’re back to almost exactly as it was proposed by the Tenants Union. They’ve been very patient, and have been told that it makes landlords feel put upon. Many countless hours here has been an effort to do anything except but what tenants have asked for. Landlords and tenants have fundamentally opposing interests. This is the basis of landlord tenant courts. We’re only hearing landlords say they have a shared interest with tenants. Tetants are not too ignorant to know what is best for themselves. I hope it will be instructive that if a group comes and is suffering, trust them and their lived experience. I urge you to pass this. Thanks.

    Josh – thanks for moving this along to this reading. Housing is a human right and everyone should access it, unrestricted by extra costs. Our interest are fundamentally in conflict. Are landlords about housing or profiteering? Reconsider your investments. This proposal will help people access housing with no added risk. Just strengthens the ability for people to live. Thanks for your time.

    Earl – I have a prepared thing. Thanks for taking part in the process. It hasn’t been easy. I hope you’ll pass this proposal. Tenants would find it beneficial. More important than ever that wealth not be the factor in funding a home. This doesn’t create new housing or lower rents. It’s another important aspect of housing problems in the town.

    Tabitha – I support this. In April I need to move to a less expensive rental. It’s impossible to pay rent now and save money. To limit security deposits would mean a smaller goal to save for – less scrounging and cutting corners. I appreciate all your efforts. Thanks.

    Lisa – we have a place in Brattleboro and want to share some lived experience. We are low income wage earners and have some rentals. A 4 unit building that we raised our son in. This ordinance is awesome, but we’d add we sometimes break even, and won’t see equity in this building for 30 years. We had to refinance. We’re not great at capitalism and have medium rents. We thought at first we’d be doing better. We’ve never been able to house ourselves at 30% of our income. We’d like to know how many feel marginally housed, with low income. Brattleboro has program to develop rental units. There are all types of landlords. At first, every tenant applied security deposit as last month. We eventually collected 3 months rent. When someone can’t afford it, we make a payment schedule. About 1/4 of renters have taken advantage of that opportunity, but it isn’t for all. One concern I have, our building is an old building that needed rehab. I’ve worked in human services. I’m interested in what happens when a wealthier tenant wants to take us to court. Wonder what funding solutions for problems that come up… you could be mitigating a low percentage of issues.

    Shea – as you all know, I have been tasked about evaluating community safety, and one of the biggest things that have come up is that homelessness and lack of housing access makes people vulnerable to other problems. People all over – providers, mental health folks.. all say the real risks increase without stable housing – and what is the risk to landlords? It’s a risk many of us in business experience..w e have overhead and risk, and not much profit margin. The risk of experiencing violence, cold, disease… not equal to lower profits. Housing is something we all need, like water. This proposal won’t solve a lot. It is asking for so little. This is asking for so little. We have to get braver and get ready for bigger asks in the coming years. Landlords threatening legal recourse exposes the power dynamics.I don’t see this ask as putting many landlords out on the street. It might make things a bit more challenging, but when people can’t be housed, harm occurs. With years of impact on lives. Support people with less power in he community. Thanks so much.

    Andrew – longtime resident, BUHS grad. An attorney who had represented landlords and tenants. I’m speaking as a tenant. I support this ordinance. It would be important for the town and having my perspective, I see there are potential costs. My option is the benefits outweigh the costs. people who have spoken well about it. In most extreme situations, it is a barrier to entry to housing, especially now. Recently I had to look for an apartment . If we weren’t first to apply, we wouldn’t get a call back. And we have two salaries. I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone working for minimum wage. One way to think about it- asking for last months rent s a form of insurance in case the tenant can’t somehow pay, and that happens. However, landlords have power, and assets, and it is in the town’s interest to have housing. Despite some costs associated, my view is that this ordinance would be of great benefit to Brattleboro.

    Tim – we do have to take a break…take one or two more or take the break? Take the break. Back at 8:15.

  • Rental Housing Hearing Part 2

    Pre-mid-meeting banter about face masks, sheriffs in electric vehicles….

    Tim – back to order… try to say something new, and the ordinance itself. It’s well known we have a disagreement about the ordinance, not the problems and burdens.

    Dan Normadeau – I’ve been following this since the beginning. Having a hard time why you haven’t formed a board and studied this issue, like other issues? You have not studied the problem. If you say you have you are wrong. You have studied the solution. You haven’t looked at the risks. This is not good governance. You should study it before taking action. At a recent meeting a board member said they took testimony from tenants throughout the week. You aren’t handling this right. You should form a committee and study this? Why not now? You didn’t take testimony. Everything is anecdotal opinion so far. If you took testimony, it would have been in public and part of an official hearing. It needs evidence and proof. Dies the board have any? No. Has the board collected data, such as how many tenants and rental units exist? How many have this problem? Why? What’s the history of hardship with this tenants? Any tenants verification been performed? Do they have a lease? A sublease? What did they pay, what is included? Any roommates not included in the lease? So many things that need to be asked. To sum this up, the majority of board say this won’t address high rents and a housing shortage, hasn’t established a study committee, and the board has no data and no evidence. I’m talking about process. This is mind-blowing – you propose to study it after a year? You didn’t study the problem. Please practice good governance. Study the problem and how best to address it.

    Brandie – does he live in Dummerston?

    Ananda – I thank the board for coming so far with this. I want to say thanks to all tenants who spoke. I have seen a large number of tenants, compared to landlords, and landlords are presenting false equivalencies. The skepticism by those who are fortunate to not be affected is disheartening. Town researchers have come back twice, we’ve presented research… it’s willfully deceptive to say it is not researched by one of the largest landlord sons in town… we had 250 signatures the day it was proposed. It would help a large portion of the town. Not all landlords are not monopolists with mustaches, but a rising tide lifts all boats, and it should be a conversation of community protection.

    Frank – in downtown Brattleboro – I support this proposal. One of my friends and neighbors say they are struggling – I believe them. I’d want my community to trust me when I say I’m struggling. It’s not easy for us to speak up, and you should listen when we do. I support this proposal.

    Ryan Stratton – I want to add my data point. I’m a renter in Brattleboro and have been in this apartment for 6 years. I couldn’t have moved in if my landlord wanted last month’s rent. happy to be here. Thanks for doing what governments do and listen to constituents and make decisions.

    Tim – okay, the final two have already spoke, I’ll take the comments, but it should be new…

    Frick – I want to say I am really frustrated with the degree to which people in political situations have been trying to divide up and present things that aren’;t fact based, on a national level and here. I’ve talked to Peter Welch about fully funding Section 8. That would be a real solution. If subsidies were fully funded. I hope everyone considers talking to peter Welch and Bernie Sanders and Leahy about funding Section 8. None of my tenants are having their housing…. how shall I put it. Threatened because of the current pandemic, in part because I have found ways to work with them, as I have done throughout my entire career. Tenants need a right to a quiet apartment.

    Dory – off of what Normandeau was talking about… people who

    Tim – let’s not name names.

    Dory Hamm – I’ve known them my entire life – they speak from a place of privileged. I’m countering that when people speak from a place of financial privilege don’t understand people who are just getting by. Wealth always asks for more time and studies to prevent things from getting done while poor people struggle. It’s an attack used for so long. I have to counter it.

    Gemma Seymour – I think this will improve housing accessibility. Some facts… it does not change the landlord tenant relationship. NO less money. last month’s rent is still due. Landlords just can’t shoulder more of the risk. Rents are set by what tenants are willing to pay. Tenants are the source of income, so threats of empty spaces are empty threats. We hear landlords will be more selective, but in our constrained market, landlords are already as selective as the market will bear. It is false to say we haven’t studied this enough. It doesn’t change the money. It changes when it has to be paid. It isn’t complicated. I look forward to the grant for the housing study. I support this. It is good governance. I am very libertarian and skeptical of government doing good.

    Tim – okay. I think I can close the public hearing. I’m closing it. I’m sure the board members want to respond. I’l invite everyone to know your needs. I’d like to ask a question of Bob about if this passes, and a statement to make. Others? Bob, say this passes tonight, what happens to … what kind of grandfathering occurs? There is a 60 day appeal period for a petition thing for Town Meeting, what I’m wondering, after that it goes into effect in February – what happens to the current arrangements of last month’s rent agreements?

    Bob – I get the gist. The ordinance would be for anyone going forward. Landlords who have all three right now would be grandfathered… they wouldn’t;t have to give it back, just couldn’t charge it. You need 44 days for the petition with 5% of voters to go to town meeting vote.

    Tim – a new lease with the same tenat?

    Bob- any new lease, the landlord would be obligated to return it, otherwise you are charging all three, in violation.

    Tim – something to consider but nothing surprising.

    Daniel – Interesting to hear everyone speak. Some things were aimed at me, and I’m fair game. I dispute this is poor governance. We have taken a great deal of public input, legal opinion. I could make that same laundry list of things to study about landlords. This ordinance is fairly simple. One fact is clear – any tenant with a new rental will have an easier time with it. We have thousands in town, many with families, and I want to stand with the thousands who will benefit from this in town. I don’t need to hear more.

    Brandie – I have a written statement… I appreciate those who step forward with vulnerable stories. It can be scary. Housing is a human right, and we should work from the most vulnerable up. People with privileged need to help lift others, and there are others who don’t require an extra boost. This is a study base and important foundation piece, to make sure all the people helping you at stores are as safely housed as you are.

    Ian – I’ve been in support since the first iteration way back. I appreciate the in-depth discussion the board has had with the community, we have learned a lot, and a lot fo what we don’t know. The Sept 30 memo from Sue with numbers showing 50% of town rent, 55% of them spend more than 30% of income on rent. 28% spend over 50% on rent. This will help a large population in Brattleboro. It is a common sense move. This is my first year. I’ve heard everyone on this. This has revealed that housing is a huge problem and we need to continue to work toward many solutions for this. We should see its effect in a year and use the housing study to look at questions that have come up. I urge the entire board to vote for this.

    Liz – I thank everyone for comments. I continue to believe this will not add to the housing stock in Brattleboro. There is a variety of landlords in town, and a lot fo people are making ends meet and this could crush them. I know of no other business that we regulate in such a manner and it is a bad precedent. I further think the town would benefit from the housing study before any legislation. I’ll vote no.

    Tim – I’ll read what I wrote. I want to point out. I haven’t written this. I got back tot he feeling of going back to dichotomy and this is a policy disagreement. We all agree we have housing problems and the project of paying 3 months rent is burdensome. I don’t charge that as a landlord, if you can avoid doing it. We could agree on that level. I’d like to speak to the older landlords in Brattleboro, young couples buying duplexes, people who have added units. It has happened over and over. Don’t give up, you are appreciated, and you will continue to provide safe homes. Keep your homes for full time rentals, not ASirbNB or short term rentals, and don’t sell to out of owners. Unfortunate to lose properties to people not from here. Don’t lose faith in your selectboard. We help landlords. We will continue to add stiock look at risk mitigations. To my fellow board members, we serve equally to all, and our policy decisions should do no harm like doctors. Tinkering with this one aspect might change the way landlords do business, and I thin it will be higher rents and a higher bar for tenants. Don’t confuse morality with he reality on the ground. Look to the work of SEVCA and other agencies’ and the housing study (ahem 3 minutes!)… we’ll share our numbers with Burlington, with the highest rents in the state. They’ve had this policy but it hasn’t helped their rents. Let’s wait until we know it will do no harm. So, the Chair doesn’t make motions. I do want to note that Ian might have proposed a friendly amendment.

    Ian – no amendment.

    Tim – I didn’t mean amendment. Adding something to the motion about studying in a year’s time?

    Ian – I won’t add that. When we set precedent by establishing the community safety community. We passed the budget and then we went and did it. I believe we will really review it. Also, I appreciate Tim and Liz’s points. I hear them and am excited to continue the conversation. It is a policy difference and it doesn’t end here.

    Ian makes the motion…

    Approved 3-2 (Liz and Tim say nay)

    Tim – it passes.

    And, it is just about 9 pm, so I’m wrapping it up. There is more, so feel free to chime in here if you are watching and see something interesting. Or go ask you Town Meeting Reps to discuss the FY22 budget.

  • Board vote on Preferred Solar Site?

    Chris, what was the final vote on agenda item 10A? I couldn’t join the meeting last night and I understand it passed.

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