Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting – Town Manager Resignation and Severance

The Brattleboro Selectboard held a special meeting to accept the resignation of Town Manager Yoshi Manale and to ratify his severance agreement.

Manale wasn’t in attendance. The board let Chair Ian Goodnow do the talking, which was tightly constrained to pre-approved boundaries by legal counsel.

Comments | 5

  • Preliminaries

    Ian Goodnow – I have no remarks. The board has no remarks. Public participation? For things not on the agenda tonight.

    Bob Oeser – I think I’m here. Okay. It’s wonderful when technology works. I was going to ask if anyone could help me… when the board votes to go into executive session, the minutes say you enter to discuss, say, contracts. The law has a specific requirement, to make a specific finding that premature public knowledge will place the town in jeopardy. A finding is an inquiry into the facts. In the EMS ambulance matter, such a finding could not be made. The contract was public knowledge. The law, 314 of Title 1, a cure can be requested. I submit that a really appropriate cure would be a do-over on the contracts on EMS and ambulance services. Reach out to me so we can further discuss it (anyone out there…)

    Dale Joy – This is about inspecting buildings. I went with Lenny and his assistant and inspected a place, after they already came in and inspected and let someone stay in that dump. I go in and out of these buildings all the time so I know what they are like. How will they run Rescue, do the rental inspections, and they are hurrying through things. I do not think this is the time to do all these things. If they did the inspections as they should we wouldn’t have mold an ungodly things growing in them. If they followed state regs, they would slow down. What I’m seeing is terrible. There is one landlord in town that shouldn’t be in business. People will start suing the town for not getting the proper inspections they need.

    Ian – thanks for your comment and it is important to be considering as we think of expanding the fire department at a future date.

    Grant –

    Ian – okay, that isn’t working… maybe he could use Kurt’s computer.

    Kurt – I’d like to remind the board that the Town has an obligation to publicize the decision of RTM in 2018 that people in town should all be using renewable electricity through Cow Power or somehow else as it was resolved by RTM in 2018 and is a major policy decision, it should be on the town website. The town manager should do that. There was a dismal showing by the steering committee of RTM and was rather disappointing that they only recommended funding lunches. They should do more, like this renewable electricity recommendation.

    Ian – Thanks, Kurt.

    Ron – I have two things, first I have a question. Are there ordinances on panhandling and loitering?

    Ian – we can’t respond to questions, as they aren’t warned, but I’ don’t know off the top of my head… I can provide it to you.

    Ron – if you don’t you should. The other thing was at the American Legion, we were talking about the costs of searching for a new Town Manager, why not give it to the Interim Town Manager?

    Ian – we’ll get you the panhandling info…

    Grant – can you hear me? I’m Grant Baker and I’m with BCS and want to bring up the climate change issue. It should eb at the top of everyone’s agenda. No proposal at the moment, but climate change is getting out of control. That’s all I really have right now.

    Ian – thanks… okay.

  • Resignation Letter

    Ian – a quick statement about the agenda items, we are here to ratify two prior decisions by the board. I want to reiterate our appreciation for Manale and wish him the best. We have been advised by counsel to stick to our already-released statements and refrain from making further comments on this employment issue at this time. The first item is acceptance of the resignation letter.

    Dale Joy – He did a thorough investigation and I feel for him. I think he did really good. He went out and met the people. Like when Peter came to town. And he had all the piles of work to go through with the police, and didn’t even have a chance. That’s what I feel.

    Ian – I want to maintain the integrity of the record so thanks for names.

    Wichie Artu – a clarifying question. Seeing as he has been treated poorly by the public and feces being sent, has there been any official statement discouraging such actions?

    Ian – a good question. Obviously the board condemns those actions, but a public statement is something we could consider making. We might do it in the future.

    Wichie – thanks. For this of us who hold office we should stand in solidarity.

    Ron – I grew up in Portland ME and moved here 3 years ago. People move up from Boston and want to change things. A new example is our new Chief, at the legion we love her and she’s doing a great job. Maybe the newbies should have worked together. He came from Trenton, and wasn’t in so much of a fishbowl. In the future, Have them ease their way in. You get trained and get to know your group. Things changed too quick, too fast.

    Liz moves to accept resignation.

    Ian amends to accept the amendment, with a corrected date of May 18, 2022.


  • Severance Agreement

    Ian – This is ratification of the agreement between Brattleboro and Manale.

    No public comment.

    Daniel moves to ratify the agreement.


    Ian – at this time I’m going to move to go into executive session (and reads the customary warning). Assistant Town Manager, Fire Chief, Town Atty, Asst Fire Chief…. will join us.


  • Climate delayed is climate denied

    Brattleboro Common Sense promoted that resolution since 2010, bringing it up for RTM three times. RTM finally approved it 2018, and then the board took four years to implement it. This was pretty slow for an emergency, which climate change is. Each board member should ponder the reason for this long delay.

  • Ibrattleboro minutes of selectboard meetings

    Thank you, Chris, for this valuable public service that you provide.

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