Below is my recollection of remarks at tonight’s meeting.
The preliminaries are usually unremarkable and brief. But yesterday Jessica Gelter said that she mentioned the suppression of Kurt Daims/BCS written testimony in the notes of the previous meeting. Also two members were leaving the board. They all appreciated each other’s their devotion to democracy and fairness. Such flattering speeches are not usually brief. It was a good time to comment like this:
Kurt Daims: Good evening everyone. My name is Kurt Daims. I live in district 2. I’m the director of Brattleboro Common Sense which has started an emergency homeless shelter in motorhomes which was the subject of your meeting on the 21st of last month. I’m here to explain why I did not attend the meeting in person, which was a matter of some concern. Maybe I should stop now and let Daniel say something, because he implied that there was a lot to say about that.
Danie Quipp: Why should I speak ? It’s your turn.
Kurt Daims: Good. Despite the snide innuendo, the reason I didn’t attend was to do you a favor to do the board of favor. Someone had threatened to make an ugly mess at the select board meeting. The poor homeless people in the project have been harassed. I should mention that the project is fine with our neighbors, and some are quick to say they weren’t the one that complained. But I have been harassed in recent weeks. So, it was a believable threat and I my board advised me to submit a written statement instead of attending, and that’s what we did. Ian knows how difficult it is to conduct a fair meeting. Imagine how difficult it is to conduct one while someone is trying to disrupt it. By submitting our testimony in writing we helped you have an orderly meeting. We were doing you a favor. I had no idea no idea at all that you would suppress that statement which was our testimony at our trial . This was a surprise — a very ugly surprise! One moment you’re saying, ”Oh where is Kurt ?”, and “Oh Kurt definitely should be here” and “Oh Kurt is the main witness!” and so on, and a few minutes later you are ducking and dodging and looking for technical maneuvers to suppress my testimony. One minute you sound so eager to listen, and the next minute you suppressed our testimony! I have never seen you be so grossly irresponsible and unfair. You have damaged your credibility.
It deserves note that you have failed to listen before. At four different meetings since June (not since 2020) I or someone else in Brattleboro Common Sense brought the project to your attention, and you did nothing. Most recently we made a formal request for discussion, and you refused. This was willful ignorance. Now there’s an ugly rumor, and suddenly it’s an emergency to shut down the project that wasn’t worth your attention for ten months. (And now you coerce BCS through the courts and threaten to take my home.)
You have another chance to be fair. I think you should still be interested in the subject. Even if it has come onto and off of your desks conveniently, the issue is still here. Homeless people and the project are still here, and you have another chance to be engaged. I will send you an updated version of our testimony. I hope you read it.