Police Fire Petition & Questions of the Legality of the Town Representative Vote

The citizens of Brattleboro had rejected the Police Fire Station proposal at least three times, as I best remember, over a ten year peiod. I was aghast again to find not only was the town and Slectboard was pushing this, the town and Selectboard knew that if they gave it the voters it would be rejected. This was the opinion of the Selectboard.

They then had the town representatives vote on it.  When I spoke to representives in my district, he  said, “I’ll vote the way I want, regardless of what you would like.”  This is the most egregious example of the town representatives. He was absolutely in favor of the Police Fire station regardless of what the people in his district wanted. I aksed him if he would reconsider and put this before a town wide vote, and he said, “No, I have made up my mind. And the citizens don’t have the information they need to make an informed decision.” 

However, other representatives who did vote for it, said they would reconsider it, and were in favor of putting it to a town wide vote. But the Selectboard had dug in its heels and refused to consider a town wide vote.

Then the more that I spoke with the representatives, I realized how crazy t this was. They were told that the Police Fire station would only fall to those whose household income is more than $47,000.

Huh?  Then I heard this from others.  How can this be?

Now, the plot thickens. I personally know that a number of the Town Representatives voted for this, and they are retired and/ or low income people. T. I had never heard of something like this and tried to get clarification from an attorney or town attorney, and the Selectboard.  None of the previous Selectboard  responded to my emails or phone calls.

Got it? I still don’t get it.

Town Represntatives who are suppose to be objective and represent the interest of the voters, voted for the Police Fire station and some knowing that they would NOT be paying for it.

Who then would pay for it?  Only households who make over $47,000.00. 00.

– Town Represntatives, knowing they would NOT pay for it, voted in favor of the Police Fire station?

It is clear in speaking with many people on the streets, people do not want this Police Fire station at a final cost of $20 million dollars.  We all support the police and fire department, they do a good job, but why do the Police need a private gym in the police department?

I strongly encourage the new Selectboard to think long and hard about this. We need to concentrate on economic development, not more expenditures that weaken our already fragile economy.

There is a petition being circulated around town by the Brattleboro Common Sense group.  The group will be at Gallery walk tomorrow and will try to get a petition into the the next selectbarod meeting.

For those concerned taxpayers, call and write the Selectbarod, and voice your opposition to this incredibly expensive boondoggle.Their emails and phone numbers are on the town website.


Here is the petition:

Petition of Legal Voters of Brattleboro to the Selectboard
We, the voters of the town of Brattleboro, urge the Selectboard to carefully scrutinize the budgetary
impact of bonding and borrowing for the Police/Fire Facilities Project, and to significantly cut its
costs in consideration of Brattleboro’s already heavily burdened homeowners and renters.

Facility Projects Bond Information Sheet

 * The bond is legally
for “renovations”, but the plan doubles the size of the police

The RTM bond vote authorized the spending of the money. We don’t  have to
spend it.

the full amount of the bond is taken out, we will see a 10% hike in our taxes.

Selectboard admits the bond means steeply higher taxes or budget slashing that
would mean cutting services.

the school portion of the tax hike would receive income sensitivity help via
the Homestead rebate.

of expensive projects, and expecting the state to foot the bill for
lower-income tax payers, the state has had to raise the school tax rate. The
state can not afford this bond!

 * The
“renovations” will cost $1600 per person over the life of the bond. Neither
property owners nor renters can afford this bond!

Comments | 1

  • interesting comment

    “None of the previous Selectboard responded to my emails or phone calls.” – Namaya

    For the vast most-part, this reflects my experience as well. Higher taxes were never the biggest issue for us; it is how these projects come to be approved. That is our larger concern.

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