The Selectboard was reviewing and adding to their goals at their most recent meeting. There are a few more items they should take up:
End Weigher of Coal Position
This is just embarrassing in 2021. Brattleboro should rid itself of any mention of coal. It’s such an easy thing to do. Town Managers since Barb Sondag have promised to get this done. All it takes is sending an article to Representative Town Meeting.
End Inspector of Lumber and Shingles Position
An obsolete position, according to the state. Anything this position would do, such as making sure the 2×4’s all the proper size, is now superceded by actual laws and regulations. We can stop wasting time on appointments to this useless position. Send an article to Representative Town Meeting.
Improve/Enforce The Social Media Policy
It’s been years since problems with the social media policy were pointed out, and promises to address it were made. Nothing’s been done, and there is little or no oversight of public-facing social media accounts of elected officials and town staff. The current policy is woefully ignored with no consequences.
End The CPCC
It’s been over a year since the community safety effort began. This is still a committee that meets? I keep waiting for the agenda that mentions wrapping it up, but it never seems to happen.
Why replanting of shade trees is not a top priority is baffling. As recently as 20 years ago Brattleboro had far more large canopy shade trees lining the streets. Treecutters rolled through and convinced owners that these old trees were dangerous, and many have been cut down. What used to be a pleasant shady walk among birds and squirrels can now be a grueling trek through a long stretch of hot cement. The “tree streets” are filled with stumps. More squirrels get run over because they can’t go over the street.
Consider The Monorail
It’s been a while, but little progress has been made on the monorail. It’s time to form the exploratory committee to look into a southern Vermont monorail system. Japan has some nice ones rolling through hilly, tight urban spaces that could be models. This would be a good project for transportation and for tourism.
Old Fashioned Town Offices
I do sorta hate to see our towns lose those quaint, non-functional positions. I recently had to give up my favorite such office in Guilford: Grand Juror. The State abolished it. The year the selectboard needed someone to run for one of the 2 GJ posts, I wondered what it entailed, so I asked Mert Garland, who held the other slot, and had done so for years: “What are the duties of Grand Juror?” “Well,” replied Mert, “we could be called up to sit on a Grand Jury.” “Have you been called up for that?” “Not yet.”
How about, instead of Weigher of Coal, Ray-er of Sunshine. That would emphasize the importance of solar energy, and generate smiles when the office was filled.
And the one about Shingles might be good to retain, just as a reminder to folks to get vaccinated.
Inspector of Vaccination Cards
Sorry to hear about the Grand Jurying…
Notice that I don’t advocate getting rid of Fence Viewing. That one still gets used and I did it many a time while serving.
I do think some sort of solar-related position would be a good replacement, even if just for PR purposes. Coming up with some new, quaint positions for future boards to abolish could become quite a fun sport.