Lawrin Crispe – iBrattleboro 2013 Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Moderator Interview

This year, two candidates are hoping to get your vote to become Moderator of Representative Town Meeting. 

Lawrin Crispe is one of those candidates, and his interview follows.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I grew up in Newfane and moved to Brattleboro 40 years ago after attending law school. I practiced law with my father and more recently with my son. I remain actively involved as a lawyer serving Brattleboro and Windham County. In 2012, I was elected by Town Meeting Representatives to serve as Pro Tem Moderator. I have served as a Town Meeting member for more than 20 years, including several years as chairperson of the Town Finance Committee. Many years ago I served as Assistant Secretary of the Vermont Senate where my duties included advising members on procedural and parliamentary issues. I have served on a variety of public and private boards and committees including in the capacity as chairperson.

Why are you running for Representative Town Meeting Moderator? What would you bring to the position?

As a resident of the community, I welcome an opportunity to contribute in a way in which I believe I am qualified. As a long time Town Meeting member I have had an opportunity to observe the process for many years, and am familiar with the procedural and parliamentary issues which the moderator must be able to address. 

What sort of previous experience have you had with large meetings?

In my capacity as a lawyer I have had many occasions to address and conduct public and private meetings, seminars, and conferences. 

Has the Representative Town Meeting system (opposed to a regular Town Meeting) been a successful experiment in your view? Why or why not?

Although I grew up attending the Newfane Town meeting where all citizens were afforded an equal opportunity to be heard on issues of public interest, I nevertheless believe the Brattleboro representative system works and provides the community with a democratic voice and competent governance. Town Meeting representatives in Brattleboro seem to have a higher standard of preparation than in towns where town meeting is open to the general population. The commitment to attend informational sessions leads to greater knowledge which hopefully leads to better decisions.

What do you enjoy about Representative Town Meeting? 

I personally enjoy the opportunity to remain informed and involved and to listen to the pulse of our town. Although my law office keeps me busy, I believe it is important to engage in the democratic process and interact with the community on issues of public concern. 

Is there anything you’d like to try to change about the day?

Overall I am happy with the day. We could, however, use more comfortable chairs!

Former Moderator Tim O’Connor is leaving some big shoes to fill. Are you up to date with the new Brattleboro Charter? Is your Roberts Rules of Order dusted off and ready to go?

Mr. O’Connor sets the bar very high for the next moderator. Although I am familiar with the parliamentary process including Roberts Rules of Order and the Brattleboro Charter, Mr. O’Conner has, for the last twenty plus years, set a tone of authority, respect and impartiality which will be difficult to match.

Is there anything else you’d like to answer that we haven’t asked?

Only to thank you for providing this informational opportunity. 

Thanks for taking time with iBrattleboro!

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