Brattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – David Schoales

David Schoales
David Schoales is an incumbent running again for a three year seat on the selectboard.

Tell everyone a bit about yourself… who are you?

Do you have any special powers or skills to offer?

Why are you running for selectboard? Anything special you’d like to accomplish?

In general, how do you think about a problem that needs solving? What’s your process for figuring something out?

Tell us about Brattleboro in terms of it being:

– sustainable…

– equitable…

– diverse…

– affordable…

Despite a lot of good work on the issue, opioids are still a major issue for the community. Thoughts? What else can we do?

How do you think Brattleboro should handle the sale of legal marijuana in the coming year(s)?

What should Brattleboro do regarding the implementation of 5G networks?

What are your thoughts on municipal broadband now that some options have been presented?

There are a lot of expensive repairs and purchases planned for Brattleboro’s future, and taxes continue to rise. Do you see a breaking point for the taxpayers? Is there any program or service that should be cut or privatized?

Should Brattleboro return to an Open Town Meeting where anyone can attend? Why or why not?

Do you have any second thoughts about how you/the board handled the climate emergency request? Is Brattleboro really doing all that it can do? (Bonus: – Why is there still a Weigher of Coal?)

What’s the best meal you ever had?

Are there any questions you’d like to answer that we haven’t asked you?

I moved to Brattleboro in the summer of 1970 to attend Antioch-Putney Graduate School and immediately became involved the community, working at Putney Day Care.  I volunteered at the Brattleboro Health Center, help create and became the first leaseholder of the Earth Bridge Community Land Trust, and helped two of my Antioch classmates in creating the Common Ground Restaurant.  I also volunteered to go on the truck to Amherst to load and deliver the first bulk food orders for the newly-created Brattleboro Food Coop.  I worked for SEVCA as a crew leader training high school dropouts in building skills, and tutored the same young men and women in a GED program through Manpower.
I have maintained a high level of activism.  In the 70’s it was around support for Vietnam Veterans and the labor movement.  In the 80’s I began working in the public schools, mostly in alternative education and applied learning curriculum.  I served in a number of union offices and on the board of VT-NEA.  Since leaving the education field, I worked at Thompson House helping with activities for the residents, managed the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market for three years, and started a woodworking business.
With a young child in school, I was recruited to run for school board, where I have served continuously for more than ten years.  I was quickly recruited to join the Farm-to-School Committee, and convinced the board to support the work of the committee and the introduction of the “Veggie of the Week” program.  I joined Mark Truhan and Peter Yost to create an Energy Committee and promoted numerous energy-saving projects, including the first municipal net metering contract between a solar array developer and a school district, and replacing oil heating systems with pellet boilers in two of our three school buildings.
Six years ago, I saw that key retirements were going to mean a change of direction for the selectboard, so I ran against four other candidates and was elected.  After a few years running every year for a one-year seat, I was convinced to run for a three-year seat, which I currently hold.
I am running for another 3 year term so I can keep working at making our community a better place to live.  For the last six years as a selectboard member I have been promoting energy conservation, small-business loans, diverse workforce development, sound fiscal management, strong public and human services, and responsive governance.  I have been a leader in all these areas.
I have worked with the Energy Committee, the Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Small Business Loan Committee, the Diverse Workforce Development Committee, Compassionate Brattleboro, and the Waste Management District to improve the efforts, resources and sustained commitment to these goals.  I pushed for three years to fund the energy audits that enabled the Town to lower our energy consumption.  I strongly supported Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for Town employees and the board, and led the effort that resulted in the creation of a Town Sustainability Director.  I have a solid record of achieving progress in all these areas.
I believe Brattleboro’s biggest challenge is creating opportunities for the young people growing up here or hoping to move here.  We need to remove the obstacles to affordable housing development.  We need to coordinate efforts of businesses and assets like the Career Center and CCV and VTC to expand career development opportunities for young low-income residents.  We need a high quality municipal  fiber optic telecommunications network to improve health and mental health and education services for our community.  It will also attract modern businesses and young people looking to work from home.  We need to push the State out of the way of managing our own affairs.  We have smart, hardworking people in our town.  We have strong Town staff and leadership.  We need to focus and expand our efforts on affordable housing and telecommunications and get people and organizations working together to realize our potential.
That’s why I want to keep working on the selectboard.  I ask you to support these efforts with your vote.
Thank you.

Comments | 4

  • 5G question, please answer David Schoales

    What should Brattleboro do regarding the implementation of 5G networks?

  • 5G

    Brattleboro should not move ahead with 5G until definitive research (currently underway) has shown it to be safe. I have been pushing the selectboard for months to aggressively explore creating a fiber optic network to every home and business in town. The ultra high resolution available would enable families to visit the doctor through their trusted school nurses office, and allow residents without transportation to get quality medical attention remotely. It would enable isolated youth and adults to consult therapists remotely. It would make it possible to have school open remotely on snow days and when flu is rampant. It would attract young people and businesses to our area and encourage our youth to stay here. And it would allow all our businesses and residents to have true broadband service without having to go through the divisive political fight that has already begun around 5G.
    Comcast or Verizon or the other big providers will never give our whole region real broadband service. They will try 5G in the densely populated areas whether it is dangerous or not, and leave the rest of us with sub-standard service.

  • a Big THANK YOU

    You have my vote! It’s a good feeling to know you have worked on this topic. Yes fiber optic is the way.

    • A survey will be coming soon to assess the need and sup

      A survey will be coming soon to assess the need and support for a fiber network. Be sure to complete it.
      Judy Zemel is organizing a group to pressure the legislature to slow 5G development until conclusive research has been completed. You may want to contact her.

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