Brattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Kurt Daims

Kurt Daims is running for a one year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Tell everyone a bit about yourself… who are you?

I was born nearby and travelled widely. I worked for inventors, started my family and loved the ocean in San Francisco.  In 2002 I came to Brattleboro with my family.  I devoted myself to raising and home-schooling my daughters and to public service.  I hope to consolidate the power of the people in town government and help Brattleboro become town that acts as a member of the community of towns and cities  As director of the non-profit Brattleboro Common Sense I taks the credo “Think globally: act locally” for an aggressive, pragmatic grass-roots politics, which I  believe is needed to save an endangered world.

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

I feel compelled to serve on the selectboard because the board has taken no initiative on the climate crisis (unless you count the bike-rack).  This reluctance to act as in an emergency is a denial of the emergency.  I would like to help the town government and people get serious about the climate and about other emergencies.  I’ll bet we can all think of at least one.

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

I start by thinking about it frequently.  Then one morning I wake up thinking about it.  I generally jump out of bed with an idea.  My work in inventions shows the rest of the process: Think — make a theory — test the theory (by making a prototype), if it works fine, then you’re done and if not, modify the theory improve the prototype and repeat the process.

Tell us about Brattleboro in terms of it being:

– sustainable…  

– equitable…

Brattleboro is the same as other places in the U.S. in these respects.

– diverse…

To address diversity we should consider how many people of minorities even want to work for the town.  But to consider diversity in employment we would need a census of how many people of minorities are actually living here.  The U.S. Census does not have data separated by municipality.

– affordable…

Brattleboro may have a rent control problem.  It deserves research.

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

We should consider a shelter for active users, to get them into the system and get them care even before they are “clean”.  We should also realize over the long term, that the reason people become addicted may be that their world is messed up.  So, deep changes are needed to address the crisis.

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

If that is possible, legally, for Brattleboro to have its own system — its own jurisdiction, then we should let people handle it themselves.

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

Tim Maciel, who is a director of Brattleboro Common Sense (BCS), has reviewed the research and I follow his conclusion that there are no health risks.  BUT, since 5G some people fear it may be abused for unethical government surveillance, and because many people are concerned about the health questions and other reasons, we should delay 5G installations and investigate the issue, perhaps put it to a vote of the people.

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

Only because it is of particular value to young people I think it should be considered.  Another vote or survey should be taken.

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?

We must cut back expenses, for instance astroturf on the football field, and the new fire engine.  We need to build a climate crisis emergency fund.

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

Brattleboro Common Sense proposed monthly HEARINGS of the people to propose climate rescue measures that the selectboard should adopt as short-term emergency ordinances.  IS this what you meant? Perhaps you can clarify this question.  We have a town meeting that anyone can attend: Representative Town Meeting on the 21st at the Middle School.  If you mean VOTE, (cg. – Yes, I do mean vote…) not just attend, then I think we should keep the RTM and improve it.  It needs an educated membership.  At a recent forum it was shown that most people, including some candidates and members of the selectboard  hadn’t read the town charter.

Last year the board declined to declare a climate emergency. Do you agree that Brattleboro is doing enough already regarding climate change? If not, what else could be done?

We are certainly not doing enough, in my opinion.  Look around.  Does it look like there’s an emergency? BCS has taken surveys, and people do not feel that they are doing enough as individuals, nor that the town is doing enough.  Specifically, we must declare the emergency in the strongest terms, start testing rescue measures, and heal the political divide, which is actually a religious issue.  It arises from the climate activists’ scorn toward religious skeptics.

What’s the best meal you ever had?

Why do you ask? (cg. – I like food.) The best meal I ever had was fish tacos at a street-cart in Ensenada, Mexico.

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

A:  You might have asked about the Rte 119 bridge project.    Repair and maintain the bridge.  Use alternative traffic controls, and I think the railway station platform can be extended toward the south so that the trains do not have to block the road. Simple solutions may have been overlooked, and the project should be delayed.

Thanks for spending time with iBrattleboro.

Leave a Reply