Brattleboro voters are encouraged to watch the Brattleboro Selectboard Candidates Forum on Tuesday, February 23 from 6-8 PM to learn about this year’s slate of candidates. The event is being presented by iBrattleboro.com and BCTV and will be live streamed to Comcast channel 1085 and BCTV’s Facebook page.
It’s a virtual forum this year, held via Zoom.
Each candidate will be given 3 minutes to introduce themselves and tell the public why they are running. This will be followed by a round of questions about recent board decisions, possible decisions to be made in the coming year, and other local issues. If all goes well, there will be time for a quick round of closing remarks as well.
Christopher Grotke of iBrattleboro.com will be the moderator.
All candidates for one and three year seats have been sent invitations to participate.
Members of the public may submit questions for consideration in advance. Email: info@iBrattleboro.com with the subject “Forum Question” or suggest them in the comments below.
If you have any questions about the forum, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ll be able to find the event link on BCTV’s page on the 23rd:
and here on YouTube:
and we’ll try to embed it here on this site during the event for you to watch.
THANK YOU iBrattleboro!
Thank you Chris and BCTV for stepping up and making this happen! This is a very important election in many ways.
One week from today
Reminder to both put this on your calendar and contribute question topics if you’d like…
The Question: “How will you make space for different points of view during public discussions?”
The Back Story: The framing of this question came about after an email exchange with the author of the article, Keep Seeking Dissent, in a recent issue of the Commons (http://www.commonsnews.org/site/sitenext/story.php?articleno=33585), particularly the excerpt:
In southern Vermont, examples of subaltern counterpublics are groups like the Root Social Justice Center, 350Vermont, or the Tenants Union of Brattleboro, she said, and examples of the official public sphere would be a Selectboard or School Board.
To be proactive in the public sphere, people must first know what they want to ask, Mott said.
“What I’ve been hearing about some of the [Brattleboro] Selectboard meetings is people are confused, whether it’s a counterpublic or a public,” she said. “Selectboard meetings really should be a public sphere.”
I’ll try to work this in…
Also... my two cents on spheres
As a watcher of selectboard meetings, I haven’t noticed this confusion about it being a public sphere. People who wanted something got together and presented their suggestions to the board. This year it was “subaltern counter public” organizations mobilizing to get some rent limits and a focus on community safety. In the past there have been skateboarders hoping for a skatepark, softball players wanting playing fields, arts groups hoping for arts funding, businesses organizations asking for donations, and downtown organizations asking for promotional funds. And so on.
Maybe the weirdness of zoom is the confusion. There is something going on that doesn’t go on in a public meeting – the audience has much more ability to communicate with one another during a meeting now. And more people have the ability to attend and participate. The rent and safety efforts were well organized, I thought, and effective.
I think people are being proactive and are being very specific with their asking.
I"ll see your two cents, and raise you two cents
My initial comment after reading the article was:
I thought a question might be buried in the following quote [frm the Commons article] to be posed to Brattleboro Selectboard candidates on Feb 23, but I am wondering if it can be parsed out any further?
Is it that “interest groups” [my old term for “subaltern counterpublics,” perhaps] have hijacked the Selectboard? Or, is it merely a 3-2 split in the composition of Board that favors those interest groups and if the split were in the opposite direction the Board would favor a different set of “interest groups,” i.e., “superaltern counterpublics” [Chambers of Commerce, corporate entities, business or landlord associations, etc.]?
I do feel that there is something very important here but perhaps I am just too stuck in divisiveness. How can this be elucidated?
I see that 2 cents...
I think you’ll be pleased with the questions tomorrow. This is a tough issue any year for any board – who do you listen to? How do you make decisions?
You are right that some of the bigger changes this year came about through split decisions, and also that this 3-2 balance could easily swing in a different direction depending on how this election turns out. The “2” have solid seats, and the “3” are all open.
Again, as a selectboard watcher, I haven’t seen any special interest hijacking. I have seen a lot of passion, around difficult issues in the last year. I think the 3-2 votes were probably representative of the town as a whole. From a write-it-all-up perspective, I appreciated the fresh faces and new voices. : )
I also COVID has presented some political opportunities for trying new things – safety, rent, sidewalk space for restaurants, and so on.