Richard “Dick” DeGray is running for a three year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.
Introduce yourself – who are you and why are you running?
My name on the ballot will be Richard Dick DeGray. Many of you know me as the Flower Guy, something I take great pride in doing for our community. I have been active for over thirty years in our community. RTM rep, former BUHS board member and most importantly former eight-year select board member. Several of those years serving as vice chair and chair. I am running for a couple of reasons: first, no one challenged any of the incumbents in last year’s election. I don’t think that is healthy for the town. The other is the way Rescue/ BFF was handled, along with safety issues in our town.
What unique perspectives do you bring to the board?
I bring a wealth of experience from my previous service on the board. I also bring a unique perspective as my wife Missy Galanes owns the Vermont Shop. Along with helping her and doing the flowers, I spend a tremendous amount of time downtown talking to people. My day starts at 3 a.m. so I see activity on our streets that most don’t. I have a perspective of our downtown that no other board member has.
Do you have anything in particular you’d like to accomplish in the coming year on the board? What is motivating you to offer your services this year?
I believe that you have to make sure your department heads have the tools they need to provide the services they are providing for residents and visitors alike. I also again believe my prior service on the board will allow me to help the town along. Giving voters a choice. If the voters feel that Liz is doing the job, so be it, and vote for her. I feel very confident in my ability, so I do hope that people vote for me .
What’s your favorite part of living in Brattleboro? What do we do well?
We are a very caring and giving community , I am very proud of that fact.
What’s our greatest weakness in Brattleboro? What needs attention?
We need to do a better job in creating a more attractive climate to businesses wanting to move here . Creating job opportunities is always a goal for me.The arts are a large part of our community, I would like to see a incubator space solely for the arts.
What can Brattleboro voters expect of you on the following issues:
-Brattleboro ambulance services – which option do you prefer?
I believe BFD , Rescue and Golden Cross are all providing quality care. Cost must be in the conversation along with mutual aid service. If Rescue is not the choice, or part of the choice , we need to do everything in our power to have them as our mutual aid partners. Having someone needing medical assistance wait for mutual aid from Keene is unacceptable and unsafe for our community.
-Living Memorial Park upgrades
I do support the Memorial Park upgrades; I am hopeful that there may be some grant funding out there.
I will be looking to our climate coordinator to lead us into the future.
-Housing & Gentrification
The housing market scene Covid is off the charts, with limited supply and interest rates high leaves affordable housing is not affordable. I have said that the Town may have several lots that are buildable. I think that we should sell these lots for a dollar, to give local contractors a opportunity to build affordable housing. We should assist with permitting cost. We can also tweak our tax stabilization agreement to include housing. In return we would be able to have lower rental cost.
Taxes, inflation is up around 7% the budget increase is at 3.9 that is unacceptable, a new position was added that I don’t believe was warranted . A communication director. The Tritton report said we are under staffed at the fire department. What is the priority?
If you could make an immediate change (free of charge!) to Brattleboro, what would it be?
I would love to have Main Street pedestrian only
Read any good books lately? What can you recommend?
Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman
Is there any thing you’d like to discuss that we didn’t ask you about?
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