The Brattleboro Selectboard is likely to add a Charter Amendment to the Town Meeting Warning that would eliminate the need for future Charter changes to approved by the state legislature.
The board will hear an update on the Water Treatment facility project, continue finalizing their FY22 budget for RTM consideration, and will continue their discussion of the Community Safety Review Committee’s recommendations. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.
The Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee will meet on Monday January, 18, 2021 at 4:00pm using Zoom (with no physical location due to the ongoing social distancing requirements of COVID-19). The attached agenda contains information about how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”
BRATTLEBORO—Foodworks, the food shelf program of Groundworks Collaborative located at 141 Canal Street, has shifted operations back to pre-COVID hours of operation. The program is open to anyone with any level of need in the greater Brattleboro area.
People wishing to pick up a free two-week supply of groceries can drive or walk up to Foodworks’ location and choose from items on a grocery list; at which point a volunteer will pack the order and bring it out to the vehicle.
I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – David Schoales, Board Chair
II. RECOGNITION OF VISITORS
III. CONSENT AGENDA
• CLERK’S REPORT – Approval of Minutes – January 5, 2021
I. CALL TO ORDER – 1:00 p.m. – Thomas Nolan
II. Approval of Minutes – January 12, 2021
III. Final review of training vendor selection.
As I continue to ponder Representative Town Meeting system used by Brattleboro, I find myself coming to the same conclusion: it either needs to be reformed, or it needs to go.
The biggest problem is representation. While voters can elect “representatives” to participate in Representative Town Meeting, there is almost no representation going on. Unlike selectboard candidates, reps rarely state to voters what they stand for. Reps rarely hold district meetings to discuss issues. Voting records of reps aren’t tallied or made public. And almost all the information reps take to Representative Town Meeting is given to them by town officials, not constituents.
Voters, despite picking names on district ballots, often don’t know who represents them, how to reach them, or how those reps have voted. Writing in names of people better known to a voter has been eliminated, unless that person is deemed “official” through registering as a candidate. Sometimes reps get slots through the caucus process, under the radar of most district voters.
There is almost no accountability in this system.
Town Meeting Day and Windham Southeast School District elections are coming up on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Due to the pandemic, the Municipal Center is closed to the public and there will be no in-person early voting in Brattleboro for this election. All voters are encouraged to visit their My Voter Page (https://mvp.vermont.gov) to update your registration address, including their physical AND mailing address, and request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. If you encounter problems logging into your My Voter Page, please contact your Town Clerk. In Brattleboro, that number is 251-8157.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved of a few items for their FY22 budget recommendations, raising the amount for paving and agreeing to the increases for BCTV and Human Services. They also continued their discussion of the community safety report, and will continue to continue that discussion next week and in the future.
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all Brattleboro Town Offices will be closed on Monday, January 18, 2021, with the exception of emergency services.
Parking is free at all metered spaces and in the pay-and-display lots on Monday, January 18. All other violations will be enforced.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION AT THE BOTTOM OF THE MENU
Jan. 11 Chop Suey
BCTV Channel 8 / 1075 schedule for the week of 1/11/21
Monday, January 11, 2021
5:00 am Around The House – Plumbing Maintenance
6:00 am Brattleboro Music Center presents – The EOS Project Concert 11/8/2020
7:15 am Brattleboro Literary Festival – The End of the Earth with Julia Carrick Dalton and Andrew Krivak
8:00 am Democracy Now! – Democracy Now! Daily Broadcast
9:00 am Brattleboro Literary Festival – Poets in Conversation – Poetry and Social Justice
When Ben Franklin exited the room where the future of the United States was being decided, he was asked what kind of government we would have. He answered “a Republic, if you can keep it.” More than 200 years later, Just days ago, we witnessed a challenge to that democratic Republic. Fascists, at the direction of Donald Trump, attempted to subvert our Republic by legislative process and by violence in the streets and in the halls of Congress. That coup was defeated.
In the aftermath, our Vermont Governor, Republican Phil Scott, denounced the coup, defended democracy, and called for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the office of Presidency. So too did our Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and our Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. In the VT General Assembly, a tri-partisan resolution overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate (supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Progressives) demanding Trump to be removed from office. Further, Vermont’s Attorney General, TJ Donovan, demanded the immediate termination of a VT State Trooper who publicly voiced support for the coup. As President of the 10,000 member Vermont AFL-CIO I also denounced the failed rightwing insurrection (and our State Labor Council again confirmed our commitment to a General Strike in the event that a transfer of power does not take place on January 20th). And unlike in Washington DC and various State Capitals around the nation, demonstrations of support for the coup have been near nonexistent in the Green Mountains. In brief, Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation or political differences, remain united in our support for democracy. I am proud to call these Green Hills my home.