There will be an emergency discussion of a Muffin Monster at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. They’ll also discuss a new Cow Power agreement, water treatment facility funding and security, and hear an update about Brattleboro’s Boys and Girls Club operations during COVID.
The board will wrap up their meeting with a renaming of a portion of Elm Street in honor of Stanley Lynde, the well-know motorcycle shop owner. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
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.
NOTICE is hereby given that the Brattleboro Town Auditor’s Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, is available and posted on the Town’s website (www.brattleboro.org). It is available upon request by contacting the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s Office, 230 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301, or calling (802) 251-8157. It is also available by utilizing the curbside service at the Brooks Memorial Library. Please call (802) 254-5290 for information on this service.
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.
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.
The Town of Brattleboro is looking for citizens to serve on the following committees and boards:
Agricultural Advisory Board
ADA Advisory Board
Visit the Winter Farmers’ Market Online Shop at https://openfoodnetwork.net/brattleboro-winter-farmers-market/shop#/shop today!
Orders can be placed from 9AM Monday morning through 9 AM Thursday morning for a Saturday Curbside Pick up from the Market, every Saturday through March at the C.F. Church Building, 80 Flat St. Downtown Brattleboro.
SNAP/EBT customers can turn $10 into $40 each week through January with market match coupons thanks to grants from NOFA-VT, C&S Wholesale Grocers, New England Grassroots Fund, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, and individual gifts from caring community members.
The recent situation with COVID has resulted in some hard truths for the Brattleboro VFW. Clubs have taken a beating financially, along with a lot of other businesses.
We have had to cancel all our functions since March. No dinner/dances, birthday parties, wedding receptions, regular bingos, cancer or Brattleboro Firefighter’s fundraising bingos, banquets, holiday parties, etc. etc.
We had to shut down completely for three months starting in March, but still the bills came in. Some grants from the government helped pay some, but not all of those bills.
Shall the voters of Brattleboro be allowed to vote to opt-in to retail sales of cannabis? The Brattleboro Selectboard will decide it the question will be asked on March 2 ballots at their next special meeting.
They’ll also accept a planning grant and continue with their review of the FY22 budget, which is a great time for Representative Town Meeting Reps to pay attention and report back to all of us about what the budget will contain.
As you may know, the Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market is currently 100% online pre-orders for Curbside Pick up. To effectively manage the volume of orders and items that our market producers need to make, bake, pick, pack and label for your Saturday Pick up, and so our Curbside Team can better serve you at pick up time, we are making a few changes:
1. Market orders will close at 9 AM on Thursday starting this week. This will be especially helpful as we have two Friday holidays in a row coming up! So shop early!
The Brattleboro Community Safety Review Committee will meet on Monday, December 7, 2020, at 6:00pm 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.”
Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard featured discussions of rental housing, downtown, marketing, tax exemptions, and a new Amtrak station. And the meeting, again, was very long.
It’s back. The annual tradition has not yet ended, though the most recent computers and browsers might have trouble as Flash really is coming to an end. That makes this a special gift for people who don’t upgrade!
The iBrattleboro Christmas Calendar is a daily animated look at downtown Brattleboro, with new bits of local history thrown in every day. Follow along as the scene builds up, and keep a special eye out on the 24th.
WHAT IS NEW TODAY
• Town field services continue transitioning back to the way in which they operated during last spring’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” period. For now, the way in which the public receives those services still is relatively normal, but the work is being done in accordance with many special procedures required by the State of Vermont and recommended by public health officials. As we move into even more restrictive practices for the protection of employees and the public, we will identify those changes in future “COVID-19 Response Status” updates.
• The Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department encourages everyone to transform your front yard, apartment, or house into a bright and decorative celebration of winter! We all need a little light in our lives, so get ready to challenge your neighborhood, your friends, and your family to help us “Light Up Brattleboro.” Join us as we come together to show our festiveness and help bring joy and light into the lives of others. Here’s how you can participate:
Goodbye, Archery Building. At their next meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard will be voting to tear down the old train yard building to make room for paved parking spaces.
They will also hear another first reading of the proposed Rental Housing ordinance, hear updates on community marketing and the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, consider tax exemptions for five properties, and continue with their review of the FY22 budget. If you are so inclined, you can add to the agenda by bringing up other items during public participation.
The Brattleboro Women’s Chorus will perform their 25th annual fall “singalong concert” via Zoom this Sunday, November 22 at 4 pm.
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, the chorus will be singing songs about rivers, welcoming the ancestors & healing, led by Director Becky Graber. Some of the songs are very easy to join along with, and Becky will teach a song or two to all. Singers will be muted, though we will hear harmonized vocal tracks, so feel free to sing along in the comfort of your homes, if you wish.
• In compliance with Governor Scott’s instructions on November 13 for offices throughout Vermont to “reinstitute, to the maximum extent possible, … telecommuting or work from home procedures,” Town office operations have transitioned this week back to the way in which we operated during the “Stay Home Stay Safe” period in March and April of 2020. Office employees are working from home most of the time. Some employees are coming into their offices occasionally when it is necessary to accomplish a particular task or to provide a needed service to a member of the public. Since Town employees and the public we serve all have learned to transact most of our business electronically or by phone, we have found that the vast majority of our Town office work can be performed at our homes.
• Town field services also are transitioning back to the way in which they operated during last spring’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” period. For now, the way in which the public receives those services is relatively normal, but the work is being done in accordance with many special procedures required by the State of Vermont and recommended by public health officials. As we move into even more restrictive practices for the protection of employees and the public, we will identify those changes in future “COVID-19 Response Status” updates.
Brattleboro Selectboard meetings have become very long. Too long, really.
It isn’t the number of items on the agenda. Even a short agenda can lead to a very long meeting.
Holding the meetings online might be part of the problem.
First, it adds time to each meeting to explain how to participate. It adds time to invite people to speak and wait for them to work out technical issues. Almost every virtual meeting has delays due to the meeting being virtual. Sometimes they are short delays, but they add up.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, using Zoom (with no physical location due to the ongoing social distancing requirements of COVID-19). The Board will convene at 5:15pm and is expected to enter into executive session to discuss the negotiating or securing of real estate purchase or lease options and the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee, and to enter into deliberative session to deliberate on the Hinsdale Bridge takings and eminent domain matter involving the lands of Tullius on Left Bank Way. The Board will reconvene at 6:15pm for the business portion of the meeting. The attached agenda contains information about how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.” Information about how to connect to the meeting is also posted on the homepage of the Town’s website. ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.
Proposed facility will feature track changes and the first level boarding platform in Vermont
BRATTLEBORO, VT – Amtrak today announced it is in discussions with the Town of Brattleboro, NECR Railroad and the State of Vermont on its proposal for a new, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant Brattleboro Station, including a new station building, platform and track changes. The new station will feature the first level boarding platform in Vermont. Measuring approximately 48 inches above track, the proposed platform will allow customers to move on or off a train without having to step up or down. Additional ADA-compliant amenities include parking, ramps and steps up to the platform level, lights, signage, a new waiting room with an attached restroom and covered outdoor seating.
“Vermont’s weather presents challenges to travelers all year round. Amtrak’s investment in an ADA accessible platform and station will ensure that all rail passengers in Brattleboro will have a safe, warm, welcoming place to wait for and board the train. In our rural state, passenger rail represents a vital link for Vermonters and tourists alike. This new station in one of the gateways to Vermont will be a worthy addition to our transportation system,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.