Executive Director Josh Davis and the Groundworks Collaborative Board of Directors are pleased to announce that former Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell has joined the Groundworks staff as Interim Deputy Executive Director. Elwell’s appointment is timely as he will assist Davis and the Groundworks team as they continue to navigate a period of significant transition coming out of the pandemic. Additionally, Davis will be taking intermittent leave over the next few months to support his family through a significant health issue.
“Personally, it’s clear that I need to take some time to support my family; and we are grateful to have Peter stepping into active Groundworks staff work during this critically important time for the organization,” said Davis, who noted the substantive upcoming changes to the emergency motel program converging with Groundworks’ continued innovation to address basic needs in the community.
It is sometimes helpful to look at information in a timeline format. Thanks to everyone who assisted in piecing this together this list of Brattleboro Fire, Rescue, and EMS items from the past year or so.**
Please note any additions or corrections you feel would clarify in the comments if you’d like. This is an in-progress project and will likely be updated. I’ll note any edits to the main timeline list in the comments.
March 22 – Elizabeth McLoughlin becomes Chair of the Selectboard.
The Brattleboro Selectboard heard details of the Windham Regional Commission’s past year work as well as an overview of Brattleboro’s new Housing Action Plan, which tells us that Brattleboro is in a housing crisis. 500 units or more are needed immediately just to catch up with current needs. More if Brattleboro want to grow.
Peter Elwell and Steve Barrett were both commended for their years of municipal public service, the Brewer’s Fest got their annual permit, and liquor on town property rules are being tweaked.
The long-anticipated housing plan will be presented to the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next regular meeting. This comes after Steve Barrett and Peter Elwell receive special ceremonial recognition from the board and the State of Vermont.
They’ll also hear a discuss work at the Windham Regional Commission, appoint some committee members, approve the brewer’s festival permits for an alcoholic beverage celebration, and start the process of prohibiting alcoholic beverages on Town property. You can discuss how we aren’t conflicted, or bring up other items not on the agenda, during public participation.
It’s the final regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard for 2021, (if any meeting this year could be called “regular.”)
The board reconsidered the mask mandate, reviewed FY’23 matters, looked at annual audit results, considered financial reports, and bought some trucks and equipment repairs. More interesting to me, though, was that this was the last “regular” meeting for outgoing Town Manager Peter Elwell. That’s kind of where my thoughts are tonight, more than on budgets and such.
And, for that reason, I don’t plan to transcribe everything word for word tonight. Instead some thoughts…and a bit of the meeting.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a special meeting to announce the hiring of a new Town Manager, to fill the slot vacated by retiring Peter Elwell. They announced the hiring of Octavian ‘Yoshi’ Manale as the next Brattleboro Town Manager and approved the contract to hire him. He hails from NJ, and begins in the new year.
It was the first April meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, the first meeting with Elizabeth McLoughlin as Chair, the first time Congressman Peter Welch has told Brattleboro about $3.3 million on the way, and the first time we learn of Town Manager Peter Elwell’s planned retirement at the end of the year.
Much discussion, though, was about goals for the coming year.
I’m attaching two PDF files here that are part of the upcoming Brattleboro Selectboard meeting.
The first is Town Manager Peter Elwell’s memo to the board regarding implementing the community safety recommendations. He gives some background information, acknowledges harm and a commitment to reckoning and collaboration, has some notes about the pace and timeframe of changes, accountability, and a bit about the way they annotated the recommendations.
The second is the list of the recommendations, now annotated by the Town with remarks. Of the 41 recommendations, 30 are marked with a “Yes” indicating that the Town can take unilateral action to accomplish the goal. Those marked “No” aren’t out of the question, but they are out of the Town’s direct control. State or federal changes would be required.
Town Manager Peter Elwell has announced the appointment of Andre Jaeger to be the Town’s new Finance Director. Jaeger’s first day with the Town will be on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Jaeger comes to the Town of Brattleboro from Keene State College, where he was the Budget Director. That position was eliminated on May 1, 2020, as part of the college’s reducing and restructuring its administration and support staff. Prior to working at the college, Jaeger had 3 years of experience as a tax associate with the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse Coopers and 16 years of audit and financial management experience with private companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including 6 years at the headquarters of C+S Wholesale Grocers in Keene. He earned a BA in Economics and Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and is a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts. He also is a Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and Certified Fraud Examiner.
Will Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell get a five year contract extension? Most likely, at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
A hearing on modified parking, some VCDP grants, and the scheduling of informational meetings for Representative Town Meeting representatives will occur. There is also one item on the agenda purely for the sake of not having it on the agenda any longer. You can, as always, bring up other matters not on the agenda during public participation.