Once More for Oscar Heller

The Brattleboro Selectboard made important decisions over the last year

–Proposing to Representative Town Meeting an increase in staff salaries by 13.1%, which will result in salaries and benefits constituting 61.2% of the Town budget, up from 58.3%

–Replacing emergency medical services (EMS) previously provided by Resue (and in the last two years by Golden Cross) with EMS services embedded in the Brattleboro Fire Department, all despite sustained public opposition

Maya Hasegawa: Oscar Heller for Selectboard

I received this letter and permission to post it from Maya Hasegawa. I worked with Maya on the Finance Committee, and her name is well known to anyone involved in town politics. In addition to town meeting, she currently serves on the Charter Revision Commission, the Design Review Committee, and the Development Review Board – three serious commitments. I’m grateful for her support, and hope you’ll consider voting for me on March 5th.

Her letter follows. Thank you again, Maya!


One hears a great deal of talk these days about aging Vermont and how important it is for our future to attract and keep younger people. Brattleboro is fortunate to have such a person running for Selectboard.

After Watching the BCTV Candidates’ Forum, I Am Leaning Toward Oscar Heller

My initial visceral feeling was to dislike Heller, and like Case better. Case seemed more people-oriented. Although Heller said he listens to other people, his focus seems to be on spread-sheets, and I felt his outlook is reductionistic. I figured he probably does listen to other people, but what he probably listens to is their dollar-and-cents, reductionistic, insights.

But then came the question of safe injection sites, Case dismissed that immediately on the grounds that safe-injection sites would create more of an ambiance of Brattleboro as an addiction town. It appeared that his rejection of that idea was based on an emotional, shoot-from-the-hip reaction, apparently made with a complete lack of knowledge and information.

The Most Qualified Person Running for Selectboard This Year

Talk about laboring in obscurity!

Last week, I found myself discussing a $3.4 million gift that Brattleboro had received. When should we spend it? What should we spend it on? And who should decide?

That’s when we got hung up for a good 20 minutes on the finer points of jurisdiction within Town government. Also the finer points of pickleball.

Oscar Heller for Selectboard

I have served on the Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee with Oscar Heller for three years, during one of which he served as chair, and I can enthusiastically recommend his candidacy for a three-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Heller is a flatlander who came to Vermont as a camper and then counselor at Camp W in West Brattleboro. Those summer experiences made him commit to Brattleboro as a place where he wanted to make his life and his work (which is in web design and marketing).

Brattleboro’s budget provides for the services residents receive, is the foundation for addressing problems facing the community, and determines the taxes we pay. Because of Heller’s dedicated work on the Finance Committee, Oscar has deep knowledge of the budget, and he can work the numbers.

Support for Candidates Oscar Heller and David Schoales

There is an old saying about how, when asked to explain what one means by what one says nine out of ten people will become angry or silent. The one who does not become offended or feel attacked but rather is stimulated and eager for an opportunity to engage and learn would be a person like Oscar Heller, candidate for a one-year Selectboard seat.

The desire and ability to listen and learn is also a strong indicator of self-confidence and thoughtfulness, both of which are very apparent in Mr. Heller. He will bring a particularly strong understanding and voice concerning the most unabated, vexing and critical issue of our time: climate change and all its inseparable aspects.

Selectboard Candidate Interview – Oscar Heller

Oscar Heller

Another in our series of 2019 selectboard candidate interviews, this time with Oscar Heller who is running for a one-year seat.

Give us a brief biography – who are you? What do you do?

Hi! I’m Oscar.

I was born in New York, but when I was 14 my parents picked a summer camp at random off the internet. That camp was Camp Waubanong in Brattleboro. I spent most of the next dozen summers in Vermont. In 2014 I moved here for good. I live on Elliot Street, just before the park, with my girlfriend Jessie and our two cats.

The Potential of Limited Self-Government

I and many others in Brattleboro support the Vermont League of Cities and Towns in their proposal to try a pilot program of limited self-government for towns in Vermont. One of the issue articles on my website is about this issue. But the number one question I’ve gotten during my candidacy is summed up by this eloquent iBrattleboro comment by Steven-K Brooks:

“Oscar, you have done well explaining the problem. But about the solution, you have only said that Brattleboro needs more freedom to find other sources of revenue. A real solution must be more than an abstract principle: There must be a practical idea that we can develop. I think that the missing piece of the puzzle in your discussion is that you have not mentioned even one alternative way that Brattleboro could raise revenue. I think it is important for you to offer sound and practical ways that — if unimpeded by restrictions on home rule — Brattleboro could raise needed revenue.”

Why I’m Running for Selectboard


My name is Oscar Heller, and I’m running for a 1-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

I’m a small business owner and the chair of the Brattleboro Energy Committee. I’ve been coming to Brattleboro for 17 years, and I’ve lived here since 2014. I’m thirty years old, and I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Selectboard as a young business owner. My two primary areas of focus are bringing a modern, green economy to Brattleboro, and working to address homelessness and drug addiction in our community.