The Brattleboro Selectboard has a full agenda for their next meeting, having postponed a number of matters from their previous meeting. Financing of the fire truck purchase, improvements to the new police station and Union Station, and reviewing Solid Waste and Parking budgets are among the topics.
Brattleboro’s Town Plan gets a second public hearing and possible adoption if no one objects. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard scheduled too many weighty issues for their Tuesday meeting at the Municipal Center. As the meeting went on, agenda items were jettisoned in repeated attempts to keep the length of the meeting somewhat reasonable.
Those issues that were discussed were discussed in detail. The board learned about the Utilities Fund budget and possible rate changes in coming years, discussed goals for the coming year, received a presentation on the results of a Downtown Parking Survey, and held a public hearing on the Town Plan revision. They attended to Department of Transportation paperwork, settled a lawsuit, changed the name of a street, applied for grants, and more.
Also, a mouse.
Brattleboro’s Police Department might be getting a carport. It’s one of the final recommendations of the Police-Fire Facilities Committee and will be up for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
The board will learn of improvements to the Union Station train station in the near future. They will discuss the FY19 Utilities Budget, initiate final designs for the waste process water line at Pleasant Valley, hold a public hearing on the revised Town Plan, learn about the downtown parking study, review the Solid Waste budget for FY19, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation, too.
The Brattleboro Parking Department would like to announce the lifting of the winter parking ban. Starting 04/15/18, at midnight, overnight parking will be allowed on all streets EXCEPT in the downtown area. The following streets are never available for overnight parking:
Elliot Street (from School St to Main St)
Brattleboro’s Town Manager revealed the results of his summer explorations of issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He got generally good reviews for the summary of his report, but more than a few requested some additional specifics be included. Brattleboro seems to be in a good position to make progress over the long term, but benchmarks and budgets might help.
The pesky panhandling sign returned in a semi-uncertain form, with wording in question and sponsoring organizations and services asking for their logos to be removed. The private effort was to be a collaboration, but appears to have offended a few too many.
The board also signed a statement in support of other climate agreements being signed around the globe. (For Kate O’Connor’s sake, I’ll say here that Brattleboro has been working on climate issues for a long time, is committed to action, and will continue to be so.)
All this, and possibly more.
A significant project to improve the Gibson Aiken and Harris Parking Lots is about to get underway. The scope of the project includes replacing all pavement, new sidewalks and curbing, improved drainage, and fresh paint. The public should expect these lots to be closed for public parking throughout the majority of the estimated four week project.
Why does Brattleboro have Representative Town Meeting? Why not a regular, open Town Meeting like the rest of Vermont? These questions led me on a search through old newspapers and town records to look at Brattleboro’s town meetings in the 1950’s to see if there was some obvious answer. It turns out, there was no single reason that led to the “representative form of government” in Brattleboro. There were many factors, personalities, and coincidences unique to Brattleboro that contributed to its adoption.
Arguments made in favor of representative town meeting were sometimes specific to Brattleboro, such as outgrowing the public meeting hall. Other times they were more lofty, arguing that representative government would be more fair and better able to deal with complex issues, while giving voters a greater say in how the town operates.