Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda and Notes – December 13, 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 6:15pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center at 230 Main Street. The public may also participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.


Brattleboro Interim Town Manager Press Release on Recent Events

By now many of you have seen the news. The body of a young woman was found dead in a vehicle on Elliot Street. A search for a suspect ended later that same day with a man shot dead. Our community has been witness to a slowly unfolding tragedy. While we are all still stunned by what has happened, the Town of Brattleboro wants to acknowledge this heartbreaking moment on behalf of this community

As is standard protocol for these events, all of the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. Evidence, including body camera video, will be carefully reviewed as part of a thorough investigation being performed by the Vermont State Police. No further comments about the investigation are appropriate at this time. We place our trust in this independent process.


State Police Press Release(s) on West Brattleboro Shooting

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont (Wednesday, July 20, 2022) — The Vermont State Police is continuing its investigation early Wednesday morning into the fatal police shooting of the person of interest in the disappearance and death of a missing Massachusetts woman, 23-year-old Mary Anderson.

Following notification of next of kin, the state police is able to release the preliminary identification of the deceased man: Matthew Davis, 34, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His body will be transported to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of his death.

The fatal shooting occurred in a wooded area between Bonnyvale Road and South Street southwest of Western Avenue in West Brattleboro.


Brattleboro Police Department Budget

Tuesday’s Select Board meeting and an article in today’s Brattleboro Reformer brought to the surface a major issue with crime, especially in the downtown area. Various Select Board members chimed in both in the meeting and in the press. It rather hurt to see a friend of mine with his picture on the front page this morning given the circumstances.

Tim Wessel is quoted in the Reformer as saying:
“I live downtown and I have to say there’s an increase in the feeling of lawlessness occurring,” he said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Whether it’s flower pots being overturned, business windows being smashed, unlocked cars being rifled through, or loud cars speeding recklessly through family neighborhoods, a lot of folks have been reaching out to me to say that it feels a little more like the Wild West in Brattleboro, and I agree.”

But, little known to many, actually including some Select Board members, Chief Hardy was a victim of the rapid shift away from Rescue Inc as well and she had no part in that decision that I am aware of.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Whiskey and Water

brattleboro selectboard feb 2 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard met to discuss liquor license renewals and a safe drinking water system loan Tuesday evening

They granted licenses and accepted free money in record time, withholding most commentary and cutting right to the chase. This qualifies the evening as one of the shortest regular meetings.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda & Notes – November 23, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at 6:15pm over Zoom. The Municipal Center (230 Main Street) will be open to the public with limited seating spaced six feet apart and face coverings will be required. The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – October 19, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard will be approving a range of new contracts for police officers, firefighters, and other unionized employees at their next regular meeting. 

Union Station will be handed over to the BMAC, the board will hear a sustainability update, they’ll review their goals, Selectboard meetings will be moved to Central Fire Station, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participations.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Steve Barrett To Retire, Stormwater, and a Bridge

Brattleboro Selectboard September 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard met on the last evening of summer, and heard big news. Steve Barrett, long-time employee of the Town, will be retiring and Dan Tyler will be taking his place.  The switch happens in December.

There was discussion of racism in the community, COVID safety at the Stone Church, stormwater plans, designs for and objections to a new bridge on Western Ave, and more.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – September 21, 2021

A new bridge near Melrose Street will be one focus of attention for the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next meeting. VTrans reps will be on hand to explain the details and answer questions.

The board will also hear more about the creation of a stormwater utility and master plan for the town, will renegotiate tax payments for the Retreat, explore grants for a health program and for a water and sewer capacity study, and more. You can always bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Refugees, and a New Police Chief is Sworn-In

The Brattleboro Selectboard returned from summer break to take up issues such as refugees and a new police chief. BDCC explained why they think the refugee program is a must, ECDC explained what their program was, and Brattleboro can look forward to up to 75 refugees a year and the anticipated financial and housing challenges, as well as the hoped-for benefits to the community and economy.

The board also swore-in new Police Chief Norma Hardy. The entire department showed up in support.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – August 3, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard returns from their summer break to take up issues of new people in the community. They will swear in our new Police Chief Norma Hardy in a welcoming ceremony. They’ll also hear a presentation about the possibility of welcoming refugees to the area.

The Solid Waste Fund’s final transfer from the General Fund occurs, liquor permits will be given out, water and sewer repairs will be considered, and committee members will be appointed. You can also bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.


Norma Hardy to Become Brattleboro Police Chief on July 28 

norma hardy

Norma Hardy will become Brattleboro’s next Police Chief on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. 

Hardy had a distinguished 26-year career with the Police Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. After 10 years of service as a Police Officer serving at a variety of Port Authority facilities, she was promoted to Construction Sergeant at the World Trade Center site in 2002, to Executive Officer at the World Trade Center site in 2006, to Police Captain and commanding officer at the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels in 2008, to Police Inspector and Northern Zone Commander in 2011, and to Chief of Port Authority Bridges, Tunnels, and New Jersey Airports in 2013.

She received numerous internal commendations and external awards during her career with the Port Authority, including the 2014 Officer of the Year Award from the International Association of Women Police and the 2016 Trailblazer Award from the National Organization of Black Women in Law Enforcement. Hardy attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and also has completed advanced training in law enforcement leadership, personnel and finance administration, security assessment, and emergency response management. 


BCS Brooks Compromise On Police In Schools

Many people want police officers (SRO) removed from schools across Vermont, and there is state legislation pending about it. At last night’s (Tuesday March 16) meeting WSESU school directors heard public comments about the officer in the high school located in Brattleboro.

School administrations and other advocates cling to the SRO’s as high-power hall monitors and deterrents to school shooters and terrorists, while opponents like BCS and most notably Youth for Change, want students to feel safe and not intimidated at school. BCS is proposing a compromise: following the BCS S.A.F.E. policing disarmament plan the police could continue their SRO function without their pistols (or other non-lethal weapons).


Brattleboro Town Staff Response To Community Safety Review Recommendations

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.