What do you think ?
BCS recently sponsored a debate about abortion between religious conservatives and secular liberals. They hugged each other at the end and want to meet again. So, we at BCS have evidence that a fair discussion on moral issues is possible.
The Brattleboro Selectboard voted 3-2 in favor of a rental housing ordinance that limits the amount landlords can collect upfront from new tenants. It takes effect in February.
The board was unanimous in the support of monsters.
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.
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 Selectboard will attempt their first “consent agenda” at their next regular meeting. It is an effort to move things along at a slightly quicker pace than before by grouping items that are simple and require no discussion.
Bigger issues for Tuesday’s meeting include an update to inform the board that Community Development Block Grants cannot be used for direct aid to tenants, SeVEDS will give their annual update and appeal for funding, the Energy Committee will offer up their revised goals, and the FY22 budget exploration gets underway with a discussion of revenues, capital projects, and capital equipment needs. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a first reading of a proposed ordinance to limit upfront rental costs, but decided not to move ahead with a second reading. Instead, more research, new ideas, and data will be explored.
Groundworks got a big grant which enables the completion of their project on South Main Street, and the marketing initiative to promote Brattleboro was discussed.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will have a first reading of an ordinance to limit upfront rental costs at their next regular meeting, which will be held on 10-20-2020. (And probably end at 10:20.)
Police cars will be purchased, health insurance will be renewed, leases will be extended, grants will be applied for, and the skatepark committee will be disbanded now that their work is through. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard spent the bulk of their primetime evening discussing a proposal from the Tenants Union of Brattleboro. They heard from tenants and landlords about a wide range of issues, realized the problem was bigger than what Brattleboro can solve by itself, but pressed on to work on an ordinance limiting what landlords collect and how that money is used. A new board will be created to hear rental housing security deposit disputes.
Brattleboro’s budget season kicks off with the board reviewing the Town’s Long Term Financial Plan, and scheduling meetings about the FY22 budget.
The Tenant’s Union proposal will be revisited. Other items include a new fire truck, the taking of some land for the Hinsdale Bridge project, waterproofing at the parking garage, an interim finance director decision, a reduction of rent for The Reformer, finances, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
Brandie Starr of the Brattleboro selectboard recently wrote an article titled, “Be part of the movement towards a sustainable Brattleboro” in which she directly addresses community members and, more specifically, landlords. The article is in reaction to and support of a, now notorious, proposal written by the Tenants’ Union of Brattleboro (TUB) which limits security deposits to an amount of one month’s rent or less.
Since the proposal was added to the last selectboard meeting agenda and since Starr has voiced her support, there have been rumblings of discontent from the landlord community. From voices of opposition at the selectboard meetings, to local landlord Deedee Jones’s rebuttal piece, to emails sent directly to the tenant’s union.
I am a member of TUB and a tenant who has rented four apartments in Brattleboro. On behalf of myself and the tenant’s union, I would like to elaborate on Starr’s points and examine the conditions that make a proposal like this reasonable, necessary and, quite honestly, not very radical. I would also like to address some of the voiced and rumored concerns from our local landlords.
Some landlords speaking at this week’s Brattleboro Selectboard meeting had a few problems with the proposed apartment inspection program. In speaking up, they brought up a community need for both landlords and tenants.
The first issue for landlords was cost. Multi-unit landlords said that to suddenly have a bill due for a couple of thousand dollars, all at once, wasn’t terribly appealing. The board tried to make the point that it was only a couple of dollars per month per unit, but the new ordinance doesn’t call for billing monthly. It’s all due in one lump sum, 30 days from the date billed. Penalties and interest extra.
Are there any affordable apartments in or near Brattleboro yet?