Brattleboro Doubles Down on Representative Town Meeting – Representatives to Elect Representatives

district 2 voting

In a close vote Tuesday, Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting representatives have decided to add a new layer to town government in what will surely represent a new era in governing the municipality.

“We felt that Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting is the best form of town meeting in the state of Vermont,” said one member. “If representatives are good for the general public, we thought we should use the system ourselves within Representative Town Meeting.”


Did Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Make A Mistake Raising Selectboard Stipends?

For many years it was assumed that the pool of selectboard candidates could be increased by increasing the compensation for the position. The idea was that maybe people who are single parents or working multiple jobs would run if only there was enough compensation to make it worthwhile. A corollary was that perhaps the board has been dominated by only people well-off enough to have the free time to serve.

Representatives at Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting would have this discussion at each RTM when the compensation article would come up. Eventually the arguments prevailed and the stipends went up. A board member now gets $8000 plus money to pay for child or other care during meetings. The chair gets more.


Brattleboro District 3 Forum

In an effort to promote citizen involvement and help RTM members better represent their constituents, there will be a public forum for District 3 residents at 3 pm on Sunday March 13 in the social hall at Trinity Lutheran Church, 161 Western Avenue. This citizens’ forum is intended to allow people who live in District 3 to express their concerns and to ask questions about Town issues in advance of the RTM meeting on March 19.

I would encourage RTM members from District 3 to attend to hear from their neighbors.


Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee Guide to the Brattleboro Budget

Complying with a vote of Representative Town Meeting in 2021, RTM’s Finance Committee has prepared a “Guide to the Brattleboro Town Budget.” The guide is posted on the Town’s website under the Finance Committee’s page and the RTM Resources section, both of which are accessible from the Representative Town Meeting tab on the left menu bar. Also newly posted is the annual report for RTM’s consideration of the FY23 budget.


Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Information Session and District Caucuses

Brattleboro Town Selectboard will hold a pre-town meeting information forum on Wednesday, March 9 via Zoom beginning at 7:30pm. Representative Town Meeting articles will be discussed, including the budget.

Beginning at 5:15pm (District 1), 6:00pm (District 2), and 6:45pm (District 3), town meeting members of each district will be available to meet with constituents to offer residents an opportunity to share their views and discuss articles to be voted on at the annual meeting. Also, at those times, each district will be accepting nominations to fill meeting member vacancies for 1 year.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – No Business Likes Snow Business

selectboard february 15, 2022

The Brattleboro selectboard had strong words for downtown property owners over sidewalk snow removal. It was a good old-fashioned Selectboard -DBA battle for a while there, when the downtown organization tried to pass responsibility for clearing snow to the Town.  No, insisted the board. Building owners have always been required to clear it, and if the downtown organization feels it is a shabby job, perhaps they should pay to use a more professional service. Take that.

They also raced through some public hearings, updates and reports.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting – Agenda and Notes February 15, 2022

At their next regular meeting the Brattleboro Selectboard will consider changing the rules about downtown snow removal, possibly ending the practice of removing snow for building owners and charging them after for the work.

The board will revisit the mask mandate, take care of some grants, appoint some people, and consider use of ARPA funds to replenish the parking fund. You can, as always, bring up pther items not on the agenda during public participation.


iBrattleboro Representative Town Meeting Moderator Interview – David Gartenstein

David Gartenstein is running for Moderator for Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting.

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Tell us about yourself and why you’d like to be Moderator of Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting.

I’d like to serve the public good by moderating Town Meeting in a way that is fair to all, with governing procedures followed, all persons having a chance to engage, and decisions made after full debate and consideration of all available information.  


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY23 Budget Approval & Zoom RTM

selectboard jan 25 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard approved an FY23 budget to send to Representative Town Meeting. They also warned that meeting, so representatives will get to vote on the budget and other items. 

There was a bit of discussion about the value of holding Representative Town Meeting once again by Zoom, but the option to do it that way was approved unanimously.


No Challengers For Brattleboro Selectboard

Everyone in Brattleboro who planned on running for Selectboard has returned petitions to the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office. The big surprise this year? No surprises at all. All the names are familiar incumbents.

Daniel Quipp will run for a three year seat. Jessica Gelter and Tim Wessel will run for one year seats.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda and Notes – January 25, 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 6:15pm in the Second Floor Meeting Room at the Central Fire Station (103 Elliot Street). Everyone will be required to wear a face covering and maintain social distance. 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.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY23 Budget Finishing Touches, Bike Paths, Tax Stabilization for Alternative Energy

sb january 18 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard did some final tinkering with remaining FY23 budget items, with a discussion about bike paths and whether waiting six months is worth $16,000.

They approved some sidewalk improvements, Human Services requests, and a tax stabilization idea to encourage solar projects on already-developed land was discussed and sent along to RTM.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – January 18, 2022

Speak now or forever hold your peace – on the FY23 budget.  The Brattboro selectboard will be doing a final look at the FY23 budget they plan to send to Representative Town Meeting for consideration. Also for RTM, they will also review the annual Human Services funding request, consider an article to allow tax stabilization for alternative energy projects, appoint officers, and review draft warnings for upcoming elections and meetings.

The board will also have a public hearing for some safety improvements and hire a company to do some sidewalk repair. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.