The Brattleboro Selectboard held an extended conversation with members of the state legislative delegation, handing them a long list of things that Brattleboro would like help with – money, staff, changes to laws, and so on.
Reps said they were working on many items already, but were eager to stay involved and work together to find solutions to housing, justice, addiction, mental health, crime, and other issues plaguing the ‘boro.
The board discussed many things Tuesday but their extended ARPA discussion seemed more like an extended discussion about problems they had with public input on ARPA possibilities.
“I don’t care what the public thinks or the town staff think,” declared Franz Reichsman. “I have a problem having this list from the public be our starting point,” said Liz McLoughlin repeatedly. Chair Ian Goodnow tried in vain to remind them that they had promised an open public process.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will be using $1.3+ million of ARPA funds to set up a municipal EMS system. The vote was unanimous to give the emergency medical services ‘contract’ to the Brattleboro Fire Department.
The Town Manager told the board why municipal EMS would be best, the board told the public their decisions as to why they would vote in favor, and then the public was allowed to weigh in with comments.
Well, well, well. The Brattleboro Selectboard has decided at the last moment that it would be good for them to explain to the public all the secret EMS BFD Rescue relationship information they have known about, information the public has asked them about for over a year and half and the board has remained steadily tight-lipped about. Until now.
Former Chair Liz McLoughlin cracked and said she wouldn’t let Rescue, Inc. control the narrative anymore, and that she wanted a meeting to reveal everything the board knows that the public has been kept in the dark about by her and her fellow board members. Chair Ian Goodnow warned the board that the town attorney told them they should not discuss these secrets with the public, but they voted to hold a special meeting anyway. The plan is to let the public know all the reasons that Rescue and BFD don’t get along.
This throws the public forum and decision-making meeting dates into question.
The Brattleboro Selectboard got off to a late start then quickly put their meeting on hold for technical reasons. Forty-five minutes later, the meeting was postponed until Thursday to give BCTV and Facebook time to fix themselves.
Those interested in discussing EMS and downtown safety will have to wait.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held their August public EMS discussion at their regular meeting on Tuesday. The board is happy with their progress though one member said that the public doesn’t understand what decisions are to be made,. They will make their EMS decision in late September. Two more public meetings will be held prior.
The Town Manager said the EMS project web page has had over 1600 page views since May. (This site averaged 7,750 pages viewed per day in August for comparison). The board had questions about the Fire Department’s large overtime budget and the public had questions about downtown cameras and sheltering people without homes this winter.
OK. One final kitten update, then I’ll cover the EMS portion of the Brattleboro Selectboard meeting tonight for you.
A combative public greeted the selectboard to kick off their Tuesday night meeting. The quick version: downtown is unsafe and your website sucks.
After that was out of the way, the board was treated to a discussion of I-91 exit 1 bridge repairs next spring and summer, emergency housing plans, and about EMS transition items such as potential municipal revenue, the RFI process, and a new project-related website.
Brattleboro Selectboard endorsed a plan put forth by Town Manager John Potter that offers an aggressive summer schedule for gathering input from board members, staff, EMS providers , other towns, and the public. It kicks off at the next board meeting and will be a regular item for the second meeting of each month until decisions have been made.
Brattleboro will celebrate Juneteenth henceforth. The Agricultural Loan Fund has been updated to serve more people and the board held a first reading to find out the details. And green burials and properly-oriented Muslim burials will soon be options at the local cemetery
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved bike and pedestrian plan that, when implemented, will create a network of sidewalks and bike lanes throughout the town.
The board debated possible changes to budget meeting times, considering a return to the days when budgets would be held on off-days at odd times rather than regular Tuesday evenings. They also approved a one year extension for Golden Cross ambulance service.
New Brattleboro Selectboard members Peter Case and Franz Reichsman attended their first regular meeting since swearing-in. They were treated to discussions of rules and goals, the Windham Regional Commission, Representative Town Meeting, hazard mitigation, and more.
Town Manager John Potter suggested the board have a retreat to discuss short-term and longer-term goals and budgets, to which the board readily agreed.
Chair Ian Goodnow had an unusally rough night. He was 40 minutes past his usual 8 pm break time as he explained to the board his new goals for keeping the meeting on schedule. This included his new desire to limit public comments to just two minutes per person, per agenda item.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a very long first meeting of Spring.
Despite pleas from the public, they pressed on with many issues they felt could not wait for new board members. From Community Safety to ARPA, the board ignored suggestions to improve their public perception and to increase public input.
A special hearing by the Brattleboro Selectboard to consider health violations cited at 16 Washington Street had much discussion by all concerned – except one key individual: the property owner. Kurt Daims didn’t attend his hearing, and the board did not look kindly on such an action. He did issue a statement via BCS delivered to the board, but it wasn’t enough.
The new train station project was again described in detail, ARPA funds were discussed, the tree ordinance was adopted, and more.
Hi all. It’s a selectboard meeting night and usually I’d willingly volunteer to sit through the 3-4 hour thing and type up everything everyone has to say. It’s a bit hard for me to do tonight, though. I’m tired, slightly injured, and would rather tell you about a dream I had about the selectboard. It’s a good one!
I’m tired because I just got back from a weekend in Buffalo, cleaning out the family home of 80+ years. It was built by my grandparents, was the first place I was taken after being born, the site of many a Christmas and visit, as well as family weddings, births, Thanksgiving dinners and more.
Public restrooms were a major topic of discussion for the board at the regular Tuesday meeting. Nothing, of course, was decided. The board also allowed the Assessors ask Representative Town Meeting Representatives to agree to a town-wide re-appraisal of taxable properties.
There were financial and EMS updates, and a discussion of further revising meeting agenda formats to reflect anticipated times of agenda items. (Good luck with that… says this reporter.)
The Brattleboro Selectboard held their first regular meeting of the new year, and new Town Manager John Potter was on hand to answer questions and advise the board.
They discussed changes to the liquor license application requirements, backing off a previous BAPC suggestion that hasn’t had the desired results. They also had an extended discussion about the type of Representative Town meeting to hold this year, and heard from the public about homeless people and cold weather.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held their final regular meeting of 2022, taking up issues of finance, cannabis, and EMS services. The AP Triton report gave the board four options of EMS services. The top recommendation of the consultants, though, was to get Brattleboro Fire Department up to national performance standards asap.
The board also heard a well argued critique of their recent police budget discussions.
A long night of budget talk, with nods to McNeill’s. Plus, Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland admits he forgot to add in repayment of a bond in the preliminary budget.
Should we fill more potholes? Should we build a year-round pool? Will homes get re-assessed soon? Is it called global warming? These are the issues of the day.
Quite a few business and organization directors had harsh words for the Brattleboro Selectboard regarding downtown crimes, especially at the Transportation Center. Almost all mentioned break-ins or thefts, and quite a few reminded the board that the Transportation Center is town-owned and municipally- controlled. In other words – it’s your problem.
After many hours, the board voted to get price quotes on a new camera system for the Transportation Center, and possible consider some other steps, maybe, after we do a timeline and budget season is coming up, y’know. Can’t promise anything, but we feel your pain.
The new bike ordinance was almost adopted by the Brattleboro Selectboard, but it looked strange upon a second review, and was delayed until the next meeting.
Reps from AP Triton said they, too, would not be giving much weight to community input gather by their own community survey on EMS feasibility. They will present four options, but not a preferred choice, and will leave it to the board to come to their own conclusions. They are also 75% done with their work, but would love to hear from the public at their Wednesday night meeting.
The board bought their simulation machine, and started a Charter Review Commission at the last moment possible, despite earlier requests to get the process going multiple times in the past few years.