Selectboard Meeting Notes – Opioid Lawsuit Hokey-Pokey, Plus FY21 Police and Fire Budgets

brattleboro selectboard nov 26, 2019

At their special meeting this week, the Brattleboro Selectboard decided to reverse a decision they made just last week and instead remain IN a second, national opioid lawsuit. A lawyer told them opting out wouldn’t be so smart.

Health and safety issues at local apartments, an effort to reduce the speed limit in West Brattleboro along Route 9, and discussions of the FY21 Police and Fire budgets rounded out the special meeting.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Enters Opioid Lawsuit, Settles Other, and Discusses FY21 Capital Expenses

Brattleboro Selectboard nov 19 19

The Brattleboro Selectboard decided Tuesday night to enter into an opioid lawsuit similar to the one that Bennington is undertaking. With strict warnings that local pharmacies could be added in the future if anything notable arises, the board decided not to sue local pharmacies for now.

SeVEDS gave an account of their work year and asked for their annual contribution from Brattleboro, big projects are planned at Living Memorial Park, yes we’re getting another new fire truck, the police have requested some hybrid vehicles for the first time, and the first local option sales taxes shows that things cost about $200,000 more in Brattleboro than in surrounding communities for the first quarter reported.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Agenda Placed On Next Agenda

selectboard nov 5 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard started their meeting a bit late and ended it quite early, with a rare move of taking nearly everything major off of the agenda and moving it to next week. The reason? Two absent board members.

Almost the entire agenda will be added to next week’s agenda, making next week’s special meeting a whopper.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Opioid Lawsuit May Include Local Pharmacies

A Brattleboro Selectboard quartet decided Tuesday night to proceed on a path toward suing opioid manufacturers and providers. The board didn’t see any need to spare local pharmacies from potential litigation, and wasn’t sure about suing local doctors.

The board continued their discussion of municipal broadband, bought winter salt and sand, heard a report on progress at WSWMD, and got a final financial report from retiring John O’Connor.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Broadband, A Tale of Five Cities

Brattleboro Selectboard oct 1 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard learned the tales of five nearby municipal broadband projects and expressed varying levels of support for something local, along with many questions. Some answers will come at their next meeting.

The Work Today program is being delayed until spring 2020, the parking garage will get a new elevator cab, the DPW will get their generator, and the Town hopes to get some volunteers for committees.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Climate Still Not An Emergency

Brattleboro Selectboard meeting

The Brattleboro Selectboard decided once again that there is no climate emergency worth declaring. The proposed declaration was “a mess” and existing efforts were deemed ample.

The board had their expectations managed about possibilities of self governing anytime soon, budget season is lurking, and the possibility of a bike lane on Western Ave will be further investigated.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Goodbye, Martha RIP

Brattleboro Selectboard

With just three members, the Brattleboro Selectboard said farewell and thank you to Martha O’Connor, who passed away earlier this week.

The reduced  board discussed the small issue of rising waters with the Hinsdale Bridge project, the failed search for a marketing firm, and efforts to become more compassionate in town. The Windham and Windsor Housing Trust got the go-ahead for a grant application to help homeowners, a citizen volunteered to shadow the Town Manager at state meetings of VLCT, and the meeting was done by a very reasonable hour.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Climate Emergency, Homelessness, Addiction, and Flowers

Brattleboro Selectboard

Before the Brattleboro Selectboard could get to regular business, they heard from many agitated citizens on issues such as the homeless, flowers, and librarians getting paid less than homeless day work program employees. This was interrupted by a climate emergency protest, adding to the list of grievances.

Eventually the board got tho their scheduled business of updates on the DBA and Project CARE, approving of contracts, a short discussion of childcare at public meetings, and more. It was quite an outpouring of interest in local government, from many angles.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Rental Housing, Day Work, Sustainability

Brattleboro Selectboard

The Brattleboro Selectboard held their only meeting of July. Despite objections from many landlords, the board approved a new rental housing inspection program, and despite numerous statements of support they put off deciding on how best to deal with issues of sustainability.

New tax rates for FY20 were set, a 3-month day work pilot program was funded, Groundworks received $100,000 for housing, and more.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Day Work Program Coming, Landlords Facing Inspections

Brattleboro Selectboard June 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard took up a full agenda, though with only three members present, they themselves were not quite full.

The big discussion of the evening centered on landlords and a new rental housing inspection system soon to take effect, but the exciting news came during public participation when it was announced that a day work program, legal and with dignity, will soon be getting started.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY20, Goals, and Raises

Brattleboro Selectboard June 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard held their first meeting of June, spending most of the time discussing goals, but also approving Utility and Parking budgets for FY20.

Firefighters, administrators and office staff of Local 98 all got raises, and a new downtown design process will be getting underway.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY20 Water & Sewer, Parking, Solid Waste Budgets

selectboard may 21 2019

Vice Chair Tim Wessel led the board through the second regular meeting in May. It was a night of numbers, with Water & Sewer, Parking, and Solid Waste FY20 budgets being discussed in detail. One member compared the evening to math class, but budgets can be revealing, and many new town projects and plans were listed. The projects have timelines and costs, hence their inclusion in budget talks.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Big New Skatepark Grant Not Enough To Prevent Re-Scope of Project

The Brattleboro Selectboard heard about a new, big grant for the skatepark project at Tuesday’s meeting, but it wasn’t enough to stop the re-scoping of the project and rejection of current bids. New timetable calls for a skatepark to be completed, maybe, by snowfall!

Heifers are permitted to Heifer this year, residents urge urgency on climate related matters, whistleblowers are now protected, the Emergency Plan has be readopted, financial matters attended to, and more.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Representative Town Meeting Review, Main Street Repairs

Brattleboro Selectboard April 2019

The first meeting of the new configuration of the Brattleboro Selectboard went off without difficulty. New members Daniel Quipp and Elizabeth McCloughlin were initiated with a fill agenda including actions as Liquor Commissioners as well as Water & Sewer Commissioners.

The board considered issues raised at Representative Town Meeting, approved grants for a slight expansion to Red Clover Commons, helped renegotiate some loans due to the Town, and more.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Going Through The Motions

Brattleboro Selectboard

The Brattleboro Selectboard gathered for their last regular meeting under the current configuration of board members – Chair Kate O’Connor and Shanta Lee Gander are about to return to civilian life. 

The Country Club was reprimanded for a liquor infraction, causing the board to offer them time to do some free promotion. (Note to other liquor license holders – minor infractions will lead to publicity!) Bids were accepted, the Energy Committee was reduced in size, and representative town meeting motions were assigned.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Steve Barrett Night

selectboard march 5

The Brattleboro Selectboard met on Town Meeting Day 2019 and spent most of the time discussing issues of water and sewer.

This included a rather substantial presentation by an apartment owner requesting a reduction in an abnormally high water bill, some discussion of the Hinsdale Bridge, some notes on odors and energy, and a hint that water and sewer ates may hold steady for a year.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Representative Town Meeting Meeting Warning, and Arts Fail To Get 2%

brattleboro selectboard

The Brattleboro Selectboard sent an approved FY20 budget to Representative Town Meeting as part of the annual Representative Town Meeting Warning.

Representatives from the arts community, meanwhile, asked that an article requesting 2% of the Rooms & Meals tax be allocated for an Arts Fund for public arts projects, $8,424, be placed on the Representative Town Meeting Warning. The board said no, telling them it was hasty and didn’t have enough detail.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – January 22, 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hear their first request for an exemption from the relatively new Plastic Bag Ordinance. Zephyr Designs is making the request.

Culture Made Vermont will get lots of goodies, mileage will be certified, an EPA grant applied for, liquor permits approved, and nearly final FY20 budget thoughts presented.  You can weigh in on spending Rooms & Meals taxes on promotions and the precedent it sets, or bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.