Selectboard Meeting Notes – Openness, Transparency, Parklets, and Housing

selectboard may 3, 2022

Members of the public scolded the Brattleboro Selectboard again for poor communication regarding their recent EMS decision. After, the board discussed removing some mentions of transparency and openness from their goals while patting themselves on the back for already having an open and transparent process.

They discussed other goals, then heard presentations about some exciting, possibly large housing projects going through the planning process. They also discussed improving the parklet program.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro’s Severe Housing Crisis

selectboard march 15 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard heard details of the Windham Regional Commission’s past year work as well as an overview of Brattleboro’s new Housing Action Plan, which tells us that Brattleboro is in a housing crisis. 500 units or more are needed immediately just to catch up with current needs. More if Brattleboro want to grow.

Peter Elwell and Steve Barrett were both commended for their years of municipal public service, the Brewer’s Fest got their annual permit, and liquor on town property rules are being tweaked.


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.


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.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Manale Begins, FY23 & RTM Loose Ends

yoshi manale brattleboro jan 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard began 2022 with new Town Manager Octavian Yoshi Manale at the helm. He remained relatively quiet, letting staff do most of the explaining while he adjusted to the new surroundings.

The board made a few FY’23 decisions, punted a few others to another meeting, and helped approve some articles to go before RTM at what they cautioned might be another virtual town meeting.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Budgets, Capital Expenses, Living Memorial Park and Sidewalks

selectboard november 16

At the first regular meeting in-person at Central Fire Station the Brattleboro Selectboard discussed funding requests for the downtown organization and SeVEDS, then looked deeply at planned capital improvements, including new plans for Living Memorial Park on the horizon.

The board also contemplated using infrastructure funds to replace all the sidewalks in town.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY23 Budget Season Begins

selectboard nov 1 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard kicked off their FY23 budget season with an overview of the proposed town budget by Town Manager Peter Elwell. Questions were limited at this meeting, allowing the board and the public to take in a broad overview. Deep dive questions begin next week.

One of the lengthier passages in this meeting was a discussion of prepaid assigned funds compared to unassigned funds and how they both are accounted for legally and financially.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – They Like Us, Union Station, and Great Rates

Selectboard October 5

Promotion of Brattleboro was a primary topic at the regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard Tuesday. Blue Whale Public Relations had some typical Zoom-related delays but otherwise gave a solid report on their early efforts to reach out to the media.

Hybrid meetings will continue for a while longer, favorable financing for the water treatment facility was announced, new stop signs are official, and Union Station might be sold for a dollar in order to save as much as $100,000.


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.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Safety and Spending

brattleboro selectboard sept 14

The Brattleboro Selectboard is easing into budget season while wrestling with the safety of retuning to in-person meetings. They got an update on the Water Treatment Plant upgrade, paid for some emergency repairs, gave out a liquor license, and discussed Town Manager Elwell’s final Long Term Financial Plan.

There was more – there will be new stop signs coming to some corners, a discussion of ARPA fund possibilities was quick, and a discussion of blinking crosswalks took quite a while.


Selectboard Special Meeting Notes: Masks Redux

brattleboro selectboard august 17 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a new rule requiring face covering indoors, subject to the approval of Dr. Levine and the Vermont Department of Health. If Levine doesn’t approve, the board strongly recommends, rather than requires, the face coverings. This is all in response to a rapid rise in regional COVID cases, more Delta variant, and a fluctuating CDC rating of viral transmission.

In a related action, the board recommended to everyone who is able, please get vaccinated.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – The Dam Plan

Brattleboro selecboard july 6

The first “hybrid” meeting using a combination of in-person and zoom participants had no real technical issues to speak of, but many interesting details to discern.

Big news was the agreement being worked out with owners of the nearby Connecticut River dams. They will be changing their operations to create a more natural water flow, which is good news for the river banks, all sorts of critters, recreation, and even the company’s plans for the future.

New land use amendments were approved, as was a mural project. The board also heard of two new places in town to get drinks more easily – Retreat Farm and craft experiment at the River Garden.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – The Final Zoom, Financing, and Web Site Information Gathering

Brattleboro Selectboard june 15 21

The Brattleboro Selectboard held their final Zoom meeting Tuesday night. Their next meeting, July 6, will be in person (with a hybrid mix) at the Municipal Center in the Selectboard Meeting Room. The Governor says it must be so.

Water shutoff will resume, in November. The board also approved of a financing plan for the water treatment plant on quite favorable financial terms, Tri-Park finances were re-financed, a process for gathering information for a new town website was presented, and committee members were appointed.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Police Hours Change, Mask Mandate To Expire, Water Treatment Plant Contract Approved

Brattleboro Selectboard june 1

The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a plan to let Brattleboro Police switch from an understaffed three shift system to a two shift system that will reduce hours and stress. Brattleboro will go without patrol staff for certain hours of the week.

The water treatment plant is going ahead with approval of a firm to build the new plant, despite a bad reference and previous bad town experiences with the company. The local mask mandate will be lifted on Friday. And State Senator Becca Balint described the huge piles of money coming to Vermont in the near future.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY22 Parking and Utility Funds, Paving, and the Whetstone Path

Brattleboro selectboard meeting

The Brattleboro Selectboard heard the sad tale of the Parking Fund and its many losses over the previous, current, and probably future year at Tuesday’s meeting. Estimates for the coming year are just guesses. One of the hardest financial discussions ever, the Town Manager told the board.

Everything else, however, went smoothly. The Utilities Fund is pretty much as it was before. New paving projects have been approved. Winston-Prouty got a liquor license (for a single event for grown ups, ahem…), and more. No public participation, either. “A return to normal,” your reporter snarks snarkily.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – The Gods & Goddesses Say No

I was all set to do the usual insane typing of what is said at the Brattleboro Selectboard but at 6 pm our power went out.  It’s now 8:30 and things have just come back on here at HQ.

The Gods and Goddesses of Typing Up Selectboard Meetings have spoken, and I will obey their wishes. I will also go make an offering of some sort. (Any suggestions?)

We’ll see if they let me cover the next meeting.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Elwell To Retire, Brattleboro To Receive $3.3 Million

selectboard april 6

It was the first April meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, the first meeting with Elizabeth McLoughlin as Chair, the first time Congressman Peter Welch has told Brattleboro about $3.3 million on the way, and the first time we learn of Town Manager Peter Elwell’s planned retirement at the end of the year.

Much discussion, though, was about goals for the coming year.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Whetstone Woes, WRC Wows, and Playgrounds

Brattleboro Selectboard march 16 2021

Water leaks and collapsing walls were part of  the first post-Daylight Savings Time regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.  The Department of Public Works reported on a couple of recent and ongoing emergency repairs downtown involving water.

The board heard an update on the work of the Windham Regional Commission, found out more about how poorly parking revenues are going this year, hired a company to do cemetery maintenance, and purchased some new playground equipment. And board members said goodbye to Brandie Starr and Jan Anderson, thanking them for their service.