The Selectboard Show was on Tuesday night with a special extended edition.
It was their first consent agenda, with a review of SeVEDS current projects, a talk about renters and landlords, an Energy Committee proposal to align with state emissions goals, and a review of FY22 capital projects and equipment.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a special meeting and public hearing to discuss the taking of lands at 28 Vernon Street for the upcoming Hinsdale Bridge project. The board held off on making any form decisions to give the property owners even more time to respond.
An election night meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard was held to discuss democracy and a summary overview of the FY22 budget. They finished after Vermont had been called for Biden, but before 8pm, and members prepared to watch results as they adjourned.
Tuesday’s special meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard was mostly about money, but also a bit about scheduling. These was also a good summary of how the sustainability coordinator position has evolved in year one.
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 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.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held a special meeting to accept the recommendation of Representative Town Meeting and increase the Human Services budget, giving every applying organization extra money.
They spent the bulk of the meeting interviewing prospective candidates for the Community Safety Review Committee, then voting on them. The Committee is now formed.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a proposal for a Community Safety Review facilitation team. They chose a local proposal, created a committee, and decided on how much to pay for stipends.
Other issues before the board involved the Department of Public Works, some grants, and gathering data on housing to aid town planning.
The Brattleboro Selectboard discussed affordable housing at length Tuesday evening. A new affordable housing project downtown on Flat Street, a town-wide zoning change to create more rentable units, and a discussion of an ordinance to limit what landlords can collect up front from tenants all indicated difficulties for the 60% of residents who rent in Brattleboro.
The DPW also shared a bit of the spotlight, with road grants and a new mower attachment.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved an edited version of the community RFP for police review and public safety at their Tuesday meeting. The Town-edited proposal was discussed at length and a few final tweaks were made before it was unanimously approved. Next steps: facilitator proposals and the formation of a committee.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held another special meeting via Zoom to discuss an RFP for review of police and community safety. It was long meeting that resulted in sending the draft RFP to town staff for further changes and possible approval at the August 18 meeting.
Warning: Offensive Descriptions Below!
Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard was unusual in multiple respects. The remnants of a hurricane passed overhead, causing power outages and damage across the region, it was the first time the board tried a meeting using Zoom rather than GoToMeeting, and the meeting was hijacked by someone.
The weather event the board was ready for. They met on Zoom as scheduled, using a phone version of the Zoom app because power was lost as the wind and rain picked up.
About 16 minutes into the meeting an unidentified male joined and “zoom bombed” the meeting.
The Brattleboro Selectboard discussed and pretty much decided on a way to hold Representative Town Meeting. It will be a 26 hour Zoom meeting. Well, perhaps not 26 hours, but there are concerns. They’ll make the meeting style and dates official at their next regular meeting.
Below you will find all of the comments from the Selectboard meeting chat box for Tuesday July 21, 2020. This conversation isn’t archived and doesn’t become part of the public record, but it does happen.
Brandie to Everyone
I am on the phone so patrick will need to let me in..lol
There was just one topic for the Brattleboro Selectboard meeting this week: the police review process.
It took hours, but they approved a community-led writing of an RFP to detail a community safety program to be voted on in early August.
A special meeting to discuss Representative Town Meeting will occur next Tuesday.
The Brattleboro Selectboard didn’t get to new business until after 11 pm. Old business of Representative Town Meeting scheduling, second thoughts on an already-approved budget, and competing proposals for police reforms filled the lengthy meeting.
In the end, no new RTM was set, the board was told the budget cannot be changed but can be ignored selectively, and competing proposals for police reforms will fill a new meeting schedule for July 21.
There were many big issues at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard but the biggest of them all was an extended discussion about dismantling a racist system by defunding the Brattleboro Police. Citizens were rather clear and consistent in asking that the General Fund budget be voted down, and that funding for the police be reassigned to social services.
The system moves slowly, they were told, and their attention should be placed on next year’s budget process. The board committed to making a re-evaluation of community safety a priority in the near future, but passed the budget by a 3-2 split vote.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held another virtual meeting Tuesday night. Utility rates are set to rise, the General Fund end-of-year looks pretty good, the FY21 Parking and Solid Waste budgets were discussed, preliminary options for holding Representative Town Meeting were presented, and dogs were warned of their illegality. Read on for the details.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had a long discussion about their long discussion last week about face coverings. Is it too strict? Not stick enough? What about the children? They then moved on to a discussion of raising water and sewer rates to help pay for the new water filtration plant. Is 6% a year too much? Is 2% too low?
The final discussion was of the parking system, and how with no income and continued expenses, the budget doesn’t look so good. Should the Parking Fund remain an enterprise fund or be rolled back into the General Fund? And who has the best ceiling?
The Brattleboro Selectboard passed a resolution at their Tuesday meeting requiring face coverings to be worn by customers and employees in all retail establishments. It was part of an expanded discussion of COVID-19 and business issues.
Many agenda items relating to Utility and Parking budgets were postponed to a special meeting next week.