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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Brattleboro Selectboard listened to a large crowd of concerned citizens before deciding by a split vote to create a new Sustainability Coordinator position for the Town. The length of this agenda item pushed back most other agenda items, which led to rushed discussions and decision making later in the evening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Brattleboro Selectboard handed out annual liquor licenses then held an extended discussion about COSU, a collaborative community project to tear down silos and create connections between addiction and recovery programs in the community.
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.
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.