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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – November 19, 2019

It is a night for lawyers at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. They plan to enter into one or more opioid-related lawsuits, settle a lawsuit with Penny Witherbee, and even start off the night with an executive session that has additional pending or probable civil litigation.

Green Street parking changes, financial updates, a review of proposed FY21 capital projects and equipment, some grants, and appointments will fill out the agenda. You can bring up other items during public participation.


Private Brattleboro Selectboard Communictions During Public Meetings

Some members of the Brattleboro Selectboard appear to be having private communications during public meetings.

On a few recent occasions, some Selectboard members have looked at their phones, read some form of communication to them, and have made comments about it. Just the other night, Daniel Quipp said that Tim Wessel had texted him.  Until that point, no one knew that Wessel was a participant. He had been presented to the room as absent.


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.


Declaration of Climate Emergency – Full Text and Comments

Here is the full text and comments of the proposed “Declaration of Climate Emergency” from Brattleboro Common Sense. The issue is on the agenda for the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard.

….

Whereas this article, to be known as the Declaration of Climate Emergency, is in accordance with a resolution promoted by the selectboard in 2003, and with resolutions on energy and climate change promoted by Brattleboro Common Sense through votes of the people in 2010, 2014, and of town representatives in 2018; and whereas the youth of Brattleboro are calling on today’s town leaders to formally acknowledge the truth of the emergency;


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – August 20, 2019

A climate emergency declaration, sustainability issues, and the celebration of the police are all on the next agenda of the Brattleboro Selectboard.

There will be a discussion of a Charter Review commission being re-formed, business loans, and talk of public art proposals. Continuing the focus on police, the board will approve a police carport, new fingerprint scanners, and new police vehicles. You can, as always, bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.


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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – August 6, 2019

Summer is over (just kidding) and meetings are back in session.  At the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard, Whetstone Station will request permission from the Brattleboro Selectboard to make noise on Frost Street, the ice rink will be approved for some energy efficiency measures, and the board will consider providing childcare at their meetings.

For the first time in quite a long time, a vendor unable to fulfill a paving contract will be replaced on the project. The board will hear updates on Project CARE and the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, and more.  You can, as always, bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting – Pending or Probable Civil Litigation or Prosecution

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Thursday, July 25, 2019, at 2:00pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center.  It is anticipated that the Board will enter into executive session at 2:00pm to discuss pending or probable civil litigation or prosecution to which the public body is or may be a party, and then reconvene in public to adjourn.  No further business will be discussed.


Public Officials Can’t Block Critics From Official Social Media Accounts

You may have read that courts ruled that Trump, using a Twitter account for official, open government purposes, cannot block people based on the views they express. This applies to all public officials, not just Trump. It’s a first amendment issue.

Members of the Selectboard and elected Representative Town Meeting reps should take notice and proceed with caution.


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.


Brattleboro Selectboard – Agenda & Notes July 9, 2019

Brattleboro’s new “Work Today” program for day labor will be explained and partially funded at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Youth Services is taking the lead on this attempt to employ members of the community that have trouble finding steady work.

The board will take up the question of whether to create a Sustainability Officer position within town government, enact a rental housing inspection program, the town pool needs more repairs, tax rates will be set, goals will be reviewed, the library will get grants to help with local history, we’ll buy another pick-up truck, goals will be reviewed, committee members will be appointed, and more.

You can bring up other matters not on the agenda during public participation.


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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – June 4, 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard will spend over $40,000 for a new Downtown Design Plan and give out annual employee raises at their next regular meeting. 

The board might also approve Utility Fund and Parking Fund budgets for FY20, they’ll appoint volunteers to boards and committees, continue consideration of their goals for the coming year, approve a parade, and punish Brattleboro dogs for the negligence of their owners to get them a licenses. You can participate, and bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.


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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – May 21, 2019

The Brattleboro Selectboard will be reviewing a number of budgets at their next meeting. FY20 approaches with talk of Utilities, Parking, and Solid Waste budgets.

The contract with Rescue Inc. is up for renewal, a new handicapped parking space is set for approval, the board will continue to discuss goals for the coming year, the battle against knotweed will continue, and you will be asked to volunteer for the Town. You can also bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.


Six Suggestions for Shorter Brattleboro Selectboard Meetings

Selectboard meetings can drag on. Meetings that start at 6:15 pm often end after 9 pm. It’s not as bad as the record-setting meeting of the mid-aughts that lasted well past midnight, but three hours is a long regular meeting, especially when board members may have met for an hour prior in Executive Session.

When meetings go on too long, participants lose energy and the quality of debate and discussion drops. Important issues can get rushed if they come late on an agenda.