The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, May 31 , 2022, at 6:15pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center at 230 Main Street. Directly after the conclusion of the meeting, the Board is expected to meet in executive session to discuss contracts, labor relations with employees and the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee. Everyone will be required to maintain social distance. The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.” Closed Captions will be available.
Dear Ms. Hege,
After some initial staff level discussion on the issue of mutual aid between the Town of Brattleboro and Rescue Inc., Chief Hazelton made clear his preference for direct Board to Board communication. We are happy to honor his request. It is our view that a mutual aid agreement between our two organizations is in our shared best interest. I hope that you agree.
It surprised many that Town Manager Yoshi Manale resigned after just a few months. But it isn’t that surprising.
Brattleboro is unusual. For a small town, there is a tremendous amount of media. Two newspapers, three radio stations, citizen journalists, and others pay close attention to what goes on in town government. Add in social media, discussions in offices, and conversations on the street and you end up with a rather active core population that follow the details of town government.
There are big cities with less coverage of their municipal governments and fewer news outlets. And big city news is often dominated by crimes, fires, and other distractions, making municipal news a smaller piece of the overall newscast or front page headlines.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will award a contract to a web developer for the redesign of the Town website at their next regular meeting. They’ll also approve of a contract for an EMS feasibility study.
You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
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.
The Brattleboro Selectboard voted to enter into a one year contract with Golden Cross Ambulance, effectively ending five decades of Rescue, Inc. collaboration with the town. There was much public discussion, mostly against the way this was handled, but it was approved 5-0.
The board also went back on their previous decision about the ski jump sculpture, now allowing it to be downtown year round but unlit most of the year, sort of like the Valentines hearts that hang year round downtown.
When you think of the River Garden, you probably think “there’s not enough liquor there.” Well, the Brattleboro Selectboard will take care of that at their next regular meeting.
A new ambulance contract will be signed to officially end the Rescue, Inc. era. The board will also reconsider their decision from their last meeting about whether the downtown metal ski jump sculpture should stay or go in off seasons. And they’ll handle a few financial and administrative matters.
You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard, under new management of Chair Ian Goodnow, had their first regular meeting of April and their first long discussion. It was about goals and what they want to do in the coming year. They also had their first meeting in the Municipal Center in quite a long time, sitting closely without masks and wondering where members of the public might be.
The board approved of a catering license, loaned some more money for new housing, allowed short term rental in the parking garage, and more.
A rather routine agenda awaits the “new” Brattleboro Selectboard at their first regular meeting of April 2022. A liquor license, lease agreements, board goals and assignments, and loans. The board will also discuss raising the fee for recycling.
You can bring up other items not on this agenda during public participation.
A little Brattleboro Selectboard update for you… the new Chair is Ian Goodnow, the new Vice-Chair is Daniel Quipp, and the Clerk is Jessica Gelter.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 9:00am in the Selectboard Meeting Room and on Zoom for an organizational meeting. The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.” ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.
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.
Correction to 03-15-22 Selectboard agenda: The agenda for the 03-15-22 Selectboard meeting states that the Organizational Meeting will take place on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 6:15pm at the Central Fire Station. The time of the meeting has been changed from 6:15pm to 9:00am. It will no longer take place at the Central Fire Station but will instead take place in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center.
The long-anticipated housing plan will be presented to the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next regular meeting. This comes after Steve Barrett and Peter Elwell receive special ceremonial recognition from the board and the State of Vermont.
They’ll also hear a discuss work at the Windham Regional Commission, appoint some committee members, approve the brewer’s festival permits for an alcoholic beverage celebration, and start the process of prohibiting alcoholic beverages on Town property. You can discuss how we aren’t conflicted, or bring up other items not on the agenda, during public participation.
For many years it was assumed that the pool of selectboard candidates could be increased by increasing the compensation for the position. The idea was that maybe people who are single parents or working multiple jobs would run if only there was enough compensation to make it worthwhile. A corollary was that perhaps the board has been dominated by only people well-off enough to have the free time to serve.
Representatives at Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting would have this discussion at each RTM when the compensation article would come up. Eventually the arguments prevailed and the stipends went up. A board member now gets $8000 plus money to pay for child or other care during meetings. The chair gets more.
The Brattleboro Selectboard lifted town rules requiring masks. People and businesses are free to once again do as they please with caution. The mask rules can come back if things get bad again.
The board also passed a new rule requiring downtown property owners to clear their sidewalks of snow within 24 hours of a snowstorm or face fines and costs. It may be a while before this is tested, though, as winter is wrapping up for the season.
Jessica Gelter is an incumbent running for a one year seat.
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you are running for a one year seat…
I’m a nonprofit business leader, a townie, an artist, and a mom. I’m running again because the work that fired me up and inspired me to run last year is still underway, and I would like to be accountable and follow through on some of the decisions I helped make last year, like hiring new town manager Yoshi Manale.
What did you think of your first budget season? Enjoy the overview of Town Operations?
I keep saying, it felt like a love fest! It was really surprising. Peter and the staff handed us a budget that was really easy to understand and say yes to, with some minor tweaks and alterations to make sure the tax rate didn’t jump up significantly again. I certainly learned a lot about the various functions of the Town departments, and all the equipment we own!
Daniel Quipp is an incumbent running for a three year seat.
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you are running for a three year seat…
Hello iBrattleboro! I’ve been on the board for the last three years and have decided to take the plunge for the 3-year seat. I’m proud of the work we have done in the last three years and am up for the challenge of the next three. Hopefully we’ll finally move out of the pandemic and into a period of recovery for all people. There are many opportunities ahead and with a new town manager at the helm, I’m excited to see what we can accomplish for the good of the town.
RTM increased compensation to make it easier for more people to serve, yet you are running unopposed. Did RTM make a mistake? Increasing compensation did not increase candidates…
Running unopposed certainly feels quite strange. In my previous three elections I think the smallest field was four candidates vying for two seats. Whether the lack of candidates is related to compensation, I cannot say. The $8000 stipend did not really figure in my decision to run again. I think the work of being on the board for the last two years might not have looked super appealing and with all of the incumbents choosing to run again perhaps potential candidates decided to wait until next year?
A potentially short regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard is scheduled for Town Meeting Day (election day). They will hear about new plans for liquor for the Latchis Pub & Underground, they’ll talk about wearing masks a while longer, and they’ll amend the ordinance change regarding downtown snow removal. You can add to the meeting by bringing up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
Attached is a letter that the Brattleboro Selectboard Chair Elizabeth McLoughlin sent today to Governor Phil Scott regarding the Youth Vote Charter Change.