Richard Davis Candidate for One Year Selectboard Seat

I am Richard Davis, a 74 year old semi-retired nurse, writer and political activist running for a one year seat on the Brattleboro selectboard. A Boston area native, I have lived in Windham County for the past 45 years, 41 of those years in Guilford and for the past 2 ½ years in Brattleboro with my wife Roberta Levy.

I feel that the current board would benefit from new blood to provide a different perspective on issues important to the people of Brattleboro. Many people have been frustrated at the appearance of a lack of transparency that has surrounded the actions of the current board, especially in relation to the decision to end a long-standing relationship with Rescue Inc.


Selectboard Oversight & Transparency

This is my fourth year on the RTM Finance Committee. Many people have asked me what the committee’s job is, and now that we’ve finished our report (link), I can give a specific answer.

Our job is to provide citizen oversight of the Selectboard and the town’s budget. This report represents the culmination six months of research, analysis, and hard work by David Levenbach, Millicent Cooley, Mike Hutcheson, Paula Melton, and myself. We watched and rewatched Selectboard meetings, interviewed Town staff, and performed independent research.

Some notable sections:


Maya Hasegawa: Oscar Heller for Selectboard

I received this letter and permission to post it from Maya Hasegawa. I worked with Maya on the Finance Committee, and her name is well known to anyone involved in town politics. In addition to town meeting, she currently serves on the Charter Revision Commission, the Design Review Committee, and the Development Review Board – three serious commitments. I’m grateful for her support, and hope you’ll consider voting for me on March 5th.

Her letter follows. Thank you again, Maya!

***

One hears a great deal of talk these days about aging Vermont and how important it is for our future to attract and keep younger people. Brattleboro is fortunate to have such a person running for Selectboard.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro Ambulance Rides To Be $1400

selectboard feb 20 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard set EMS rates and policies, settling on a $1400 cost for a ride in their new ambulance service. Your insurance will pay for most of it, and if you get a bill you can ignore it completely or enter into a payment plan or pay it all at once. It is compassionate, they agreed.

The Town will embark on a search for a new waste management partner, someone who will listen and be responsive, and perhaps take long walks or watch movies together.


The Most Qualified Person Running for Selectboard This Year

Talk about laboring in obscurity!

Last week, I found myself discussing a $3.4 million gift that Brattleboro had received. When should we spend it? What should we spend it on? And who should decide?

That’s when we got hung up for a good 20 minutes on the finer points of jurisdiction within Town government. Also the finer points of pickleball.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – February 20, 2024

The big item for the Brattleboro Selectboard at their next regular meeting will be setting the billing and collection policies for the Town’s new EMS service. The board is setting the rates to be charged and what to do if someone doesn’t pay, among other things.

Also, the Water Treatment Plant’s engineering costs are over-budget and will cost an additional $303k.  ARPA funds will be used to cover staff salaries, bids will be accepted for trash collection in town, motions will be assigned for reading at Representative Town Meeting, and you can bring up other items not on the agenda, perhaps, during public participation.


Oscar Heller for Selectboard

I have served on the Representative Town Meeting Finance Committee with Oscar Heller for three years, during one of which he served as chair, and I can enthusiastically recommend his candidacy for a three-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard.

Heller is a flatlander who came to Vermont as a camper and then counselor at Camp W in West Brattleboro. Those summer experiences made him commit to Brattleboro as a place where he wanted to make his life and his work (which is in web design and marketing).

Brattleboro’s budget provides for the services residents receive, is the foundation for addressing problems facing the community, and determines the taxes we pay. Because of Heller’s dedicated work on the Finance Committee, Oscar has deep knowledge of the budget, and he can work the numbers.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Some Interesting Updates

A possibly short meeting with potentially interesting topics ahead was actually not so short due to technical difficulties, but it certainly was interesting. A respite from budgets, for sure.

Sustainability, food security, downtown safety, bridge fixing, and more were all discussed. Some with slide presentations!


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – February 6, 2024

Flood Plain Restoration is more expensive than originally thought. By hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s part of what the Brattleboro Selectboard will hear at the first regular meeting of February 2024.

The board will also create a new road for the Town to take care of, hear updates on town safety, sustainability, food, farms, and vacant buildings. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation, if the Chair allows.


Press Release: Oscar Heller for Selectboard

My name is Oscar Heller, and I’m running for Selectboard. I believe I have the temperament and skills to do a great job on your behalf. I value thoughtfulness, hard work, and public engagement. I’m not afraid to admit when I don’t understand something, or to ask hard questions on behalf of the public. And I’m not afraid to stand alone or take a hard vote if I disagree.

I found Brattleboro through Camp Waubanong, and moved here permanently ten years ago. Since then I’ve started two small businesses, bought a building and become a landlord on Elliot St, and gotten involved in local politics. I first joined the Energy Committee, and am currently a town meeting representative and a member of the Finance Committee. I’m 35 years old, and I want to be a part of building our future.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting Agenda and Notes – February 1, 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet for a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 6:15pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Brattleboro Municipal Center (230 Main Street, Room 212). At the conclusion of the meeting the Board will meet and is expected to immediately enter into executive session to discuss contracts, possible litigation, and evaluation of a public employee. No action will be taken in executive session. The public may also participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  ASL interpreters or closed captioning will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.


Richard Davis To Run For One Year Brattleboro Selectboard Seat

Richard Davis, a 74 year old semi-retired nurse, writer and political activist has announced his intention to run for a one year seat on the Brattleboro selectboard.

A Boston area native, Davis has lived in Windham County for the past 45 years, 41 of those years in Guilford and for the past 2 ½ years in Brattleboro with his wife Roberta Levy.

He feels that the current board needs new blood to provide a different perspective on issues important to the people of Brattleboro.

Many people have been frustrated at the appearance of a lack of transparency that has surrounded the actions of the current board, especially in relation to the decision to end a long-standing relationship with Rescue Inc.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – We’ll See Your $80k, and Raise You $80k

selectoard jan 16 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard heard a request from two organizations for an $80,000 a year part time position (and some data collection) and decided to double it. They gave them $160,000 and two years for a “proof of concept” showing that this investment attracts new businesses to Brattleboro.

The board went on to discuss their ARPA plans and FY25 budgets.


Reflections On Retirement

I have had over eight years to learn something about the stage of life that is called retirement. Sadly, in this country retirement is almost totally a financial issue and not everyone has the means to be able to set a date when they will no longer work for a living. The numbers have to work and living solely on Social Security is pretty close to impossible in today’s economy.

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, half of all Americans would have to lower their standard of living in order to retire. That means that those 50% of Americans have no retirement savings and they face the prospect of having to have an income from work for the rest of their lives.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – January 16, 2024

At their next regular meeting , the Brattleboro Selectboard will approve budgets for FY25 to send along to Representative Town Meeting, including their plans to use what remains of ARPA funds.

The board will also hear from the Downtown Alliance and Chamber of Commerce  (two of several organizations that foster economic growth, attract new business, and enhance the overall economic well-being of the community) for new funding to pay for someone to “foster economic growth, attract new business, and enhance the overall economic well-being of the community.”

You can bring up other items not on the agenda, if the Chair allows, during Public Participation.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting – Dettman Drive

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Friday, January 5, 2024 at 3:30pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street, Room 212). The public may also participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  Either ASL interpreters or closed captioning will be available for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.


Selectboard Meeting Notes: The Last UDAG

selectboard jan 2 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard were, until Tuesday night, the last keepers in the United States of something called an Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) Program grant. Before them was $2.3 million that has matured, and the board voted to transfer all of it away from UDAG into the Town’s Revolving Loan Fund.

The board was also pleased with their progress on a number of issues, and happy to hear the monthly fire department report.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – January 2, 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard kicks off the new year with another error. The paving project was under-estimated by 3211 tons of asphalt. Oops, and $32,000.

The Fire Department will read their monthly report – for November of last year, the board will revisit their retreat and goal-setting, and the Town Manager will request a transfer of over $2 million to the Revolving Loan Fund.  You can attempt to bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation if the Chair deems you worthy.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – December 19, 2023

The Brattleboro Selectboard will take up reviewing the revised FY25 budgets at the final regular meeting of the year. They will be examining the general fund, the capital fund, and the ARPA budgets – the only agenda item they plan to discuss in detail.

The consent agenda, however, has some interesting items. Notice the small grant to add EV charging stations to town properties, the grand list errors, and 47 lost land record binders, among other things.

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


Greg Worden on “Here We Are”

Greg Worden is a mainstay of downtown Brattleboro, bringing beauty and ingenuity through art and crafts at Vermont Artisan Designs. A tireless advocate for Brattleboro, Greg serves the community with heart, insight and experience.