Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro’s Severe Housing Crisis

selectboard march 15 2022

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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Organizational Meeting Correction

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.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – March 15, 2022

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.


Did Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting Make A Mistake Raising Selectboard Stipends?

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.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Mask Rules Lifted, Sidewalk Rules Enhanced

brattleboro selectboard march 1 2022

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.


iBrattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Jessica Gelter

Jessica Gelter is an incumbent running for a one year seat.

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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!


iBrattleboro Selectboard Candidate Interview – Daniel Quipp

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? 


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda & Notes – March 1, 2022

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.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – No Business Likes Snow Business

selectboard february 15, 2022

The Brattleboro selectboard had strong words for downtown property owners over sidewalk snow removal. It was a good old-fashioned Selectboard -DBA battle for a while there, when the downtown organization tried to pass responsibility for clearing snow to the Town.  No, insisted the board. Building owners have always been required to clear it, and if the downtown organization feels it is a shabby job, perhaps they should pay to use a more professional service. Take that.

They also raced through some public hearings, updates and reports.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting – Agenda and Notes February 15, 2022

At their next regular meeting the Brattleboro Selectboard will consider changing the rules about downtown snow removal, possibly ending the practice of removing snow for building owners and charging them after for the work.

The board will revisit the mask mandate, take care of some grants, appoint some people, and consider use of ARPA funds to replenish the parking fund. You can, as always, bring up pther items not on the agenda during public participation.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Whiskey and Water

brattleboro selectboard feb 2 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard met to discuss liquor license renewals and a safe drinking water system loan Tuesday evening

They granted licenses and accepted free money in record time, withholding most commentary and cutting right to the chase. This qualifies the evening as one of the shortest regular meetings.


No Challengers For Brattleboro Selectboard

Everyone in Brattleboro who planned on running for Selectboard has returned petitions to the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office. The big surprise this year? No surprises at all. All the names are familiar incumbents.

Daniel Quipp will run for a three year seat. Jessica Gelter and Tim Wessel will run for one year seats.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Manale Begins, FY23 & RTM Loose Ends

yoshi manale brattleboro jan 2022

The Brattleboro Selectboard began 2022 with new Town Manager Octavian Yoshi Manale at the helm. He remained relatively quiet, letting staff do most of the explaining while he adjusted to the new surroundings.

The board made a few FY’23 decisions, punted a few others to another meeting, and helped approve some articles to go before RTM at what they cautioned might be another virtual town meeting.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – January 4, 2022

The first regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard in 2022 is also the start of Yoshi Manale’s tenure as Town Manager. Welcome, Yoshi!

Changes to the Agricultural Land Preservation Fund will be discussed. The board will also consider feeding and providing childcare for Representative Town Meeting, they’ll review goals, and consider some traffic safety items. And, as always, you can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.


Brattleboro Selectboard Special Meeting December 28, 2021- Possible Opioid Litigation Settlement

The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 6:15pm in the Second Floor Meeting Room at the Central Fire Station (103 Elliot Street) and over Zoom. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering and maintain social distance. The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting over Zoom. The Board will convene at 6:15pm and is expected to enter immediately into executive session. It is expected that the public portions of this meeting (before and after the executive session) will be very brief. However, as noted on the agenda, the Selectboard may take action upon adjourning the executive session and resuming the public session. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.” 


Lighting Up The Park At Night

I had to laugh last night during the Selectboard meeting. Dick DeGray, a former board member, called in to suggest putting lights in a park to illuminate a monument at night. It’s a good idea – flags and monuments should be lit, in my view – but it reminded me of our sock puppet selectboard special in which the sock puppet board debates putting lights in a park.

Enjoy the memories:


Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro Needs 500 Housing Units

selectboard december 6, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard learned about housing issues and possible strategies for addressing some serious housing needs during their first regular meeting of December . 500 housing units is the low estimate of what Brattleboro needs, now, and the selectboard is eager to make it an actual goal.

The board also approved corrections and updates to a Civil War monument, preserving the original but annotating it with a new plaque and information about the people of color and lower classes of soldiers not named on the original. They won’t name them on the new plaque, but will be directed to further information.


Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – December 7, 2021

Traffic safety and recommendations for improvements to the Representative Town Meeting will be discussed at the next regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. New bike lanes, LED stop signs, and a request for a crosswalk are all in the mix for Tuesday.

The board will continue to provide free operating space for some local businesses who’d like to have larger establishments, and they’ll approve a correction to a very old piece of Town information.

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