Brattleboro became the first town in the state to ban single use plastic bags under 2.25 mil in thickness. It was the culmination of nearly a year-long effort of citizens and officials, and was adopted by a split-decision of the Brattleboro Selectboard.
The Brattleboro Selectboard decided to revise their proposed plastic bag ban ordinance bag thickness, increasing it from 1 mil to 2.25 mil. This came after some special demonstrations and displays were presented and comments taken.
They also got a peek at the FY19 budget, with a review by the Town Manager that sets a course for in-depth analysis at a series of upcoming meetings. The board learned of continued steps in the realm of diversity, inclusion and equity. Groundworks received grant funds for operation of their new shelter, and results of the panhandling survey were reviewed.
There will be no Town panhandling sign. That was the split decision of the Brattleboro Selectboard Tuesday evening.
The board had an active and long night. Much of it had to do with financial matters and planning, such as approving a letter of intent to rent space in the Municipal Center, reviewing long term financial plans, buying a fire truck, debating the thickness of single use plastic bags, and contemplating energy issues.
Budget season starts officially at the next meeting, but it peeked its head in and said hello this week.
Brattleboro’s Town Manager revealed the results of his summer explorations of issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He got generally good reviews for the summary of his report, but more than a few requested some additional specifics be included. Brattleboro seems to be in a good position to make progress over the long term, but benchmarks and budgets might help.
The pesky panhandling sign returned in a semi-uncertain form, with wording in question and sponsoring organizations and services asking for their logos to be removed. The private effort was to be a collaboration, but appears to have offended a few too many.
The board also signed a statement in support of other climate agreements being signed around the globe. (For Kate O’Connor’s sake, I’ll say here that Brattleboro has been working on climate issues for a long time, is committed to action, and will continue to be so.)
All this, and possibly more.
The energy of the Brattleboro Selectboard was spent on many issues of energy – from a demonstration of carbon use during a fuel oil purchase to appointing, oddly, multiple weighers of coal. Energy improvements were contemplated, but not firm enough to take hold quite yet.
The conversation about diversity continued, with a status report and a plan to survey experts and others in the community before jumping in with decided plans. Green Street and surrounding areas will get a new network of trails. And the board asked for an ordinance to ban single use plastic bags from retail outlets.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held an extensive discussion of diversity, both in Town hiring practices and the community at large. It was a start and step toward something probably positive, though the goals and steps to get there remain to be more fully developed.
Emergency repairs at the pool and the Harris parking lot were the other big items on the agenda, but the long diversity discussion made for quick summaries of these and other smaller matters due to a late hour.
It took the Brattleboro Selectboard less time to approve of a $7.8 million bond application than it did to learn about the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. Both were equally approved and proclaimed at Tuesday’s meeting.
Gibson Aiken gym windows will be replaced, paving projects have been funded, Brattleboro aims to buy property along the Whetstone to help with flood prevention and water quality, the cemetery committee and ordinance are evolving, and the annual dog warrant has been issued.
Our local skatepark project got a boost with approval of a $230,000 grant application by the Brattleboro Selectboard at Tuesday’s meeting. If granted, the money will be used for design and construction of the skatepark at Living Memorial Park.
Emergency plans for Vermont Yankee are set to change as the storage situation in Vernon evolves. Maybe. The board also delat with annual approvals of liquor licenses, a Grand List certification, parade permits, and the adoption of a new ordinance for pets.
Selectboard Candidates’ Forum
The next Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast will be held Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.
Brattleboro Selectboard candidates will give brief presentations and be available for questions:
There will be no mailing of Selectboard concerns regarding the Charter change proposals. The media, it was deemed, will be enough of a loudspeaker for the board’s concerns.
Much of the upcoming Pay As You Throw system was voted into being, though the issue of who will be educating the public remains to be decided, while Moss Kahler and Waste Zero discuss the possibility working together.
The Department of Public Works has a plan to save significant funds by doing the Union Hill intersection improvements in-house, a question of local-but-not-lowest bids delayed the awarding of a bid for a snack bar, and the calendar of events will no longer be read by the board.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had several important decisions and announcements at their regular Tuesday meeting. A new Town Manager will soon be hired, a new Police Chief has been sworn in, a skatepark site has been selected, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be henceforth recognized in Brattleboro.
The police will also get new equipment, and Brattleboro is being recognized for energy efficiency achievements. Read on for all the important details, and then some.
Brattleboro’s recognition of MLK, Jr. Day remains unresolved, with the Selectboard asking for more information to compare the options of adding and swapping holidays for employees.
The board had a long conversation about the future of the Melrose property, and specifically whether it would or could become a burden on the town. The Brattleboro Housing Authority said they didn’t want it to be a burden, but the board wanted further clarification before approving the PUD for Red Clover Commons.
The Entergy Funds committee is looking at their options, the skatepark visits nearly led to fisticuffs, town finances are preliminarily good, and the Selectboard approved goals. All this and more below.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:00pm in the Selectboard meeting room at the Municipal Center.
Brattleboro Town Manager’s Office
The Brattleboro Selectboard officially heard the official recommendations of the official Skatepark Site Selection Committee at their Tuesday meeting, but questions from the board and the public remain, and second-guessing of the results began almost immediately. An official Selectboard decision should come by the end of August.
The Selectboard also set the FY15 tax rate, agreed to go forward with improvements at Union Hill and Western Ave, discussed upcoming funding options using money form VY, learned about the potential threat to our ash trees, bought fuel, and more in a long meeting for returning board member David Gartenstein.
This is Part II of the story of Representative Town Meeting in Brattleboro. You can read Part I: Origins and Adoption here. Representative Town Meeting passed, but not everyone approved of the outcome. One of its critics was Edgar Lawton. Although we don’t hear much about Edgar Lawton today, his name is ever-present in the minutes and agendas of Selectboard and Town Meeting reports throughout the 1950s and 1960s.