Brattleboro’s budget season kicks off with the board reviewing the Town’s Long Term Financial Plan, and scheduling meetings about the FY22 budget.
The Tenant’s Union proposal will be revisited. Other items include a new fire truck, the taking of some land for the Hinsdale Bridge project, waterproofing at the parking garage, an interim finance director decision, a reduction of rent for The Reformer, finances, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
Brandie Starr of the Brattleboro selectboard recently wrote an article titled, “Be part of the movement towards a sustainable Brattleboro” in which she directly addresses community members and, more specifically, landlords. The article is in reaction to and support of a, now notorious, proposal written by the Tenants’ Union of Brattleboro (TUB) which limits security deposits to an amount of one month’s rent or less.
Since the proposal was added to the last selectboard meeting agenda and since Starr has voiced her support, there have been rumblings of discontent from the landlord community. From voices of opposition at the selectboard meetings, to local landlord Deedee Jones’s rebuttal piece, to emails sent directly to the tenant’s union.
I am a member of TUB and a tenant who has rented four apartments in Brattleboro. On behalf of myself and the tenant’s union, I would like to elaborate on Starr’s points and examine the conditions that make a proposal like this reasonable, necessary and, quite honestly, not very radical. I would also like to address some of the voiced and rumored concerns from our local landlords.