The people must make RTM representative and creative, to insure RTM represents the people and looks beyond the money and infrastructure concerns of the selectboard. Join your neighbors.
At the 2021 RTM the selectboard assigned twenty-five articles for the RTM to consider. Many times the debate ended before everyone was finished, and all twenty-five were approved with huge majorities, many above 90% . Does this mean the selectboard is perfect, or does it mean the RTM is an uninformed rubber-stamp ?
At a recent selectboard candidate forum there was a show of hands of people who had read the town charter, and hardly anyone in the audience raised a hand. The surprise was that some people campaigning and on the selectboard had not read the charter, either.
BCS proposed graduated distribution of COVID stimulus funds and a “People’s Budget” at the last selectboard meeting (July 6, 2021).
A draft of the technical explanations will be available on the BCS website. This is not a final version, but is pending peer review.
In comments at the end of the meeting the board members expressed some confusion about the funds. They no doubt have their own ideas about spending on infrastructure projects and tax relief for property owners. One member of the board actually said that distribution of the money to low-income people would be inappropriate, although the ARPA legislation specifies the purpose of the funds as COVID relief. This would certainly not exclude payments to low-income people.
A lot has happened since the July 4th Independence Day celebrations of 2020 when yours truly saw published:
Not All Americans Celebrate the Birth of a Racist Slave Owning USA Homicidal at Home Genocidal Abroad
Prominently placed statues of famous racists are no longer acceptable, just as policemen shooting African Americans has finally become unacceptable. Why not dispense with the far out illusion of a racist colonial capitalist USA being worth celebrating.’
June nineteenth is now a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
The only thing we know for sure about CV-19 is that we don’t know ANYTHING for sure.
There are lots of conflicting stories about the ”Pandemic” floating around and no way to tell for sure which of them are accurate.
MSNBC is saying one thing and FOX is saying another.
Cabot, Vermont, 6/15/21 – With over 80% of Vermonters having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 72% of us fully vaccinated, today [6/15/21] the Governor declared an end to the State of Emergency and the termination of pandemic related social restrictions. It is significant that Vermont is the first U.S. State to reach an 80% vaccinated rate. It is also significant that throughout the pandemic Vermont suffered only 24,339 known COVID infections and 256 total deaths; both our infection and mortality rate were the least in the Nation compared to the 49 other States. And while even a single death is a regrettable tragedy, stacked against Alabama’s half a million plus cases and 11,000 (and counting) fatalities, it’s clear that we fared better than most. And while we are not out of the woods yet, we have also emerged with the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the Nation at 2.9% (Texas by comparison is at 6.7% while Florida is at 4.8%).
How did we do this? Well, while much of the South and other parts of the country fretted about masks being an infringement of civil liberties and the vaccine being part of some insane conspiracy, Most Vermonters from the get go cared about their communities, abided by social distancing, wore masks (even before any mandates came into effect), and worked collaboratively in making our society resilient in the face of hardship.
” WHAT IS NEW TODAY
• Effective today, the Selectboard has terminated the Townwide emergency order that required face coverings to be worn inside all facilities (public, private, and non-profit) where the public is invited. Individual organizations and building owners can still require face coverings at their own facilities.
The Town of Brattleboro thanks everyone for complying with the Townwide “mask order” during the 54 weeks that it was in effect.
• The public may now enter the Gibson Aiken Center without an appointment.
The number of spectators is still limited for indoor programs. Masks are still required at all times while in the building.
• At this time, masks are still required inside all Town of Brattleboro government facilities. “
Humankind is in an ugly period of suffering in the bloody hands of imbecilic investors in war, who own the American government and media and who cannot stop themselves from planning war, even terminal nuclear war, since they know that wars make money. Their funded elected politicians and media praise war on Memorial Day.
The Town of Brattleboro has been given a gift of a metal ski-jumper-shaped object that lights up. It will be placed near Wells Fountain during the winter season. The selectboard accepted the gift at their most recent meeting.
The gift is in celebration of 100 years of Harris Hill, a truly unique part of the Brattleboro landscape. Creating a sculpture to celebrate is a good idea. And a free gift of a sculpture is a great thing.
The presentation to the selectboard left me with some questions, though.
Brattleboro will soon be going through a public process to determine how to spend over $3 million in ARPA funding. The selectboard will be setting up a process for gathering ideas and suggestions, evaluating them, and deciding what to do. They will be looking for items that give the greatest long-term benefit to Brattleboro.
As the Lorax would say, “I’d like to speak for the trees.”
I’m not sure what the right amount is, but for argument’s sake I’d like to suggest $100k be spent on shade trees. Few things would give longer-lasting benefits to the town.
DESCRIPTION: During this time in which many of us are still mourning the recent passing of former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark it seems appropriate to reflect on Ramsey’s many warnings to humanity like, ‘The government of Americans will lie, deceive, kill, do whatever it must to dominate – investors in war who control it insanely insensitive to the beauty of life and planet.’
Imagine what the state of gun violence in this country would be like if we put as much effort into establishing sensible restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns as we have put into the COVID pandemic. Although that kind of effort will never happen on a national level it is possible that individual states could do more to make it harder to own a gun.
The debates have raged for years. Those who hide behind the second amendment are nothing more than a bunch of selfish crybabies who have always lived in a world where they think everything revolves round their needs and wishes. Whenever we hear their cries for their brand of freedom we need to counter with some facts about gun violence.
It removes sales tax on guns.
If I buy a cap pistol, I must pay sales tax but if I buy a .357 magnum I don’t.
The 27 $million to the family of George Floyd answering allegations that his civil rights were violated within a flourishing American culture of excessive force, racism and impunity by implication puts protective value on all lives in the USA. Remaining valueless are the millions of lives taken overseas by Americans, including by Black GIs who afterward return home to face mortal racist danger themselves.
It was a ka-RAZY meeting. The 2021 RTM ran into overtime and continued Sunday (3/21), and since the members only had the remaining agenda to handle, they were alert and curious at the end. Many members and the moderator made efforts to preserve even more time for the proposals of the RTM members.
BCS advanced an uncontroversial educational pamphlet for the members that passed overwhelmingly. Toward the end there were a glitch and a flurry of objections as the establishment didn’t have a quorum (enough participants) for a big money maneuver. The panic was hilarious, as the moderator counted the members three times and Tim Wessel apparently arranged for people to return from dinner to vote to “adjourn the meeting to a later date so we could convene only to officially end the meeting”.
Why do the rest of us allow the British (the former genocidal colonial power) to get away with claiming the right to destroy the world if Britain comes under some sort of less than clearly defined non-nuclear attack? Is there no legal authority to sanction the UK and its officials involved in threatening Humanity – the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission, the IAEA, the WHO, the international Criminal Court?
Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting members should try an experiment. The body should form a Warrant Committee for a trial period of one year and see how it goes.
What’s a Warrant Committee?
When Bob Gannett brought Representative Town Meeting to Brattleboro, his experience with it began in Milton, MA. And in Milton, Town Meeting Representatives have a much bigger role in setting the agenda and budget to be voted on. Representatives elect a 15 person Warrant Committee to decide what articles will be warned.
Article II – “Shall the Town [of Brattleboro] permit the operation of licensed cannabis retailers subject to such municipal ordinance and regulation as the Selectboard may lawfully adopt and implement?”
* * *
It will now be legal to purchase spinach in state-approved shops, so long as it is not too fresh. Our political leaders hope that legalizing this popular vegetable with government-regulated distribution through specially-favored retailers, will squeeze out illegal growers and criminal spinach-pushers.
I am having a hard time deciding how to vote. If I vote “no,” my vote will increase the anti-pot tally and be seen as opposition to legal marijuana. If I vote, “yes,” I will be voting for state-sponsored restraint of trade, meant to harm those of our friends who for decades took risks practicing illegal horticulture and free-enterprise, keeping us supplied.
The issue of deadly racism in the USA has been brought to the attention of all Americans by the persistent efforts of impassioned activists, especially by carrying placards with photographs of African-American victims of deadly police actions. Article suggests how the greater toll of darker skinned people murdered by Americans overseas could become a burning issue of concern for American activists fighting racism at home.
During his 1967 New York sermon, which made bold headlines in newspapers across the world, Martin Luther King cried out”A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.” What would Rev. King say today about Americans bringing massive death and destruction to the innocent citizens and their children in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan?
As I continue to ponder Representative Town Meeting system used by Brattleboro, I find myself coming to the same conclusion: it either needs to be reformed, or it needs to go.
The biggest problem is representation. While voters can elect “representatives” to participate in Representative Town Meeting, there is almost no representation going on. Unlike selectboard candidates, reps rarely state to voters what they stand for. Reps rarely hold district meetings to discuss issues. Voting records of reps aren’t tallied or made public. And almost all the information reps take to Representative Town Meeting is given to them by town officials, not constituents.
Voters, despite picking names on district ballots, often don’t know who represents them, how to reach them, or how those reps have voted. Writing in names of people better known to a voter has been eliminated, unless that person is deemed “official” through registering as a candidate. Sometimes reps get slots through the caucus process, under the radar of most district voters.
There is almost no accountability in this system.