State and Town-Wide Redistricting

Every ten years, the Vermont State Legislature is required to conduct a redistricting process, based on the census results. Earlier this year, the Vermont State Legislature redistricted the Vermont House of Representatives and renamed Brattleboro’s three Districts as Windham-7 (previously Windham 2-1, or District 1), Windham-8 (previously Windham 2-2, or District 2), and Windham-9 (previously Windham 2-3, or District 3), changing the district lines slightly.

For local Town Meeting Day elections, the districts will be called: “Windham-7/Brattleboro District 1,” “Windham-8/Brattleboro District 2,” and “Windham-9/Brattleboro District 3.”


Cris Ericson On The Nov. 8, 2022 Election Ballot!

Hello! My name is Cris Ericson and I would like to publicly thank more than 500 local Vermonters in southeastern Vermont who signed my petitions to allow me to be on the Nov. 8, 2022 general election ballot as an Independent candidate for United States Senator.

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be another voice in this election when so many people are a little bit frustrated with their usual political affiliations with Democrats and Republicans and they are willing and ready to hear my newest ideas. 


Brenda Siegel of Newfane Files for 2022 Gubernatorial Race

Montpelier, VT – This morning, Brenda Siegel of Newfane filed her petitions with the Secretary of State to become the first candidate from any party to officially be in the race for Governor of Vermont. Siegel, a Democrat, is running on a platform committed to some of Vermont’s biggest issues: housing, the overdose crisis, education, and climate change. 

Said Siegel upon filing: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to run in this race. I’ve been fighting for working Vermonters my entire life, and now, more than ever, our communities are struggling and they need us to do more. Vermont needs leaders who prioritize taking bold climate action, building a bottom-up economy, putting real resources into healing the overdose crisis, and supporting and strengthening our education system. These are not new issues and we need a Governor that is ready to lead. I’m confident that I can – and will – be that Governor.”


Wendy Harrison of Brattleboro Announces Candidacy for Windham County Senate Seat

Wendy Harrison of Brattleboro has announced that she is a candidate for one of the two soon-to-be-vacant Windham County State Senator seats. She is running as a Democrat in the August 9 primary.

Harrison has 30+ years of local government experience and a passion for working together with everyone in the community to address challenges and seize opportunities.

“We can solve our problems from the ground up, as long as the process is inclusive,” Harrison said. “I am committed to identifying barriers and developing solutions that empower individuals. This benefits us all.”


Cris Ericson Running as Independent for U.S. Senator 2022: New Platform

(1) FUNDING FOR HEALTH CARE

We pay our taxes to the federal government, the I.R.S., and then the U.S. Congress votes to give billions of our tax dollars to the N.I.H., the National Institute of Health, and then they give out our tax dollars for medical research to create new vaccines and prescription drugs and medical devices, BUT since the Bayh-Dole Act was passed we have been cheated because the lead researcher is allowed, under this federal law, to own the Patents, which are the ownership rights to the new inventions


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.


VT Town Meeting Day – America’s Last Bastion Of Direct Participatory Democracy – Defending Our Rural Tradition

3/1/2022, Cabot Vermont – Today is Town Meeting Day here in our Vermont. While a community may have many Town Meetings throughout the year, the first Tuesday in March is, for the most part, when all our communities come together to make important decisions for the coming year. From Town budgets to School budgets, from local ordinances to expressing views on a range of topics, Town Meeting is where Vermonters debate and decide on the issues of the day.

And traditionally it is at such Town Meetings that ALL the citizens of a community act as the legislative branch of local government, with the power to publicly debate, make motions, propose amendments, and ultimately vote from the floor on those issues set before them.


Brattleboro Town & School Unofficial Election Results

Please see attached for the “unofficial results” for Brattleboro Town Meeting. The attached is formatted to show the unofficial winners for each race in bold. These are the results from the ballot tallies, not including write-in votes.

Brattleboro’s WSESD unofficial results are at the bottom of the spreadsheet. These are not the final results, as the school district needs to tally the votes from all 4 towns.


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 – Tim Wessel

Tim Wessel

Tim Wessel is an incumbent running for a one year seat.

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Is there anything special you are still trying to accomplish? Why keep doing this?

As you know I’ve been on the board for five years, and I do feel I’ve been on the board long enough and have accomplished much in that time. I’ve decided to continue for another year for two reasons: 1. I saw no one who I thought was capable stepping up as a candidate, and 2. I think it will be good for Brattleboro to have some consistency as our new Town Manager Yoshi Manale gets settled into his role with consistent board leadership. I’m also interested in continuing efforts around housing in Brattleboro and have an influence in the ARPA funds conversation going forward.

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…

I think RTM did make a mistake, and I said so at the time. More money does not equal a better Selectboard. Of course, one year does not close the debate on this, but one does have to wonder what impact effectively doubling the compensation has had. It is appreciated by the sitting board of course, and did influence my decision to continue this year. 


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? 


2022 Brattleboro Election Information

We sent out interviews to all the Selectboard candidates, as we always do, almost a month ago. None have returned them yet. (Why bother when there is no competition, eh?)

We sent out interview questions to candidates for Representative Town Meeting Moderator.  David Gartenstein returned his and you can find it here. (Update:) Kurt Daims’ answers are here.


Brattleboro Election Information for March 1 Voting

Below is information that might be helpful to know for March 1st local elections. The Windham Southeast School District vote will be held in addition to the Annual Town Meeting Day elections.

The polling places for all three districts in Brattleboro is the American Legion, 32 Linden St., from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm.

Due to COVID-19, CDC approved masks will be required (and provided if needed) to enter the American Legion for voting, and hand sanitizer or gloves will also be provided. If you are unable to wear a mask and did not vote absentee, there will be a space outdoors for you to vote. Due to social distancing and reduced capacity indoors, please be prepared for potential wait times.


Brattleboro Absentee Ballots Available for Town & School Elections

Absentee ballots for the Brattleboro Annual Town Meeting and Windham Southeast School District vote to be held March 1, are now available. Due to the pandemic, voters are encouraged to vote absentee.  Absentee ballots for these two elections must be requested. Anyone wishing to vote absentee may apply for an absentee ballot until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 28, although we recommend doing so as soon as possible for mail time purposes.

Absentee ballots may be mailed to the voter by the Clerk’s office, picked up by the voter, or if a voter is in need can be delivered outside of the voter’s location by two Justices of the Peace.  All voted ballots must be received by the Clerk before the polls close on election day in order to be counted.  For more information or to request an absentee ballot call 251-8157.


iBrattleboro Representative Town Meeting Moderator Interview – David Gartenstein

David Gartenstein is running for Moderator for Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting.

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Tell us about yourself and why you’d like to be Moderator of Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting.

I’d like to serve the public good by moderating Town Meeting in a way that is fair to all, with governing procedures followed, all persons having a chance to engage, and decisions made after full debate and consideration of all available information.  


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.


How To Unify The Country

When divisions reign between the people, and there are sides, and each side hates the other, things can get very heated.  Consider the old truism that the worst feuds are family feuds.  Well, here in America, we used to be Americans but now we’re Good Americans and Bad Americans, and, if news media is any indication, we despise each other.  Moreover, we have had four straight years of this hatred.  I lived through the entire 1960s, but even during that similarly divided time, I never feared for the Republic.  Today, people are evoking the Civil War as a comparable period. 

Now cynics know that America’s current division does not have to lead to civil strife.  Our hatred for each other could be united into hatred for a third party somewhere else — a Russia, for instance, which Americans are accustomed to hating from at least the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, if not before.


Brattleboro Candidate Petitions Due

The Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office would like to remind those interested in running for Brattleboro Town Officers, Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) Board Members, and Town Meeting Members, that Consent of Candidate forms are available at our office. Please call or email our office to request the form. Due to the pandemic, petition requirements were recently waived for candidates to have their names placed on the ballots for this election. Town elections will be Tuesday, March 1 at the American Legion – 32 Linden Street, and the Annual Representative Town Meeting , Saturday, March 19, location and format will be announced at a later date. Consent of Candidate forms must be filed in the clerk’s office no later than 5:00 P.M. on Monday, January 24 in order to have their name placed on the ballot.


Robert’s Rules of Order: A primer for Representative Town Meeting (RTM)

Robert’s Rules is the most widely used set of parliamentary procedures in the United States. It
offers a fair and structured method of decision-making in diverse organizations of all sizes.
Andy Davis is an educator who joined RTM in 2009. Andy will review the basics of how Robert’s
Rules function in Brattleboro’s annual Representative Town Meeting and understanding these
basics will help members of RTM to participate effectively. This session is open to all, including
past present and future “town reps”.