Tonight I attended both the library trustee meeting regarding the proposed budget cuts and the Selectboard meeting.
Well, I tried to attend the Selectboard meeting but apparently -even though the 2015 budget and the proposed cuts to the library and parks and recreation -not to mention the police/fire bond- have been discussed endlessly and passionately and even though ibrattleboro and the Reformer FB page have been filled with discussions and comments for 2 weeks and even though the Selectboard has received numerous letters from voters wanting to share their opinions and displeasure...even with all of that going on-the Selectboard apparently never concluded that perhaps there would be a larger than usual crowd at the meeting tonight.
And,because the crowd was approximately a dozen people over the occupancy limit, David Garenstein decided that the meeting would not be held and would be moved to another location on another night. This shows- better than any scenario anyone could come up with- just how painfully out of touch this Selectboard is with regards to the people in this town. David Garenstein seemed so surprised that there was a crowd and even stated that "in 6 months of discussing the budget we never had this many people". Really? Maybe that's because the voters hadn't rejected any previous budgets; maybe because you weren't threatening to slash the budgets of programs that are beloved and vital to the town.
Garenstein would not allow anyone in the audience to speak or to suggest any alternative to rescheduling the meeting. The level of arrogance and disrespect he directs at the tax payers of this town -who came out especially to be heard on the budget matters - is despicable and unprofessional. I heard many people say they would not be able to attend a meeting later in the week and I couldn't help but think that maybe that was the point. It has never been more clear than tonight that the Selectboard- at least as represented by Mr. Garenstein - couldn't care less what the people of this town have to say. I hope tonight is remembered when it comes time to elect a new Selectboard.