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Watch the Brattleboro Selectboard Special Budget Meeting 12/2/17

It's not nearly as good as Chris' write-ups, but here's the "fresh off the edit station" recording of last Saturday's budget meeting. It's four hours of fun!


And to be able to follow along with the numbers at home, here's the current proposed budget document too:


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How was it?

Any fond memories of the meeting? Anything notable beyond what the budget shows us? Any changes proposed?



So, as a "newbie" along with Brandie you must understand that I don't have any other budget seasons to compare this to, but I was surprised to find this meeting the opposite of boring actually. Finding out about the details of every department put faces behind these numbers, and that's the part of this job I like the most.
At the risk of sounding like a pandering politician, I am still loving getting to know all of this town's terrific employees and what they do for us on a daily basis.

My fondest memory of the meeting has to be Captain Carignan's assessment of the the police force, and the skillful way he handled our questions which veered away from budget and into things like street beats and retaining officers. If I were to recommend one section to watch it would be his - starts at about 2:51.

My other "wow" moment came when I realized just how much the Rec and Parks dept with Carol at the helm has assembled so much programming and value out of so little funds, by combining volunteer efforts with creative non-tax funding sources. Watching her section (she's first up on the video) is worth it as well.
This actually brings to mind the issue of the Creamery Bridge rental opportunities, which I asked Carol about, and was rejected by the previous Selectboard. While there are a few obstacles, I still feel we should be thinking about that going forward.

Since this was basically a "here's what we're proposing" session and most of the more controversial items this year (fire truck, HR position, Human Services) will be/were discussed at separate meetings, there wasn't much contentiousness to this particular meeting.

That's all I've got off the top of my head for now, but I'll chime in again if I think of something worth highlighting, thanks Chris.




As a not-newbie, we tend to look for changes in staff levels or service from year to year. Did any department grow? Shrink? Did anyone propose a new service or revenue stream?

It is good for everyone to listen to one of these... it is the best overview of what each department is and what they do. If Town Meeting Representatives attended or watched, they'd have fewer questions come March. (I always wonder why these elected reps never seem to attend these meetings).

Will the skatepark be built next year? Will the Act 250 permit run out before it is built?

I hope the business license fees will be reduced to the amount it costs to run the program, and that they get moved to the Town Clerk's office with the other licenses.

I hope we increase the fees and fines fro tree removal, and require that new trees be plated if one is taken down.

I personally think renting the Creamery Bridge isn't a very good idea. It sounds good, but really, who would want an event at a non-electrified, no-bathroom, location next to a loud, smelly highway? (Ha. Someone, I'm sure...)


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