Here’s the February 2024 dashboard summary. We continue semi-regular COVID-19 dashboard numbers from the Vermont Department of Health, and MA and NH counties that surround Brattleboro, as long as they continue providing them. Scroll down the new comments for the latest.
VT, NH and MA do weekly updates, near the end of the week, so we update on Fridays usually. All three have changed their dashboards since the start, so it is now tough to easily compare how things have changed. Variant updates are every two weeks.
Bethany Ranquist of Brattleboro commented that she found some of the comments made by board members and board candidates that were quoted in the press regarding empathy for or resilience of survivors of abuse to be disrespectful, considering the board’s silence regarding what was reported in the sexual abuse investigation. She asked that board members be more thoughtful about this and not share their thoughts about survivors if they are not going to make any further comment on the investigation. KY added that she understood this comment to be in relation to answers that board members gave to questions at the recent Candidate Forum where they were directly asked about their perspectives.
A former BAMS parent whose daughter experienced sexual assault by another student spoke about being dissatisfied with the school’s response and wanting to pursue further action. KY asked him to notify the Superintendent of this request by email and to copy herself and DS so they can initiate this process.
BUHS student Iris Mayer spoke about the same student and other peers having harmful experiences of sexual harassment and assault by other students during their time at BAMS and how they did not feel served by the school’s response to these incidents. She expressed concern about attention to students’ mental health and well-being.
BUHS student Rei Ranquist pointed out that some students have reported harm to counselors, as directed, and could not perceive that their concerns were addressed. They expressed concern that students do not feel confident that they can get help by going to their counselor.
E6 Emergency Closings
● Policy was reviewed and minor edits made, including:
o Under Implementation, first paragraph: bomb threats safety threats.
o Under Implementation, first paragraph: health problems health emergencies.
Mar 4 Chicken w/Tomato, Mushroom & Onion Gravy
The Brattleboro Selectboard made important decisions over the last year
–Proposing to Representative Town Meeting an increase in staff salaries by 13.1%, which will result in salaries and benefits constituting 61.2% of the Town budget, up from 58.3%
–Replacing emergency medical services (EMS) previously provided by Resue (and in the last two years by Golden Cross) with EMS services embedded in the Brattleboro Fire Department, all despite sustained public opposition
I went out on a date this week, if you can call it that. All it was really was dinner. We knew each other quite well, and both of us had the taste for a certain cuisine from a very popular place. It was bound to be crowded at the dinner hour, we knew it would be. And it was. But nonetheless, we were game.
This establishment has a particular and rigid system in place regarding ordering. One line at a counter. For everything. To pick up take out. To eat in. Get a beverage. Whatever. A single line that delivers customers to the register one at a time like a gum-ball machine. You line up and wait your turn. No wiggle room to the method. There are tables, but no table service. Servers bring the carefully prepared items over to you when ready, but the only way to obtain food is to place and pay for an order when it comes your turn.
This brings me to the point of all this. The other night, on our “date”, I went up to order for us and it’d be fair to say there were half a dozen or so people ahead of me. Suddenly, a guy sidles up to the counter, we could all see it coming, and it wasn’t made any better by the fact he had his AirPods in, but anyway, he leans in- well, first he shut his music, angles in and then says, to all of us, “I placed my order before and got served already but forgot something, would you mind if I just slip in and add a little something?”
The Brattleboro Selectboard has decided to have a tiny meeting on Vermont’s Town Meeting Day. While everyone else will be looking over vote totals and analyzing candidate and issue wins and losses, the board will discuss upcoming legislation at the state level this season, public safety, and committees. They will likely squeeze in reactions to local election news as well.
You can bring up other items, if this Chair allows, during Public Participation.
I am Richard Davis, a 74 year old semi-retired nurse, writer and political activist running for a one year seat on the Brattleboro selectboard. A Boston area native, I have lived in Windham County for the past 45 years, 41 of those years in Guilford and for the past 2 ½ years in Brattleboro with my wife Roberta Levy.
I feel that the current board would benefit from new blood to provide a different perspective on issues important to the people of Brattleboro. Many people have been frustrated at the appearance of a lack of transparency that has surrounded the actions of the current board, especially in relation to the decision to end a long-standing relationship with Rescue Inc.
• Approve Minutes
• Public Participation
• Tree Inventory
• Library Spruce
Recent favorable weather has helped the cure of the footing at Pier 1 and the strength of the concrete has allowed crews to move forward with the work on the Pier 1 stem and cap. As the stem rebar is placed and tied, form walls and corners will be set. Once the stem rebar is complete, crews will finish the cap rebar. The next concrete placement will be for the Pier 1 stem and is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th.
I am Jaki Reis and I am running for Select board here in Brattleboro. You may know me from the 22 years that I’ve lived and worked downtown. Maybe we met at Brown and Roberts, or at the Chamber or the River Gallery School, or at the Latchis Theater. I have been close to so many who know me as their neighbor, friend, and fellow volunteer.
I have gained a rich understanding of how we all live and the concerns and complaints that we all share. Like most of you, I love this town a great deal, and I’m happy to have a chance to contribute to the Select board in doing its job.
This is my fourth year on the RTM Finance Committee. Many people have asked me what the committee’s job is, and now that we’ve finished our report (link), I can give a specific answer.
Our job is to provide citizen oversight of the Selectboard and the town’s budget. This report represents the culmination six months of research, analysis, and hard work by David Levenbach, Millicent Cooley, Mike Hutcheson, Paula Melton, and myself. We watched and rewatched Selectboard meetings, interviewed Town staff, and performed independent research.
Some notable sections:
• Call to Order – 6:00 pm
• Review of minutes from January 4, 2024
• Confirm Notetaker for future meetings
• School Update from BAMS Principal