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Voices / Letters from readers

Brattleboro needs a sustainability coordinator — now

The writer is a member of the Brattleboro Selectboard.

This year at Representative Annual Town Meeting, the Brattleboro representatives voted to fund a staff position to coordinate efforts to make our community more sustainable. Since then, a diverse group of citizens put together information on the scope of the position, and town staff developed a position summary.

I was unable to attend the July meeting where this was discussed, so I want to share my view of the proposal here.

A person in this position is necessary if we want to realize our vision for a sustainable community. This means more than focusing on climate challenges.

It means coordinating efforts across the community to deal with social equity and the environmental and economic problems facing us.

It means educating people and facilitating efforts within and outside town government.

It means developing markers of progress and measures for analysis.

This person will need to be an organized, effective communicator. They will need to understand social and environmental trends and developments. They will need to be good at building relationships and dealing with challenging people and situations.

It will not be easy to find such a person, so we need to start the search now.

The position summary developed by town staff outlines the duties and the skills needed for this position, and the structure they will operate within. This is more than enough to put together a job description and begin advertising for applicants.

We must immediately begin the process for hiring a sustainability coordinator based on the position summary. If you agree that we need to get moving on this, please come to a Selectboard meeting and say so.

David Schoales

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Originally published in The Commons issue #523 (Wednesday, August 14, 2019). This story appeared on page D3.

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