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Goodnow, Quipp will run for re-election to Selectboard

Starr declines to seek another term; six new candidates enter the race

Look for interviews with all the candidates in upcoming issues of The Commons.

BRATTLEBORO—Incumbent Selectboard members Ian Goodnow and Daniel Quipp have decided to run again in town elections on March 2.

Goodnow is running for a three-year term; Quipp, for a one-year seat, according to paperwork filed with the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office. Currently, both are completing one-year terms.

The five-member Selectboard is comprised of two members serving three-year terms and three members serving one-year terms.

Quipp and Goodnow will vie for their respective seats against six candidates, some who have never run before and a few who have.

Rikki Risatti, who ran for the Selectboard last year, previously submitted paperwork to campaign for a one-year and a three-year seat. Kurt Diams is also returning to the campaign trail as a candidate for a one-year seat.

Newcomers Evan Chadwick, Jessica Gelter, Jackson Stein, and Gary Stroud are all running for one-year seats.

After seven years on the board, Brandie Starr has decided against another term. During her tenure, Starr served as chair and vice-chair.

Town Clerk Hilary Francis reminded residents that a few opportunities still exist for write-in candidates to run for Town Meeting member.

District 1 still has one three-year seat and four two-year seats, and three three-year seats are available for District 3. District 2 has no open seats.

Four ballot questions

Voters will also consider four ballot questions on Tuesday, March 2.

One question is whether to allow the sale of retail cannabis products within the town’s borders. Under the licensing process in the state’s cannabis law, towns must opt-in to allow cannabis retailers or dispensaries. The state’s Cannabis Control Board can start providing licenses to manufacturers in 2022.

Voters will also consider an addition to the Town Charter that would allow Brattleboro to adopt another town’s charter change previously approved by the Legislature.

According to Town Manager Peter Elwell, amendments to a town’s charter generally must first be approved by the voters and then by the Legislature.

If approved, the ballot question would allow the Selectboard going forth to adopt charter changes only by a town-wide vote without needing to go through the Legislature — if the text matches another town’s charter entry previously approved by state lawmakers.

“It will allow us to adopt the provisions of other charters that the state has already approved,” he said. “It means we can’t break new ground without legislative approval, but we could adopt existing provisions.”

Elwell said other towns are also considering this change, and Williston has already approved this pathway to amending its charter.

He said that if a number of towns place similar questions before voters in March, a “critical mass” of towns asking for the same flexibility could ensure that the Legislature will approve these changes and offer municipalities “a little more freedom to solve what we need to solve” at the town level.

Also for consideration: two education questions related to dissolving the Windham Southeast School District.

First, voters in town must decide whether to authorize the town to withdraw from the WSESD. The following ballot question asks whether voters want to approve the withdrawal of the other towns from the district: Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney.

State law requires that all member towns must agree before another town can leave a school district.

Polling takes place at American Legion Post 5, 32 Linden St. Voters wishing to receive a ballot in the mail must contact the Town Clerk’s office by calling 802-251-8157 or emailing

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Originally published in The Commons issue #597 (Wednesday, January 27, 2021). This story appeared on page A6.

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