Tim Wessel

Case and Reis: experience and fresh, diverse perspectives

On Tuesday, March 5, Brattleboro voters will choose among five good candidates for three Selectboard seats. I support two folks who I think will serve our town very well.

Peter "Fish" Case is just now completing his first year on the board and is running for a three-year seat. In watching his work this past year, I've found him to be refreshingly straightforward and honest, and a clear thinker who weighs issues carefully.

His commitment to continue volunteering for Brattleboro and now investing in it, with his purchase of the beloved Burrows Specialized Sports, is a reflection of the desire to be hands-on when it comes to our town.

Having recently served six years on the Selectboard, I can tell you that it takes a full year to even get your bearings with the procedures and workings of Town government, so I'm pleased that Pete was first elected to a one-year seat, where he could "try on" the role. Now that we've seen his balanced and honest approach, voters can be reassured that placing him in a three-year commitment is a wise investment.

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‘When the conversations got very tough, I didn’t run from them’

Wessel: ‘I will have a particular focus on fixing a seriously broken child care support system we have here in Vermont’

The stage is now set for a dramatic six-way race for two open seats in the Vermont Senate for Windham County! For voters in our state's general election, this will feel like a far-too-rare and luxurious position to be in. Not only have we not seen two vacant seats...

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The Brattleboro Fire Department is ready

Moving to a fire/EMS system shifts Brattleboro away from a partnership with a private, unaccountable entity into one that is directly accountable to our taxpayers and residents

A few weeks have gone by since the Brattleboro Selectboard decided unanimously to move towards a municipal fire-based EMS system by contracting with Golden Cross for local ambulance service for the next year, ending a long relationship with Rescue, Inc. Understandably, many have expressed a sense of loss, given...

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A picture of cooperation

On Jan. 3, Gov. Phil Scott posted some pictures on his social media that caught my eye. The governor was drawing attention to an effort to grow Vermont's health care workforce, a worthy goal indeed in these stressful and frightening times. But it was the images themselves that struck me, as a reflection of something we see far too seldom in politics, even here in Vermont. The scene was our windy Statehouse steps, where the three politicians standing in the...

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Vermont legal cannabis growth will need healthy soil

A number of people, from Aristotle to Jean-Jacques Rousseau to John Chardin, are credited with a good quote: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” I always try to keep this wisdom in mind when I am working toward a policy goal that is encumbered by far too many missteps and seems to be taking longer than is bearable, remembering that reaching the goal will produce a sweet and nourishing reward. I've been thinking about this quote lately while...

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Why use a chainsaw when we need a scalpel?

It is often said that the road to ruin is paved with good intentions. When we, as a community, seek to help people through broad policy changes, we must be careful that our actions have the effect we desire. Your Selectboard is currently being asked to craft and then pass an ordinance that would limit how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit - one that would essentially make it illegal to collect last-month rent up front. Setting...

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Gray: Southern Vermont needs an ally in the State House

Back in March, during the stress and insanity of our COVID-19 shutdown and shifting of services at the Brattleboro municipal level, I received a call from Molly Gray. She told me she was running for lieutenant governor and wanted to talk about how Montpelier could be more responsive to the needs of our town and our county. I found her to be an excellent listener with very good ideas, and I promised that I would look more carefully into her...

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Our police department, our values

As cities and towns across the United States grapple with a new awareness for the need to have a responsive and responsible local police force, Brattleboro residents should remember some of the good work we've already done in our town toward these ends. When Michael Fitzgerald, born and raised in town, became our police chief in 2014, he began to methodically and systematically transform the institution from one that resembled a typical police department into one that more properly reflects...

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