Paul Normandeau

Reducing our risk

Real estate is an investment, and sometimes you make money and sometimes you lose. A landlord, like any other business person, wants to minimize his risk of loss.

As I have been a landlord in Brattleboro since 1968, I have been following the discussion stimulated by the proposal of the Tenants Union of Brattleboro (TUB). I also have read Brandie Starr's commentary.

I have several personal reactions.

It seems that Brandie's comments are an attempt to put a guilt trip on landlords as a group and to create an us-versus-them atmosphere between landlords and tenants.

In my over 50 years as a landlord, I have always believed that I was providing a service and viewed my tenants as my customers. Much like retailers view their customers, I want them to be satisfied and become a repeat or continuing customer.

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School board chair’s behavior promotes dissension when cooperation is needed

Less than two weeks after the chair of the Brattleboro Town School Board, Jill Stahl Tyler, wrote a letter to the State Board of Education advocating for Vernon to be removed from the WSESU, she testified before the House Committee on Education, as the School Board chair, without authorization...

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Casting Vernon School District aside: nothing short of outrageous

At the last two Brattleboro Town School board meetings, the chair, Jill Stahl-Tyler, spent a great deal of time complaining about the Vernon School District being a part of the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union (WSESU). She went so far as to read a letter that she was going to...

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AOE proposes to force school-district merger

The West River Modified Union School District has proposed reorganizing elementary schools. Under one scenario, 3- and 4-year-olds would go to one school in Jamaica, kindergarteners through second-graders would go to Townshend, third- through fifth-graders would go to Newfane, and sixth through 12th grade would go to Leland & Gray in Townshend. Under a second scenario, Jamaica's school would be closed, but students from all of the towns would be separated into age-aligned school buildings. Under scenarios as described, close-aged...

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Consequences of school merger in Dummerston, Brattleboro

As a Dummerston resident and a payer of property taxes in Brattleboro, I am concerned about the impact that the merger of the town school district will have on my Brattleboro taxes and on the town of Dummerston school district. Brattleboro currently has the lowest education property tax rate in the area. If merged, Brattleboro's taxes will increase because Brattleboro will have to pick up the proportional share of costs to: • Expand educational offerings in surrounding towns. • Assume...

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Vernon high-school debt gets distributed among four remaining towns

Even though its representatives are not saying so, everything the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union and the Act 46 Committee are doing suggests that they want you to vote to let Vernon out of the high school union. Why? Because Vernon is against the merger proposal being put forth by the Act 46 Study Committee, and if Vernon is out of the picture, then chances for a successful merger increases. A Withdrawal Agreement that has been signed by Vernon and the...

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Superintendent search process: all of the nuances of a predetermined outcome

In a letter to the Reformer on Oct 21, Rus Janis, chairman of the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union finance committee, and Amy Wall, chairwoman of the WSESU board, indicated that the search committee worked with the central office administration to prepare for a search for a new superintendent of schools. According to the letter, they posted the position internally in September. Only one person applied and was interviewed. Here we are, not even at the end of October, and apparently...

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Hire the right WSESU superintendent for the long term

I want to publicly thank Andy Davis and commend him for shining the light on this otherwise very low-key and somewhat secretive process of searching for a new superintendent of schools for this area. As our current superintendent has been in the position for the past 14 or so years, it makes sense to think of the long term and to use every available means to secure the right person for this most important position. It is possible that our...

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