Robert A. Oeser

Time is running out to weigh in on Brattleboro Selectboard’s EMS decision

When an issue is discussed for a long time, one might experience fatigue. Or, as a prominent member of this community wrote to me, "Can we drop this issue? It happened. Let's please move on."

But as Yogi Berra accurately predicted: "It ain't over till it's over."

In point of fact, the Selectboard still needs to make a decision in about a month - on Tuesday, Sept. 19 - as to how emergency medical services will be delivered in Brattleboro.

If you've been studying this, a few points are clear:...

Read More

Vote in new Selectboard members to mend EMS relationships

The currently sitting Selectboard in Brattleboro has unfinished business ... and it cannot be accomplished by the currently sitting members. For there to be honest and real “transparency,” three members of the board must change. Richard “Dick” DeGray stands out first as someone who speaks his mind and -

Read More

On the legal backstory of the compelling state interest test

This op-ed poses a question that seems logical on its face - until one does a bit of research. The “compelling state interest” test has been a part of Supreme Court case law since 1963 (Sherbert v. Verner) and 1972 (Wisconsin v. Yoder), where religious freedom was upheld in...

Read More


How can we not repeat this decision-making process?

I am not commenting about the merits of the decision on EMS but solely on the decision-making process. Many problems with the process bear repeating and beg for further analysis and reflection ... hopefully, this board and administration agrees: It appears a position was articulated at the Feb. 9 meeting. That decision resulted in frustration. Now information is being disclosed via the media. I invite the board to reflect on what happened and even bring in a neutral third party...

Read More

Prepare to vote on Tuesday, March 2

Soon it will be Tuesday, March 2: Prepare to vote in the Town Meeting Day and Windham Southeast School District elections. • First, register to vote or make sure you are registered. You can do that online by using the online voter registration page at and request your ballots at My Voter Page, If you encounter problems logging in, please contact your town clerk. For the Brattleboro Town Clerk, phone 802-251-8157 or email [email protected]. Strongly consider voting by...

Read More

Can we work together toward a successful election?

An open letter to Rep. Brian Smith (R-Derby) regarding his participation in the lawsuit Martel v. Condos, filed in United States District Court in Vermont: Rather than becoming part of the problem by engaging with two out-of-state lawyers to obstruct Vermont's voting by absentee, it would be preferable that you would work with your fellow legislators and the people of this state to ensure a successful vote in the upcoming election. Vote-by-mail significantly increased turnout while decreasing on-site voting during...

Read More

Stay safe and give voice to your opinion with absentee voting

There's a story told about the late Tim Corcoran, town clerk of Bennington and so-called “mayor” of that town. I don't know if it is true, but maybe a reader will know. He's described as a champion of absentee voting in Vermont and said to have wanted to expand that opportunity because people would come into the office and suggest they would vote for him or for others but they were people that normally would not come to the polls.

Read More

We kept our freedom to hold open primaries; now we need to be unified. Vote!

The Scene: Presidential primary election, March 3 in Vermont. Election official: “Which ballot do you want? Democratic or Republican?” Vermont voter: “Why do I need to tell you which ballot I want?” “Well, umm, it's the law .â—Š.â—Š.â—Š.“ “Really?” Yes, it is! As was enacted in 1979: “A person voting at the primary shall be required to ask for the ballot of the party in which the voter wishes to vote and an election official shall record the voter's choice...

Read More