Franz Reichsman

What happened with EMS, and what have we (or should we have) learned?

Having been elected recently to serve on the Brattleboro Selectboard, I'd like to update your readers on one of the concerns that led me to run. With regard to emergency medical services in Brattleboro, I asked: What happened in the process of reaching a new agreement, and what have we learned from it?

The response to my question has often been that Selectboard members and the town administration can't talk about it because of the separation agreement reached with the previous town manager. Privacy concerns and the possibility of a lawsuit have limited open discussion of this matter, which remains of importance to the town. I regard this situation as regrettable and unfair to both the Selectboard and the community.

Others, however, in the media and among the public have shared what they know. Having reviewed the available information, I believe I now have an adequate understanding of what happened and what we learned, or at least what we should have learned.

Simplifying things somewhat, I believe there are lessons in the hiring of a new town manager, in introducing and orienting a new town manager, and in crafting non-disparagement agreements should they be needed in the future.

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Rescue debacle: What happened, and what can we learn?

A lot has happened with EMS in Brattleboro over the past year, too much to put into a brief letter. I've heard a number of different versions, but as yet I have not heard anyone say things have gone well. When things don't go well, it makes sense to...

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Pull back the curtains and let the light in on superintendent search process

I do not know Mark Speno, other than that he makes a very good impression when, as principal of Green Street School, he has spoken at school board meetings I've attended. I don't think I've ever spoken to him directly. Most residents in the communities that make up the...

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Brattleboro Selectboard's approval of community safety report is democracy in action

I find several reasons to take issue with Kurt Daims's piece. I question both its premises and its conclusions. Specifically, the idea that one should adopt a 224-page report and its 41 recommendations without examining the details included within, how the information was gathered, and each recommendation individually is clearly incorrect. The Community Safety Review Committee and its two facilitators did a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time, and their work deserves a close look, not...

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What does it mean to be safe in Brattleboro, and for whom?

What is there to say about the final report of the Community Safety Review Project? In fact, there's a lot one could say about it, which should not be surprising, since it's a 224-page document that summarizes months of work relating to important questions of public policy. While most people will probably read the executive summary and perhaps the 22 pages of key findings and recommendations, the full scope of the project - both what was done and what was...

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We must first commit to democratic principles

As with many political discussions, things are somewhat different in Brattleboro. While voter suppression and intimidation are realities in many places, we don't have to worry about those things here. Nonetheless, we remain directly affected by elections that happen in other communities and other states. Our future is dependent on their elections and elected officials. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in a presidential election, where a few thousand votes in another state can determine the fate of our...

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A manifestly undemocratic proposal

The Community Proposal to be considered by the Selectboard, offered as a way to create, fund, and control the process of evaluating the Police Department and associated public safety concerns, is an earnest, well-intentioned, and fundamentally flawed document. As presented, it would mostly serve the town and its population by addressing the anger and guilt resulting from the historic injustices suffered by indigenous people and people of color. If the town and its residents wish to see a system in...

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In Brattleboro, a surplus of excellent candidates

It's a real pleasure for me to look at the ballot for March 3 and find excellent candidates for the seats on the Brattleboro Selectboard - a surplus of excellent candidates, in fact. For the two one-year seats, I'm voting for Oscar Heller and Daniel Quipp, both of whom have demonstrated genuine concern and competence in serving the town, Daniel as a thoughtful and forthright member of the Selectboard and Oscar on the Finance Committee, on the Energy Committee, and...

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