Why should we listen to BDCC and SeVEDS?

BRATTLEBORO — Dear Martin Langeveld: I just read your rebuttal to Howard Fairman's letter [“Are SeVEDS board members up to the task at hand?,” Letters, Mar. 5].

My first reaction was to take issue with your aggressive tone with Mr. Fairman, someone who is trying to figure this out (as we all are) and who has every right to be concerned in light of the track record of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), with which the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) group is legally affiliated.

Brattleboro would not be suffering the way it is if BDCC had done its job correctly over the many years the organization has had to do so. BDCC has had its day and has not delivered.

There's nothing radical or innovative about the SeVEDS/BDCC approach; it's exactly the same-old-same-old that got the town and regional economy into a mess in the first place. It sounds like you and SeVEDS have no new ideas or approaches.

Howard Fairman has all the right in the world to challenge your approach and methodology. Where are your results? What exactly is your success record? It's incredibly easy to name-drop these outstanding companies, but they serve only as consultants (and have been here a good long time doing the amazing, world-class, professional job they do and have helped as much as possible in the past). What exactly is it you are asking them to do now?

Your response to these honest inquiries is to rely on a patrician attitude toward people who don't have the background in the bureaucracy that you and your cohorts hide behind. What a tangled web you and your fellow BDCC and SeVEDS associates have woven to keep everyone else out.

Whom does the BDCC report to? I've asked that question and can't find an answer from anyone, anywhere. Why? Who exactly are you? Seriously.

Mr. Fairman is a citizen and a rightfully concerned one. When Entergy closes, will you be relying on the work of SeVEDS/BDCC for your household income? No, you won't. You take his tax dollars, and we have no idea where these dollars go.

If BDCC, the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and others had been successful over the past 20 years, there would not be such a pressing need now.

Where's the $471,000 SeVEDS received for marketing? Same old, same old.

The only thing you prove with the numbers you give is that (a) SeVEDS is good at meetings (thank you for the bagels) and (b) your approach is the same road that got us here, a bureaucratic muddle that only cronies seem to find their way through.

Show us your new approach. Show us the results and why you should have all this power with little to no results to show for it.

We wouldn't have had this discussion about a 1-percent local option sales tax if the businesses in town were flourishing and bringing in tax revenue. A healthy business climate is good for all but, again, the BDCC and the Chamber have had their chance and failed miserably. Giving them more money and power is throwing good resources into bad practice.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates