Editor of the Reformer:
In a recent letter to the editor printed on April 19, the writer makes the patently absurd claim that "The Brattleboro Sneakyboard (sic) sneaks in a police fire station without taxpayer approval." I have followed this process for 20 years, and had the distinct honor of representing the citizens and taxpayers of the town of Brattleboro in approving the plans. I am pleased to report that the extended and most public process was anything but sneaky, and passed with an overwhelming, 4 to 1 majority — an example of tremendous approval by the voters.
The writer suggests that rather than provide these essential, mandated services, the town should focus instead on being a business incubator, a role which is in no way mandated by the Town Charter. Like it or not, essential services are just that, essential. The town is indeed obligated to provide them. We are most fortunate to have a select board, town manager, police and fire chiefs and, most importantly, a landslide voting majority that understand how providing adequate essential services is foundational to the health and well being of the town. Taking our essential obligations seriously is of immense benefit to both the lifestyle and economy of the area. Ignoring or belittling then works directly against the vibrant business community the writer rightfully desires.
As the writer did not provide any evidence whatsoever of supposed surreptitious behavior, we cannot know how he came to such erroneous conclusions. That he thinks the building chosen for the new facility is "inadequate" is not supported by the careful analysis of the many professionals and townspeople involved, myself included. Again, the writer offers no evidence for his claim.
I wish to assure the writer that the citizens of Brattleboro already did organize and then heartily approve these most reasonable and essential projects. His charge that anything done was "illegal" is unwarranted, indefensible and even slanderous. How easy it is for us to attack the character of others, especially when we have no evidence to support our rather paranoid, fearful speculations.
If the writer wishes to better understand the situation, I would be most happy to meet with him in some public forum to discuss the reasons why so many professionals and laypersons in this town are thrilled with this significant and well thought-out accomplishment. After many years of debate and even obstruction, we are doing the right thing by our townspeople, our guests who do business in Brattleboro, and our town employees. That this project was so heartily approved is an example of democracy at its finest in a town with excellent communal values and commendable collective intelligence.
Daniel Kasnitz, Town Meeting Representative, District 1, April 20