Brattleboro Candidates Forum set for Feb. 23

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BRATTLEBORO — Grassroots organizations representing a range of community interests — including diversity, energy, poverty and the economy — are encouraging members of the public to attend a Select Board Candidates Forum at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Brattleboro Municipal Center.

This forum is an opportunity for the public to convey priorities and hear candidates' views on a range of issues. It is one of only two public forums currently scheduled before the March 7 election, and the only one that takes place outside of regular business hours.

Three candidates are running for two one-year seats on the five-member board. The seats are vacant because Select Board Chairman David Gartenstein and former chairman Dick DeGray chose not to run for re-election.

The candidates are:

- Davey Cadran, a former Town Meeting representative, alternate on the Development Review Board, and Planning Commission member.

- David Shoales, the incumbent running unopposed for a three-year seat. He also serves on the Town School Board, Windham County Hunger Council, Windham Solid Waste Management District board, and Fit and Healthy Kids Committee. In November 2016, he ran as an independent in an unsuccessful bid for a state senate seat.

- Brandie Starr, a marketing administrator and executive assistant to the CEO at Brattleboro Savings & Loan.

- Tim Wessel, a former BCTV board member and Town Meeting representative. He is a video and film producer and rental property owner.

Cadran, Shoales and Starr have confirmed they will attend the forum. Wessel said he is likely to attend.

Grassroots sponsors of this event are 350Brattleboro, Brattleboro Community TV (media sponsor), Post Oil Solutions, Rights & Democracy VT, Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, and Vermont Workers' Center.

Each co-sponsor will submit up to two questions, which each candidate will have the opportunity to answer. Members of the public may submit questions for specific candidates to answer during the final half hour of the forum. Questions that are not answered during the event will be submitted to the candidates and posted on the event Facebook page and on iBrattleboro. The candidates will be encouraged to publicly post their responses.

Former local journalist Kate Casa and iBrattleboro publisher Chris Grotke will moderate the forum, which will be broadcast live on BCTV. Sign language interpretation will be provided courtesy of Everyone's Books. Viewers will also be able to submit questions in real time via the Facebook event page.

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