To the editor: Chris Mays' Dec. 30, 2021 Reformer news story, "Elwell ends storied career in hometown," exemplifies the value of extraordinary, local reporting. The value is more than Mays' thoroughness and accuracy. What makes it extraordinary is how incredibly well Mays' report expresses the heart and soul of Brattleboro's passing of the baton.
BRATTLEBORO — Friday is Peter Elwell’s last day in a long career in municipal management.
In Mays' account, I get a glimpse of Peter, and of new Town Manager Yoshi Manale. Manale's experience reassures me that he has the nuts and bolts skills to seamlessly take the helm from Elwell (the guy who gets things done with apparent ease). But what heartens me most is feeling good about both Peter and Yoshi as neighbors.
What caught my Realtor's® eye were the observations about local housing: "Manale has experience bringing housing to communities that need it," Elwell said. I especially appreciate the clarity with which Mays' report gives us unusual insight into the outgoing town manager's observation about what is at the core of housing and other problems: poverty. The article concludes with Elwells' wishes and advice to our town:
"His hope is that the community will 'continue to have the courage to address daunting issues and keep being patient with each other, patient enough to allow disagreement without becoming divisive.'"
"'If we can do that, we can keep making progress on the relatively straightforward stuff and the more complicated stuff,' he said. 'If we don't keep doing that, everything will be harder to accomplish.'"
Brattleboro, Dec. 30