Letter: Brattleboro looks tired
Editor of the Reformer,
I've been having dinner frequently in Keene. Their downtown has a lively and dynamic atmosphere that invites people to gather and interact. There is a sense of overall well-being and businesses prosper. I see people strolling leisurely and walking their dogs. Would you go out of your way to walk your dog at dinnertime in downtown Brattleboro?
Brattleboro looks tired. Each summer when I return, I see the change — a slow decline that occurs in subtle degrees that may be less noticeable to those who live here year-round.
The gorgeous flowers and lively tent signs are a great addition but the physical environment needs to be paired with an atmosphere of safety and vitality.
The vibrancy of our community is a result of our public policy decisions; specifically panhandling, local option taxes and housing decisions. When you nurture a sense of safety in your downtown you nurture a healthy, inviting atmosphere that encourages the public to gather, eat and shop.
A healthy business community is the foundation of our quality of life. With our community challenged by the loss of major employers and commerce focused across the river we are at a critical crossroads. Now is the time to weigh decisions that affect businesses on Putney Road, Canal Street, or Main Street far more carefully.
Conscious decisions create balance. Balance creates a community that works for everyone.
Brattleboro, August 8
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