Since 1960, the town of Brattleboro has operated under a system of town governance unlike others within the state of Vermont. Until the Representative Town Meeting system was adopted in 1960, Brattleboro operated its annual town policy vote as most Vermont towns do: By opening the vote to all eligible town residents. With the adoption of the current system, this vote became accessible to a limited representative body. Members of this body hold annual meetings on town budget and policies, and are appointed by petition for a term not to exceed 3 years.
At present, 155 residents represent Brattleboro’s population of roughly 12,000. What this means is that for every 77 Brattleboro residents, 1 person votes on the town budget and policies at the yearly meetings.
This doesn’t mean that residents can’t keep up with the process and stay informed on the decisions being made on their behalf. BCTV provide an archive of the meetings, recorded and uploaded to their website. The recordings are free to watch, and provide a way for residents to stay abreast of the decisions shaping the town around them.