Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Peyton Provides Proper Perspective On The Battle in Brattlelboro

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Peyton Provides Proper Perspective On The Battle in Brattlelboro

Kudos To Emily Peyton In setting the record straight.

If I were writing the headline on this one to be published as a “Letter to the Editor” it would be”…Peyton Provides Proper Perspective, Bounces Brattleboro Bob’s Babbling BS!

Published in the Brattleboro Reformer, Page 4,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008: Indictment costs recalculated


The passage of the resolution is a symbolic measure that is indicative of the first step that citizens are willing to take the lead in creating fairness and justice where it has been sorely lacking. While the cost to the town may have been $5,000 , those costs need to be scrutinized in the following light.

That is a cost of 38 cents per person for the population of town of Brattleboro, loosely based on a figure of 13,000 inhabitants. In actuality, the costs of passing this resolution has been much higher than described by Bob Audette.

The Brattleboro Indictment Initiative spent possibly over double that amount if not more when you calculate the hours of work donated to the effort at a living rate of $15 per hour.

The Initiative incurred several thousand dollars in debt to bring the resolution to the community, and those who are proud of its passage may wish to participate in the funding of the effort by sending contributions to: Bush Indictment Fund, P.O. Box 1991 Brattleboro, VT 05302.

The costs of passing the indictment, even as high as they are, are dwarfed by the costs of enabling and permitting the status quo or neglecting to act.

The figure of $500 million has been referred to as the conservative cost of warring in the manner we have. That translates to $10 billion spent per state in the union. As a member of the Brattleboro Indictment Initiative, I was very proud and pleased by the vote.

I met many residents who exist in such fear of this administration that they did not even dare to sign the form we passed around to get the resolution on the ballot.

With the passage of the resolution, I made the joyous discovery that we are possibly the last living vestige of wild true citizens still able to express the spirit of citizen hood.

By passing it we have created a virtual constitutional protective zone around Brattleboro within which we recognize the value and importance of our true rights as expressly guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thank you Brattleboro for passing the resolution.

Emily Peyton of Putney is a member of the Brattleboro Indictment Initiative.

I have republished Emily’s letter intact and unmolested, Mr. Audette’s article is not going to be so lucky as I will offer italicized commentary along the way.

THE COST OF FREEDOM: Brattleboro paid $5,000 for indictment issue

By BOB AUDETTE, Reformer Staff Saturday, March 8

BRATTLEBOROFreedom of speech isn’t exactly free.

It cost the town nearly $5,000 to deal with the feared repercussions of placing a special article calling for the indictment of the president and the vice president on the town warrant. ($5,000 is a pittance to accommodate the voice of a community’s population)

That’s just a preliminary estimate, said Town Manager Barbara Sondag, and includes only the personnel costs. (That means give me some more time and I’ll see what I can up with to pad that amount some more…Sondag; get over it and go back to work. Maybe Brattleboro should think about finding a new Town Manager!)

“This would be starting from the time we got the barrage of e-mails and phone calls,” said Sondag, after the Select board agreed to place the indictment on the town warrant.

“It pretty much shut (the town clerk’s office) down for a couple of days,” she said. (Really…a whole couple of days…Damn a good snow storm in that area can shut everything down longer than that! I’m not impressed.)

At a Select board meeting on Jan. 25, the board voted 3-2 to forward to town voters a resolution calling for the arrests of both President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney if they ever find themselves in Brattleboro. Vermont is the one state in the union the two have never visited during their term in office.

The article was passed by voters, 2,012 to 1,795.

In her cost estimate, Sondag figured in the time spent by the staff of her office and the town clerk’s office reading the e-mails and answering phone calls. (Don’t they read emails and answer the phones every day? We have a daily cost on those day-to-day transactions? And seeing as the Select board mandated that the issue go forward; wasn’t that now their job responsibility like any other task the Select board may from time-to-time authorize?)

I think Mr. Audette that your attempts to frame this matter in the way you have, simply says you were opposed to it and are looking for any cheap shot shabby journalistic verbal lint babbling you can to sully the issue. You fail as does your writing in general. Do you have a degree in journalism?

In addition, the town’s acting chief of police, Capt. Eugene Wrinn, spent time reviewing e-mails and phone calls Sondag considered potentially threatening toward the town’s residents and employees. (Get used to it; you’re not special it goes on all across the nation everyday as we become increasingly polarized and mean spirited and convinced that we can get away with it because the administration has cast the law of this land out into some back alley dumpster here in DC like a dead body.)

“Because of the nature of some of those, they were very angry, we were concerned about the election,” Sondag said. (Angry…how do you think we who love and support this country feel in the face of folks like you who seem to says it’s OK to flush democracy down the Fascist Neocon killing toilet? You don’t know what angry is!)

What followed was a series of meetings with town staffers, poll workers and the superintendent of the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, said Sondag.

She met several times with Wrinn, Fire Chief Michael Buccosi, Town Clerk Annette Cappy and Department of Public Works Director Steven Barrett to insure voters could make it to the polling station in the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium without interference.

“Our main goal was we wanted people to get in and vote.”

(Good for you…that’s what you get paid for isn’t it?)

During the meetings, concerns were expressed that protesters might try to disrupt the voting, but closer to voting day, town staffers started getting phone calls from members of the national media, asking what the requirements were to allow them access to town voters and to observe the process.

“We became concerned that the media would draw protesters on both sides of the issues,” Sondag said. (Getting a little Bushite Paranoid are we. Oh woe is me said Sondag was saying to herself: what if, what if, what if!)

The police incident command trailer was set up as a location for the media to sign in and obtain press passes.

“We didn’t want to have any press in the building that we didn’t know about,” she said.

During one of the pre-Election Day meetings, a decision was made to move candidates and protesters to the front of the school building, rather than near the entrance of the gymnasium as has been done in previous years, to allow voters to get in and out with little or not interference. Those in the meetings also decided it might be a good idea to have additional police officers on duty.

Seven officers were assigned to the polling station detail and on average worked eight hours, said Sondag, though some uniformed officers clocked overtime. (Like they do for sporting events in Brattleboro.) Hey! what about the possibility that some of these public employees were happy to do their jobs, and even voted FOR the measure? How about it Bob?

Halfway through Election Day, things seemed pretty calm at the polling station, so Sondag and Wrinn thought they might scale back on the police officers at the high school. But by noon, the town started getting lots of e-mails again “about what idiots we were,” she said. (Ever heard of the Delete button? It works well for fruitcakes and wing nuts. I use it all the time….with a giggle.)

The decision was made to keep the officers on site until the polls closed.

(How would you like to supervise the polls in Cleveland or Detroit, Philadelphia, Hartford or the Bronx…get serious.)

“If we hadn’t received those, we would have pulled some people off that detail because it was going OK.” (Did you really expect the out-of-state garbage mouths were going to caravan in or sky dive into Brattleboro in an anti-election offensive. You sound silly.)

The estimated cost Sondag came up with doesn’t include the time spent by the Department of Public Works setting up barriers and signs, as well as time spent on the phone by town staffers implementing the plans developed at the meetings. (Audette you are really sophomoric; they had to work that day anyway…they were doing the job and not sitting around swigging coffee all day…what’s wrong with them getting off their asses and working?)

The money came from the general fund and is considered an “unanticipated cost,” she said. (So is a big snow storm and in a community that size you just transfer in accounts to balance things out in the end…point fails!)

While it is always assumed there will be time spent by town staffers on unanticipated issues, Sondag and others had to delay work on regular items during their work day to deal with e-mails, phone calls and the plans for Election Day. (Now you are being simply stupid. I read 1,000s of emails a day and delete idiots without batting an eye. Are you saying you local people are so lowly as to be taxed by text?)

Even though nothing happened on Election Day, the preparations weren’t wasted, said Sondag. It gave her and other staffers the opportunity to develop a plan to be used if other controversial issues make it on to the town warrant in the future. (Well Good!)

“In this day and age, you just don’t know anymore.”

Despite the costs, Sondag said it’s up to town staffers to support their constituents. (Now you got it!)

“The citizens decide on what’s important to them,” said Sondag. “There was clearly a segment of the population that this was important to. We did the work so that people were able to vote on it.”

Everyone did a great job of responding to the day’s events, said Sondag, from town staffers all the way to poll workers, especially considering the high voter turnout.

While some phone calls to her office and the town clerk were so offensive they ended with staffers hanging up on callers, Sondag said, most callers were treated with respect.”

“The town was well represented by the staff. They were professional and courteous.”

Bob Audette can be reached at or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

Let Him Know What You Think And Hope He Can Understand You… Serious Thought Can Be Hard For Some Folks To Grasp.

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