President Roger Allbee welcomed all to the April 20 2023 meeting of the Brattleboro Rotary Club usually held at the Brattleboro American Legion.
Call to Order by President Roger and the Pledge of Allegiance was given.
Invocation:  President Roger Allbee focused on the Rotary theme of service above self as an ongoing mission for us all.
Twenty-five Rotary members attended, 0 Student Rotarians
Guests:  The clan of Regina, with stories of high adventure.
Roger announced that the Guilford Country Store, under its new management, catered our lunch this week while the Legion chef is on vacation. The next couple of lunches will be similarly catered. Milt G. was acknowledged for putting up the Rotary flags and banners for the meeting. The flags and banners come from varied places including Alaska, St. Croix, and many others. They represent far off places that our Rotarians have visited and attended Rotary meetings.
Birthday greetings - Birthday celebrations - over the past week, Regina, John Mabie, Rick, and Rich were recognized.
Special messages
Next Groundworks meals –
Saturday, May 13th
Friday, June 9th
Wednesday, July 12th
Wednesday, August 16th
a.    April 22 – The Gathering Place Spring Clean Up
b.    Golf Tournament, June 8th SAVE THE DATE.  On facebook, please share.
  • Other meals are scheduled for May 13, June 9, July 12, August 16.
  • On Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day) the club will we working on the garden opposite the library. Volunteers are needed from 9 am to noon.
  • There are a lot of activities planned for the fall including:
    • Car show
    • Welcome center
    • Almost Oktoberfest, Sept 30
    • Stan said that this Saturday from 9-12 our gardening project will be underway at the Gathering Place and in front of Brattleboro Savings and Loan and the library. All manner of gardening skills will be utilized. We assisted at one of these areas last year.
    • John gave an update on the scholarship program. He announced that a student from CCV in early childhood education has been selected to receive the Jesse Corum scholarship. That award will be presented in the next few weeks with a few Rotarians attending. Otherwise, for the graduating seniors program, material went out to all the schools and applications are available on the website. The Reformer ran the publicity piece so we should be well situated to get a good number of applications this year. Applications will be due in May and decisions will be made in early June.
    • Stan further stated that we need auction items for the golf tournament. The committee wants to start the auction on May 4th, so the sooner items can come in, the better.
    • Bill stated that we need gift baskets to hold raffle items 12"-24" would be best size.
ED NOTE: Weekly assignments for the invocation or motivational thought can be found on the club website.>


For our joke of the week: 
President Roger Allbee shared a joke attributed to Mark Twain about the undertaker who was unhappy to see a customer come along. George was drafted to tell a joke. He said it is probably one that many have heard. An old guy is walking down a road in west Townshend or Windham, Vermont. His car breaks down. He locates a friend who will pull him out with a tractor. As he is looking on the road he sees an empty bottle of beer. A genie comes out of the bottle, the genie of Windham. The old guy is told he has two wishes. First, he says he’d like a beer. Next, he says I’d like another…
ED NOTE: 2022-23 weekly assignments are posted on the club website.
For the Rotary Minute - There was no Rotary minute this week.
Rotary anniversaries : Ana 15 years, Cathy Coonan 31 years, Bill McKim 35 years and Dart 42 years!
  • 4/27 – Mara Williams promises some sort of performance
  • 5/4 - The director of BDCC
NOTE: 2022-23 weekly assignments, are posted on the club website.


  • Please bring your bottles and cans to the Putney Road redemption center to benefit Pure Water for the World. Please remember to inform the staff that the bottles and cans should be credited to the club.
  • “Like” the club’s Facebook page

FINES & Happy Dollars

  • Rick bragged for his 4 year old granddaughter. John bragged for his daughter who is expecting his first grandchild in late June.
    Regina bragged for her kids who were in attendance and in particular for their exploits on the ski hill at Jay Peak.
Guest Speaker:
George W. introduced Sheriff Mark Anderson. He is a BUHS graduate who has a business degree. He was appointed Sheriff by the governor in 2019 and was elected to another term in 2022. Sheriff Anderson stated that the Sheriff’s department recently moved from their long term Newfane headquarters to an office building on Old Ferry Road in Brattleboro. A question was posed about racial bias in policing. Mark said that his department tracks racial bias
data, for traffic stops. This data collection started in 2005. The goal of the Sheriff is to treat all people fairly and to utilize data that is helpful for training or education purposes. A State authority has put out a model policing policy for the various counties to follow. Windham County has come up with its own policy. This was started under former Sheriff Clark. It deviated slightly from the state policy. Some other Sheriff departments around the State have also deviated from the state model policy. The so-called Winooski policy addresses immigration issues, undocumented workers and migrant farmers. Under President Trump, so-called sanctuary cities were advised they would be losing certain federal funding or grants. Some sheriffs including Mark in Vermont have had discussions with the ACLU and tried to come up with the best policies. Under President Biden, the federal authorities have said they would not be going after some of the same agencies that President Trump had put on notice. Mark stated that the swing in federal policies causes some difficulty for local authorities trying to do their job. His department receives approximately $250,000 in federal funds, so the federal funding is important. Different federal circuit courts of appeal have taken different approaches on this issue. Mark’s feeling is that his department should be singularly focused on public safety issues and shouldn’t be focused on federal immigration law enforcement, which should be dealt with by federal immigration authorities. Some local select boards want the Sheriff to sign the so-called Winooski policy, but he is moving very carefully due to liability concerns and advice of counsel. Dart asked some questions about landlord tenant issues and the difficulty faced by landlords in slow evictions, sometimes taking four or five months to simply get into court. Another question was raised about drug houses in town, where it is clear multiple transactions are going on throughout the day, and why more action isn’t taken. Mark stated that there are various legal constraints including bail reform and evidentiary standards applied in court that make it difficult to detain individuals and curtail these activities. Mark explained that his office is the authority that carries out evictions. The police and State authorities do not do evictions. This highlights for him the great need for housing and State investment in housing. He believes that Act 250 is too tight and doesn’t allow for further housing initiatives that are needed. Dart mentioned that the public housing through the land trust is very expensive and there have been safety issues in those buildings. Mark responded by underscoring that many problems were made worse by COVID, unfortunately. When asked what he likes about his job, he stated that a primary thing is to work on better rural policing, and addressing big issues. He said that our current model for rural policing is not very good and needs to be improved. As to the Sheriff department’s duties, he said there are two primary duties, the first being service of civil process, meaning serving legal papers in civil cases, and the second being transporting of detainees and/or prisoners. A further area is contracts, where state law allows the sheriff to enter into contracts. His department has contracts with Putney, Dummerston, and other local municipalities. He also has contracts concerning road crews that by law must have law enforcement present during road work. The Vermont State Police is understaffed and the Sheriff and his people do have law enforcement authority, but they cannot really perform the duty that the State Police should be filling. In terms of the Sheriff’s budget, the town contracts amount to approximately $500,000. Other sources of funding are the State of Vermont, Windham County, the Federal Government, and other contract income. His hope is that a better regional policing system can be devised. He believes that the ability to contract with towns and other entities is the path to a better policing model. He believes
that some money for administrative support to get the system up and running is going to be essential. A possible county tax would be one way to do this, but State funding would assist also.
<ED NOTE: You can watch past presentations on the BCTV show, “Brattleboro Rotary Club Speaker Series.”>
Scribe of the Day: Maggie Lewis


Weekly changing scribes and questionable IT may have resulted in oversights and errors. We regret any mistakes.
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