Why I'm Running for Selectboard

My name is Oscar Heller, and I’m running for Selectboard. I believe I have the temperament and skills to do a great job on your behalf. I value thoughtfulness, hard work, and public engagement. I’m not afraid to admit when I don’t understand something, or to ask hard questions on behalf of the public. And I’m not afraid to stand alone or take a hard vote if I disagree.

I found Brattleboro through Camp Waubanong, and moved here permanently ten years ago. Since then I’ve started two small businesses, bought a building and become a landlord on Elliot Street, and gotten involved in local politics. I first joined the Energy Committee, and am currently a town meeting representative and a member of the Finance Committee. I’m 35 years old, and I want to be a part of building our future.

As a Finance Committee member for four years and former chair, I plan to bring my experience to bear on next year’s budget process after some speed bumps this year. That’s a priority for me. Another is to help Brattleboro evolve. It seems like a whole generation of businesses is transitioning as people retire and other people step up. The Selectboard needs to carefully shepherd that process. Things are fragile right now, but also full of potential.

The EMS transition will be a major project. We’ve jumped in. Now we have to put aside our differences and make it work. We’ve been having a community safety conversation in fits and starts for 4+ years. We owe it to everyone to finish that conversation. We need to invest in climate adaptation and resilience. And I know that none of this is free: everything we do comes out of the bank accounts of property taxpayers (I’m one myself). We have to be smart and we have to be practical.

There are other problems that no one person can solve, problems we all know too well: mental health, homelessness, drugs. These ripple out and hurt everyone. There are no easy answers. All we can do is continue to pick our way slowly and methodically down the path.

Please reach out to me personally if you’d like to get to know me better. A twenty minute chat over coffee beats a press release any day.