Brattleboro Selectboard passes diluted resolution for rfb

Pete Ferrand
Thu Nov 20 12:07:05 EST 2003

> Selectboard passes diluted resolution for rfb :

There's very little restriction on what motions a selectboard can pass,
if it wants, but under the present circumstance it's about as relevant
as the board passing a ruling that will free Tibet (which it might have
done, too).

Judging by the article, the board really didn't give this the
traditional prayerful consideration called for. The board is within its
rights to support activity not condoned by federal regulation, but has
no power to enforce. Whether the board could spend the town's money
advocating in court an enterprise such as RFB is probably an open
question but I doubt the taxpayers would stand for it, and I'd agree
that isn't the role of the selectboard.

Again judging by the article, the members of the board seem unsure as to
what their role here is.

It isn't the role of the selectboard to get involved in any way with RFB
- it isn't town business. There is precedent for acknowledging good
works, certainly, and the more prudent approach would have been for the
board to pass a resolution honoring RFB and its benefit to the town by
providing alternative voices and free expression, etc., and let it go at

Just as the board might salute a feed store that was generous with
contributions, employing people, and providing wonderful service, but
the store's federal OSHA violations are really beyond the scope of the

I've no idea why the RFB people claim they 'need' the support of the
board - and I've heard Bloch being interviewed - perhaps they will claim
broadcasting should be licensed by acclamation.

I think their strategy can only be to drag this out as much as possible,
and then claim the whole licensing process is unconstitutional or
contrary to congressional mandate, and thus the FCC rules are
unenforceable. Many years and many millions later they might actually
achieve something. Claiming the process is tilted toward large
corporations is silly - all licensing processes, power companies,
trucking companies, whatever - are set up in favor of large

By dragging it out and proving community support the chances someone
will come up with a compromise increase, and if that compromise fudges
the regulations it will be obvious the aggrieved party in that case has
more to lose by continuing to object than accepting it.

Enfield, NH

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