NEWS - Brattleboro Board Defeats Nudity Ruling

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NEWS - Brattleboro Board Defeats Nudity Ruling

Postby natman » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:20 pm

Board defeats nudity ruling
By PATRICK J. CROWLEY, Reformer Staff
Wednesday, August 22

[LINK TO ARTICLE]

BRATTLEBORO -- After an emergency ordinance banning nudity expires next month, public nudity in town will again be legal.

The Selectboard voted down a permanent ordinance that would have prohibited public nudity downtown and along the Routes 5 and 9 corridors Tuesday night.

After much public comment, Rich Garant proposed an amendment to strike out the words "breasts" and "buttocks," limiting the ordinance to prohibit exposure of genitals.

That amendment passed by a vote of 3-2, with Dora Bouboulis, Chairwoman Audrey Garfield and Garant voting in favor and Stephen Steidle and Dick DeGray voting against it.

The amended ordinance eventually came up, but fell by a vote of 2-3. Garfield and Garant voted for the measure, while Bouboulis, Steidle and DeGray voted against it.

But DeGray made it very clear he would not vote for anything but the original ordinance.

DeGray, during the board's discussion on the ordinance, said the nudity issue is the most common topic that people ask him about around town.

"I understand where Rich is coming from, but we represent 12,000 people and the majority of people in this town support this ordinance," he said.

For Bouboulis, a strong opponent of the ordinance, said it was about rights, and that it wouldn't matter if even 99.9 percent of residents supported it, it is not up to the board to restrict those rights.

"We in this country are going down a slippery slope these days," she said. She also stated that a headline from a national newspaper that ran an article about the emergency ordinance read "Tolerant town gets intolerant." She doesn't want to see a town that has to put more and more legislation on the books to try and become a good place to live.

DeGray, in response, stated he was concerned about Bouboulis' actions and comments on the board.

"I'm glad you're up for election in March," he said to applause from the crowd. Garfield had to warn the public that she would begin telling people to leave the room if another outburst occurred.

DeGray later pointed to a recent paid advertisement in the Reformer by the Chamber of Commerce supporting the ordinance as well as a letter from Building a Better Brattleboro for the same reason.

He said passing the ordinance would be an opportunity to support the area business community.

Brattleboro residents from both sides of the issue had a chance to stand up and tell the board how they felt before the vote at the Selectboard's regular meeting at the Municipal Center, Tuesday.

Resident Michael Gauthier handed the board a petition with 967 signatures (551 of those from Brattleboro, 256 from Windham County) of people showing their support of a nudity ordinance.

"What is the point, other than shock and awe, that the nudists are trying to make?" Gauthier read from a statement.

"I think you got it right," said Robert Woodworth, stating that sometimes, "the rights of the individuals are subordinate to the rights of the many."

Others from the community had a different take.

"When do we actually stop, when we let a certain group dictate reality for the rest of us?" said Jeron Bartshe.

Another resident, who works downtown, said the attempt at an ordinance has "gone past the point of ridiculous."

Responding to another man's assertion that public nudity was a "sin," he said, "I don't believe that passing laws is going to stop people from sinning."

After the board voted down the ordinance, the vast majority of the public left the meeting as the board, minus the departing DeGray, carried on.

Patrick J. Crowley can be reached at pcrowley@reform-er.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Postby jochanaan » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:10 am

Looks like this Dick DeGray shot his ordinance in the foot. :lol:
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Postby natman » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:05 am

jochanaan wrote:Looks like this Dick DeGray shot his ordinance in the foot. :lol:


SEE! If he had been wearing steel-toed shoes and nothing else, that wouldn't have happened. :lol:
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Postby Walking Bare » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:02 pm

I'm glad we won a in this matter. It is sad that from what I've read most of the motivation for the ordinance came from the actions of an out of towner. A guy from AZ who walked up and down main street until people became irritated. The natives were comfortable with the status quo and the balance got tipped by someone more interested in exposure than nudity.
Enjoy Today,
WB
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Postby Desert Hiker » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:33 pm

I am disturbed by the communistic rhetoric being uttered here by some--"SOMETIMES, the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the individual...". Really!? :? In a country where the rights of the individual are the corner stone of our laws--this kind of rhetoric is a definite sign of the times. They are saying that as long as your freedoms do not offend me, I will tolerate them--otherwise we are going to outlaw anything we do not agree with. Where does it stop? When are we going to realize that by moving into neighborhoods controlled by a HOA committee, we are actually surrendering our rights as home owners to a few over active snooty neighbors--telling us all what flowers to plant, and where to park, how long guests can stay...., and when we elect politicians, who appoint bureaucrats to tell everyone where they can go, what they can do, what you can eat, what you can wear, or not wear--we are essentially surrendering our rights as individuals to the whimsical natures of whoever is elected--who listen to the loudest complainers, and pass laws to simply shut them up--and one by one, our rights as individuals is dwindled down, down, down...soon we won't have any rights at all.

So long as we sit idly by, say nothing, and do nothing--the malcontents of the world, who are perpetually disturbed by the sight of happy people, will go on their personal quests to outlaw, and ban anything, and everything that makes them nervous, or disturbs them somehow--and as we say nothing and do nothing, the politicians will rally behind these "causes" as a way to show how they are doing good for the common good, and get good photo op's to perpetuate their personal ambitions in politics...rah, rah, rah :roll:

One of these days, we are going to wake up, and we will gaze in amazement at these curious ancient document, called the The US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, that used to be the basis of our laws, and wonder how we let it all go to pot. The answer is that we did it all, a little tiny bit at a time--all mostly in the interest of the rights of the many, being more important than the rights of the individual. This notion that the majority rules, is simply NOT in the constitution--and more importantly, it was intentionally done that way. Leave it all to majority rules, and soon you won't have any personal freedoms at all--the founding fathers of our country knew this all too well, and set up those founding documents to protect us all from--ourselves. Knowing all too well, that we, in our laziness, and bickering natures, would soon allocate all of our power to the leaders, who would pass laws against this, and that, until we would eventually need to ask permission to cross the street...and that permit would need to be filled out in block letters, and submitted 3 days in advance of the planned crossing, and the purpose of the crossing would need to fall into only approved categories--sounds preposterous, I know, but it is already almost a reality--we already let them all tell us what to wear, eat, drink, drive, and they tell us where we can go, and not go on public lands.

How much longer till we wake up, and take back our power. the power that is rightfully ours, and guaranteed under the founding documents of this country?

How much longer do we have to listen to the complaints of these malcontents, and take them seriously?

How much longer will we go on pretending that we actually are adhering to the founding documents?
Peace In Christ, Sam

Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart...--Job
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