by Gloria Vanderbrick, The Bricklyn Eagle’s People In the News correspondent
Summary of Article ➤ Bricklyn Dept. of Public Works Director Chulpin B. Spancer has moved Bricklyn to the forefront in getting new infrastructure built, as well as in dealing with improvements to aging water and sewer systems.
➤ Editor’s Note: This is the first in an ongoing series of posts The Bricklyn Eagle will be running on the BricklynVT.com site. Reporter Gloria Vanderbrick, in her “People in the News” column will be introducing you to the people who make Bricklyn tick. Today, she’ll be highlighting Chulpin B. Spancer, Director of Bricklyn’s Department of Public Works (DPW).
Chulpin Spancer seems a fixture in Bricklyn Vermont. With his white hard hat on, and sporting his DPW orange & blue attire, he’s regularly spotted walking or biking through town. But surprisingly, Spancer’s only lived here since 1991, so he’s still — in the eyes of many — a flatbricker.🌀 His family traces its roots back to the Town of Billund, Denmark, home of many of Bricklyn’s founders.
But in 1969, instead of emigrating to Bricklyn, the Spancers and a small group of other Billunders settled in Brickville, New Hampshire.
Their decision reflected a “philosophical” split among LEGO peoples, between those advocating the SNOT philosophy and those NOT.📍
📍While many readers will find the SNOT debate difficult to assess, respected Lego analyst Holger Matthes has written: “But what is the miracle behind SNOT? SNOT stands for Studs Not On Top and doesn’t mean the green stuff produced in your nose. It’s more like a ‘philosophy’ to use LEGO bricks slightly different. The well known studs are not used in the normal top position. The bricks will be fixed in another way, let’s say ‘not on top’ … “
➤ Fortunately partisan sniping has faded in recent years as Lego communities have embraced the motto of “Fred og Enhead” — Peace & Unity.
Spancer Moves to Bricklyn & Finds His Calling
In what was undoubtedly a difficult decision, Spancer left his family in Brickville at the age of 18 after embracing SNOTism, and moved to Bricklyn, enrolling in the University of Bricklyn VT (UBVT) where he received a B.S. in Recreational Theoretics. After graduating the young man quickly became involved in local politics, and ended up winning election to the Bricklyn City Council.
Spancer also found his calling as an early bike, pedestrian, and transit advocate, becoming director of the powerful nonprofit, Vocal Brickmotion.🌀 In looking back, most of us now realize that there was much that needed to be done to move us out of our beloved automobiles — and Spancer and Brickmotion were leaders in this effort!
Taking the Helm at the Department of Public Works
Spancer surprised some — including this reporter — by leaving Vocal Brickmotion several years ago to become Director of the Bricklyn DPW, appointed to the post by YMK Spiro Brickburger. Editor’s Note: Much more on YMK Brickburger’s reign in future posts.
Spancer has focused on getting new bike and pedestrian infrastructure built, while also stressing the need to rebuild the city’s aging sewer and water systems.
As many Bricklyn Eagle readers are aware, Spancer pushed forward an ambitious plan for a greatly expanded bike and ped network. Voters rewarded these efforts by passing the huge $1.2 million 🅱️ bond issue📍 last March to pay for Phase 1 of the Bike & Ped network, and then an additional $900,000 🅱️ for Phase 2 last November. Incidentally, Phase 2 included the quite spectacular Railyard Overpass which we’ll be highlighting in a future post. Both Phases 1 and 2 are now complete, having come in on time and right on budget — in the true Bricklyn Builds Better spirit!
📍 Note that dollar amounts are given in Bricklyn currency, the Brickmark 🅱️. While Bricklyn is, indeed, a municipality in the State of Vermont, when it was incorporated into the State in 1988 by an Act of the U.S. Congress, it received the right to continue using its Brickmark monetary system. Of course, U.S. currency is also honored in Bricklyn to make it easier for visitors. We’ll ask our business & economics reporter, Paul B. Macro, to discuss the financial implications of using the Brickmark in a future post.
As Spancer recently remarked in the pages of The Bricklyn Eagle:
“Bricklyn has taken the lead in re-orienting its transportation system away from heavy reliance on the automobile, and towards alternative forms of transportation, including rail, bus, biking, and walking. We’re proud to be doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and hope to be a model for other communities.” (From, “New Transportation Plans Taking Shape in Bricklyn,” The Bricklyn Eagle, May 14, 2021). ❖