Are you heading to Town Meeting on Tuesday? (Babysitting provided)

by beth on October 14, 2016

Post image for Are you heading to Town Meeting on Tuesday? <em>(Babysitting provided)</em>

Above: Special Town Meeting convenes Tuesday night. Will you be there? (photo by Chris Wraight)

If you haven’t been paying attention – this Tuesday, October 18th is a Special Town Meeting. (7:00 pm at Trottier Middle School auditorium.)

Town flyer

(click to enlarge)

To make it easier, Southborough Recreation is providing babysitting. (The cost is only $5/child, with funds going to Algonquin Regional, whose students will be doing the sitting. See flyer for details.)

Compared to the Annual Meeting – selectmen are looking to keep this one short and sweet. (Any articles that they could push off to April, they did.)

The Warrant does include a couple of quick housekeeping measures: FY17 transfers and Fund Costs for Collective Bargaining Agreements.

The big stuff begins with the Town’s Article 4: Easements for the Main Street Reconstruction project.

That is followed by articles proposed by citizens through petition:

  • Article 5 – Reject the TIP Main St project and instead “Repave and Repair Main Street”
  • Article 6 – Eliminate ZBA power to grant use variances
  • Article 7 – Rescind prior town meeting votes for IDC and related financing authority
  • Article 8 – Close Flagg Road near parcels #72 and #77

If you’re uncertain what the point of attending is, read this re-run of a post Susan used to publish before Town Meetings. She said it better than I could, so I’m sharing it again.

Seven reasons to attend Town Meeting

by SUSAN

If you’re on the fence about whether to attend Southborough’s Annual Town Meeting, here are seven reasons why you should. 

1. You get to decide what your tax rate will be
The more stuff that gets funded at town meeting, the more you’re likely to pay in property taxes. It’s as simple and as complex as that.

2. Not that many people attend, so your vote can make a big difference
As much as I’d like to think the auditorium at Trottier will be at-capacity next Monday night, I know that’s not likely. It’s been such a challenge to meet the 150-person quorum in years past that [in 2008] Town Meeting voted to decrease the quorum to 100.

But what that means is that every vote has a big impact. [In 2008], a motion that would have decreased the average tax bill by $340 failed by just a single vote. How’s that for impact?

3. It’s democracy at its purest
It might be easy to assume you don’t have any control over how money is spent in town, that some board in some conference room is making those decisions. But you’d be wrong.

Town officials like the selectmen and the Advisory Committee make recommendations on how to spend money, but it’s the voters who get to make the final decisions. Town Meeting may decide to follow the town’s recommendations, or it may completely ignore them and forge its own path. Either outcome is equally valid.

Says Selectman Bill Boland, “We don’t make the rules. Town Meeting makes the rules.”

4. You get to see your friends and neighbors
Say hello to friends while buying a chocolate brownie from the Girl Scouts in the lobby. Wave to your neighbors across the aisle in the auditorium. Feel part of the community.

5. You care whether schools get technology, or the police department gets a new cruiser
Or any number of things. if there are services you’re passionate about — the arts, recreation, schools, public safety — Town Meeting is the place to make sure they get the funding they need.

6. If you don’t attend, you lose the right to complain
“When someone calls me to complain about something, the first question I ask them is did you go to town meeting?” That’s Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf explaining how she has little sympathy for those who don’t participate in the process.

If you don’t like the decisions that were made — or the amount of the check you send to the town each quarter — and you didn’t go to town meeting, then you have only yourself to blame.

7. It beats TV for a night
“It’s one of the great pleasures of living in New England. It’s an ongoing theater,” thinks [former] Advisory Committee Chairman John Butler. So bring your popcorn. (Except don’t, because food isn’t allowed in the Trottier auditorium.)

See you there!

1 mark dassoni October 14, 2016 at 9:54 PM

Both all boards and town meetings are for citizens to vet -talk on – hear from others-and most of all vote to get your town future in how you see fit ,there are 3 main reasons :1- being informed is your best effort, 2-listening intently is key for your mind to understand warrant and board agendas information, 3-the majority or 2\3 vote is how town goes forward , board and town meetings is you for your town”s future . Mark Dassoni .

2 Joe October 17, 2016 at 12:49 PM

we will take care of all this Mark but thank you for your input.

3 Steve Morreale October 15, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Hello everyone,
As we prepare for the 2016 Special Town Meeting, there are important matters that will be discussed and considered.

While I believe business should be conducted in one night, in the event that matters go longer, the Trottier Auditorium has been for next Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm.

I am happy to report that all of the Moderator appointments have been made. Thanks to those who expressed interest and continue to serve on the Advisory Committee the Public Works Planning Board and Personnel Board.

Hope to see many of you at STM.
All the best,

Steve Morreale
Town Moderator

4 Steve Phillips October 19, 2016 at 4:46 AM

If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em…

5 Doreen October 16, 2016 at 1:12 PM

Looking for volunteer 8th grader up through high school to babysit. Please email dferguson@southboroughma.com

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