Town Meeting: Third night’s the charm

by beth on April 27, 2017

The final night of a long session of the Annual Town Meeting came to a close at just after 11:00 pm tonight.

A quick recap of tonight’s votes:

  • Article 26-30 – Adaptive reuse of historic buildings and related zoning changes – Pass (with one amendment)
  • Article 24 – Disposition of municipal properties – Pass (after amendment for preservation restriction requirement failed)
  • Article 25 – Adopt Economic Development Committee – Pass
  • Article 31 & 32 – Prohibitions/restrictions on recreational marijuana – Pass (Note: this will need to go to a ballot vote)
  • Article 33 – Restrictions on recreational marijuana (now moot) – Indefinitely postponed
  • Article 34 – Funding for National Historic District Preservation Planner – pass
  • Article 35 – Amend Electioneering prohibited – passed
  • Article 36 – Amend notice of meeting – amended and passed
  • Article 37 – Amend Annual Debtors List – pass
  • Article 38 – Amend nomination papers – pass
  • Article 39 – Amend Town Meeting vote counting – pass
  • Article 40 – (Citizen Petition) Alternatives for Public Safety Facility siting – indefinitely postponed
  • Article 43 – (Citizen Petition) Amend Town Code: Town Counsel – failed

And that’s the end of a long three nights. I’ll post more about the highlights tomorrow afternoon.

Updated (2/6/19 11:08 am): Revisiting the video of the night for a post related to Article 35, I discovered that I made an error in my recap that night. I had listed Article 35 as amended then passed. It was passed without any amendment or debate. The amendment note was meant to be added to Article 36. That article was amended at request of the proponent, the Town Clerk, before he asked for a vote.

1 Govt April 28, 2017 at 7:12 AM

Another night of 100 people there with disappointing outcomes that will leave us worse off. Let’s update the archaic system so we can get people to actually vote and stop the good old boy network. Let’s get out and vote at the polls.The only way for this to stop is replacing the top.

2 Mike Fuce May 1, 2017 at 9:14 AM

I agree that there’s too few people voting and it is archaic attempting to attend at times and I don’t understand why we can’t do some sort of online voting system in a secure manner.

3 mark dassoni April 28, 2017 at 9:46 AM

I maybe thought hope others did the moderator by taking straw votes took away citizens ability to speak which was totally wrong, moderator was clearly wrong and thought only about himself and was selfish and idiotic in what he did .mark dassoni, watch meeting and see for yourselves .

4 beth April 28, 2017 at 11:12 AM

Completely disagree. He allowed voters to then decide whether or not they still wanted to make comments.

If someone on the losing side of the straw vote wanted to try to change minds of the crowd, they still had the opportunity. That moved along the votes, where otherwise people would have continued to try to convince voters who were already siding with them.

As someone sitting in the room instead of watching from home, I hope it continues to be used as a tool when the moderator thinks it makes sense.

5 Steve Phillips April 28, 2017 at 11:45 AM

I was very disappointed in the acting moderator’s use of straw votes. They prejudice the discussion by locking voters into their positions before they have heard a full discussion from their fellow voters, usually to the detriment of opposing viewpoints. I feel this is an abuse of the moderator’s powers, and I hope that our next moderator, Mr. Cimino, will pledge to avoid using this disreputable tactic in future town meetings. If you want a vote count, move the vote!

6 JOJAMA April 28, 2017 at 12:15 PM


Mr. Challen encouraged those on the non prevailing side to speak. There was no need to hear the those opinions of the prevailing side. I thought it was brilliant!

7 mark dassoni May 2, 2017 at 10:39 AM

thank you Steve Phillips ,you saw and formulated what moderator Challen did ,Mark Dassoni .

8 JOJAMA April 28, 2017 at 12:04 PM

I completely agree with you Beth. Mr. Challen took the “pulse” of the room. I thought it expedited the process on certain contested Articles. And by the way Mark, calling Mr Challen “selfish and idiotic” is rude and not appreciated by the citizens of Southborough. I am sure not all agree with the manner he ran the meeting, but idiotic and selfish would never be words to describe Mr. Challen! But thanks (no thanks) for your opinion(s) from Ashland…BYE BYE!

9 mark dassoni April 28, 2017 at 2:25 PM

bad choices of words, but my intent was to point out how a citizen see it, mark dassoni .

10 boozelinedoakhill May 1, 2017 at 11:46 PM

Doesn’t Mark Dassoni live in Ashland? Why is he such a prominent poster here if he isn’t even a resident. Regardless of if he lived here before, shouldn’t he butt out?

11 boozelinedoakhill May 1, 2017 at 11:48 PM

Doesn’t Mark Dassoni live in Ashland? Why is he such a prominent poster here if he isn’t even a resident. Regardless of if he lived here before, shouldn’t he butt out? This should be something moderated better by Beth, in my opinion.

12 D. McGee May 2, 2017 at 8:19 AM

And a ridiculous opinion it is. As if Beth can tell where boozelinedoakhill lives, let alone all of the other pseudonyms. Beth is a blogger, not a detective. If you don’t like Mark’s posts, don’t read them. It’s really pretty simple.

13 Mike Fuce May 2, 2017 at 9:30 AM

[Editor’s Note: originally this was under “Concerned Parent”*]
D.Mgee, I agree with boozelinedoakhill. Beth is very careful with what she posts and reviews each comment very carefully. And for you to say to a town residents not to read it, that sounds childish. Beth should perhaps say, “please refrain from talking about Southboro business if you’re not from town”. I know that’s ultraistic as well but it’s worth a try. I don’t go on any other town blog and comment on it. It’s common sense what boozelinedoakhill is saying. Although I agree and I have learned myself that everyone should use their real name -what is everybody hiding behind? I think that’s a real issue on the Internet is hiding behind a pseudonym. Saying who you really are I think adds a level of civility and helps us to clean up our edginess in the Internet discussion.

*[Editor’s Note: Mike emailed me to explain that somehow on his phone it keeps replacing his name with an autofill of an old alias – from before his decision to always post under his own name a while back.]

14 D. McGee May 2, 2017 at 10:31 AM

The person hiding behind a pseudonym suggests that the issue is people hiding behind pseudonyms. I couldn’t define irony better if I tried.

Regarding not reading posts from certain individuals, there are a few folks who regularly post on this cite that are blatantly racist and homophobic. I have learned to skip over their posts. I hardly find that childish. In fact, I would suggest it’s called being an adult.

15 Robert Bezokas May 2, 2017 at 9:19 AM

Dear Boozelinedoakhill,

First, because you opt to use an alias for whatever reason, I don’t have any idea if you live on Oakhill Road, near Oakhill Road as I do, or in Southborough, or in Nome Alaska. To me you’re an apparent unknown, however your comments are welcome to this blog as they have been posted.

Secondly, I don’t recall where this blog has been restricted to only those that live in Southborough, have lived in Southborough, or want to live in Southborough.

Thirdly, your comment “shouldn’t he butt out? This should be something moderated better by Beth, in my opinion.” That’s exactly what it is, your opinion, which I respect as it’s your opinion. So, to make an effort by indirectly asking the editor of this informative blog to restrict who may or may not comment is hypocritical. You ask why? Mr. Dassoni, no matter where he lives, as you, has the right to comment on this blog, he possibly attends more meetings then you, and is possibly better informed than you on the “important going ons” in Southborough. He is voicing his opinion and proud of it, he uses his real name, not an alias. So, he has his opinions which are to be respected whether you agree or not, and you have your opinions which I respect but may not agree with.

I was born and brought up in the great Town of Southborough, and have resided here 68 out of my 72 years on this “Good Earth,” I don’t recall a similar period that equals the disorder that Southborough is currently experiencing. So “in my opinion” you may want to comment on some of the current Southborough issues which are truly important and refrain from trying to restrict who may and who may not comment on MySouthborough.

This is my opinion!

16 Mike Fuce May 3, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Robert I agree with you whole heartedly and Southboro is just a microcosm of the national narcissism. I think 1960 started this downward spiral with the opening of the Pandora’s box when lisrs, deceivers, and Liberals took the Bible and recognition of God out of schools and started sacrificIng our unborn children vis-à-vis – legal abortion. I think from that point forward God started to remove his hand from our nation and quite possibly our town. Oh boy, I mentioned God, watch out, The hisses and anger will come. And to defuse that as a Christian I don’t believe that we necessarily should have the Bible in public schools as we are a pluralistic society but I think we should recognize that there is a creator God and we should say pledge allegiance to our country and be proud of all the good things in our country and fix the bad things we do . If the 1% want to sit it out they have that right. But don’t allow the minority anti-God narcissism of the liberal left rule the schools and cram down the throats of the 97% who believe there is a God and that we should recognize him and the greatness, not superiority, of our country through the Pledge of Allegiance

17 mark dassoni May 2, 2017 at 10:46 AM

unlike Trumps attempt to build a wall between Mexico and America, Southborough Town Administrator understands my motives ,Mark Dassoni .

18 mark dassoni May 2, 2017 at 10:42 AM

butt out heck no, it takes an outsider to see what goes on inside, I take pride in helping others for no gratification what so ever , Mark Dassoni .

19 Townie May 2, 2017 at 11:30 AM

He’s got a bone to pick with Purple, thats all.

20 mark dassoni May 2, 2017 at 11:55 AM

townie , you” re got that wrong , Mark Dassoni .

21 Mark Fallon April 28, 2017 at 3:17 PM

Beth – thanks for the regular recaps and the twitter posts. As one who was travelling this week, I was still able to follow along with TM. Great job! Thanks!

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