Special Town Meeting: Article 5 – Standing Committee for Technology

Above: The Library hosted a public forum on Special Town Meeting Article 5 (video by Southborough Access Media)

You may be surprised to learn that not everything up for vote at Wednesday’s Special Town Meeting is related to the golf course.

There are unrelated Citizen Petition Articles that I’ve never found the time to cover in detail. But voters will be expected to make decisions on them Wednesday night. So it’s time to take a look.

I’ll start with Article 5 – creating a Standing Committee for Technology.

I was initially confused about the point of this one. We already have a Municipal Technology Committee with 7 members.

But the FAQ drafted by the Article’s proponents explains:

The current ad-hoc MTC was formed by the Selectmen pursuant to a 2007 Town Meeting appropriation for IT technology in Town Hall. That money has been spent, ending the MTC’s authorization. In any case, the current MTC isn’t structured or staffed to meet the strategic challenges facing the town.

A standing committee will ensure that there is an on-going strategic plan for all Town government entities, and that Town Meeting has on-going guidance on spending.

Proponent, Tim Litt, has been incorporating feedback from the MTC, plus other committees/boards and Town departments. So expect the specific language to be different on Wednesday night than in the Warrant. (There will be an updated handout provided.)

Still, the intent behind the article will remain the same: 

To replace what even the Town has referred to as an outdated Ad Hoc committee on municipal technology. It is intended to provide longer term strategies for improving and maintaining the Town’s technology. The purpose is to improve citizen services and operational efficiency.

For more details, check out the FAQs. Or you can watch the forum posted above that was held at the Library in February.

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