The seven-night Town Meeting several years ago is just a bad memory. The reasons for it and the results of it are not.
The current moderator chose to radically change the way that Shirley’s government and Town Meeting works. Although approached by concerned citizens, he imposed his personal view of a bylaw by interpreting it to allow the finance board to bring forth the budget rather than the BOS, which had historically done that.
This approach, along with his allowing a selectman, who was outvoted by his own board, to bring forth a third budget, and curtailing comments by the BOS to articles on the warrant, caused chaos and confusion that still abounds.
The continuing repercussions of this stance undermines the BOS and shows a total lack of checks and balances on the power of the moderator, since it is he who appoints the finance board.
No matter who you support in the election, please pay attention to the fact that the idea of one person wielding the power to determine the texture of a board he deems so important shows neither fairness nor moderation.
Let us correct the way appointments are made. Perhaps a more varied committee including the moderator, a member of the BOS, a representative from the board in question and two citizens-at-large makes more sense.
I do support Andy Deveau’s re-election and ask that you look at his accomplishments with the BOS in the past three years.
Although many of us are in awe of the transformation of Shirley’s government in the past three years, and rightfully attribute that successful change to the business and management skills of Ron Marchetti, let’s not forget that all was done under the auspices and with the help of a totally new BOS (three new selectmen in three years, a first in Shirley’s history).
Any of these changes, both cost-saving and revenue-generating, could have been instituted by former BOS members and were not.
Although no one could have foreseen the depth of this recession, Shirley was especially ill-prepared. Past selectmen must bear some responsibility for the total lack of planning for any aspect of the town’s future. It is not enough to deal day-to-day and put out fires.
I would ask that you look at the accomplishments of the BOS during both candidates’ terms of office and not just the time spent under the title.
…about school issues
There are many of us that are refusing to be painted with the “anti-education” brush any longer.
The question itself is simple. It is not “are we spending enough on education?” It is simply, “Can we afford it?” or “Do we have the money to spend more?”
…about the feasibility study
The only question is — should we vote on incurring debt for a study for something we can neither afford nor afford to sustain?
…about the bottom line
What do Jim Quinty, Bryan Dumont, Andy Deveau, Kevin Hayes and Rico Cappucci have in common? You certainly couldn’t find five people with more diversified personalities or approaches to problems. My answer would be that they are all asking for the same thing — fiscal transparency, responsibility and accountability.
Certainly, we should be keeping ourselves informed and ask for the same thing.
PATRICIA M. MACDONALD