Town Meeting is a forum allowing us all to participate in our government. Fall Town Meeting this year should have offered an opportunity to inform members of our community about an important fiscal issue. The School Committee through different social media platforms and meetings informed the school-oriented members of our community.
Town Meeting Article 11 asked for a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion to pay 60 percent of the regional school field project. We were not informed the cost is $4.2 million, No explanation was offered why our Town Meeting vote was downgraded to advisory only, no longer legally binding. The latter conflicts with how the School Committee represented the impact of Town Meeting’s votes in their meetings and public hearings, another interesting story.
After watching School Committee meetings and looking around at Town Meeting, I realize many had never actively participated in the process.
One of the supporters should have prompted a discussion about the cost, the funding, and the tax impact. That never happened and the ensuing discussions spiraled into non-related issues.
There will be another special election/ballot vote in both towns on Dec. 11 to approve the debt exclusion or not. What a shame. Many members of our community were depending on Town Meeting to help make an informed ballot vote.
I wish we understood our options, debt exclusion, Proposition 2 1/2 override or an unfunded mandate, but without Town Meeting information I don’t. I have spoken with town officials; they also have questions about the funding. Those on fixed incomes and others need to understand the impact of this and future borrowing.
Please make the time prior to Dec. 11 to get informed and participate in the ballot vote. Our tax dollars are being raised and spent.