Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SPECIAL TOWN MEETING - by Larry Fillmore

This is currently in our Charter.  This further supports the fact that the petition for a Special Town Meeting was sufficient.  This means the Town Council deliberately denied the people the right to be heard in a Special Town meeting.

It is my opinion that the provisions for a Special Town meeting are placed in our Charter to resolve a difference on budget appropriations. 

 Sec 8.11 Special Town Meeting. 

(d)The qualified voters of the Town shall have the power to reconsider any budget appropriation at a special Town meeting called by petition. The petition must cite the specific appropriation(s) to be included in the warrant for the special Town meeting.

Please note this provisions state that the voters “have the power to reconsider any budget appropriations at a Special Town meeting.”  The School Budget is a budget appropriation and therefore qualifies for Special Town meeting under the current Charter.  I do not know how anyone can misread this portion of the Charter unless it was a deliberate act by the Town Council to prevent the people from speaking out on this.

Sec. 8.46. - Results of Special Town Meeting.
(a)    Budget Article(s). If a majority of the qualified voters voting on a budget article at a special Town meeting vote in its favor it shall be considered adopted, and shall be treated in all respects in the same manner as budget articles of the same kind adopted by the Council, so long as the total number of votes cast for or against the budget article at the special Town meeting is at least 250. If the special Town meeting does not adopt a budget article(s) as provided herein, the original budget article passed by the Council will immediately take effect.

(b)     [Adoption of budget.] If the budget, or any part thereof, has not been finally adopted on July 1, then the budget for the prior year, or part thereof corresponding with that being challenged, shall remain proportionately in effect.

I do not know how clearer this can be written in our Charter without destroying the purpose of this provision.  The Town Council, minus Councilors Lunt and Garrison, has silenced the people once again.

This inexcusable behavior by certain Councilors needs to be stopped!

Larry Fillmore   

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