Thursday, February 21, 2019

PROPOSED CHARTER CHANGE? --- by Larry Fillmore

During Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, February 19, 2019, the Council voted unanimously on the timeline to the proposed Charter change. For the past five (5) or six (6) years, I have been opposed to making Charter changes because I believe it only weakens our Charter and provides an advantage to those in power to gain more power.

Upon reading the proposed changes this year, I originally thought this was an excellent idea because it saved the taxpayers money and resolved some issues such as:

(1) We now have a consolidated voting place which eliminated the confusion of where an individual was required to go to vote.

(2) It eliminates the need for two different ballots; one for those residing in District 1 and one for those residing in District 2.

(3) Eliminating two ballots would reduce the cost of printing.

On the surface, these are all excellent reasons for approving this year’s Charter changes. But in the process, the Town Council is eliminating the guarantee that both ends of town have a representative on the Town Council. To me, this is critical to preserving the integrity of our community and far out weights the cost savings. I believe the individuals who prepared our Charter had this in mind when they created our Charter and we should never change it.

This proposed change could very easily tip the scales on the Town Council to favor one end of town or the other. It is easy to say Councilors will treat each end of town the same but human nature has shown this not to be true.

Things which look good in the beginning are not always what they appear and I believe this is the case here. I would encourage everyone to weigh both sides of the issue and vote their feelings. I am voting NO to this proposal because I believe it is vital that both ends of town have a true representation on our Town Council.

Please contact both your Councilors and our Town Manager and express your point of view.

Larry Fillmore

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