Steve Decosta wrote:
Brace yourself, Wareham.
In the wake of last spring's five-night 56-article bitterly divisive Town Meeting that rejected dramatic changes in the way the town is governed, the warrant has been posted for the annual fall session, scheduled to begin Oct. 25.
This time there are 91 articles, and the proposed changes are only a little less dramatic than those thrown out in May.
After its plan to replace Town Meeting with a mayor-town council form of government was rejected in the spring, the Charter Review Committee went back to the drawing board. This time around, instead of replacing the entire town charter, it's proposing 31 separate, smaller-scale changes.
But these changes would still have a big impact...
Ham of Peace here.
Remember a few months ago when the CRC came before the BOS and they said they got the message that Wareham didn't want city government? That they went with the Moronic Mayor Plan the first time around but if that was rejected, they'd actually listen to the people this time around? Funny, because here we are with an article from the CRC that would effectively give us a city council, plus an article that would sell the town down the river to out of towners by letting out of town property owners not affected by what goes on in Wareham to sit on boards and make decisions about a town they don't care about enough to live in.
The CRC should resign immediately!!!
Wow! Hate those summer residents much, Ham?
Many people (myself included) need(ed) to make a living, and jobs in Wareham are limited. Yes, it is possible to commute to Boston or Providence and waste three hours a day in traffic jams, but many people prefer to spend that time with their families. In addition, the Wareham schools are on life-support. So many people choose to simply own summer homes in Wareham and live closer to their work and to good schools. Without the money of the summer residents, this town would be under the DOR.
The fact that someone was not born in Wareham or is not a year-round resident does not make them a person "who is unaffected by what goes on in Wareham" nor does it mean that they do not care about Wareham. Some summer residents have been coming to Wareham for generations. They pay property taxes, water bills, sewer fees and an additional personal tax. They spend money in local businesses. Many (like me) will choose to retire here.
Allowing talented summer people to sit on non-elected advisory boards such as Tremont Nail or Bike Path will not "sell the town down the river" I think it is a matter of common sense and compromise. Make a list of acceptable committees for "out of towners" and a list of those committees that demand voter input.
I know I'm being "preachy", but endless references to "them" and "us" do not further the cause.
and how do you expect to serve on the commitee year round ,i to tink that summer residents should not serve on commiteees , and i dont hate them.
Yeah Gatemen, I don't mean to sound like I "hate" summer residents, I just think that you have to draw the line somewhere or where does it stop? Out of towners who own business property in Wareham are affected by what goes on in Wareham too, should we let them on boards as well?
This isn't just little committees...this article could let someone who lives in Boston and comes to Wareham for two weeks in July sit on the finance committee. When it comes down between police, schools, public safety, or keeping his property taxes low, how do you think he'll vote?
And yeah, obviously keeping property taxes low should always way into the decision, but I'm talking about an instance where a tough decision had to be made between property taxes or the public good.
The other thing to think about is this.
A person can afford to keep two homes, one in another town and one in Wareham. Under this article, that person now gets to be involved in the political process in two towns.
Another person can only afford a house in Wareham. That person only gets to be involved in the political process in one town.
So now we have a system where the more houses you can afford, the more towns you can be involved in. The less homes you own, the more politically disenfranchised you become.
Seems a little inequitable to me...so much so I'm surprised the CRC wants this. I thought this was the kind of thing that Bobo and his Brood of Tin Hats were always bellyaching about.
Hey Ham, I agree with gogagtemen. You wrote in part, ďplus an article that would sell the town down the river to out of towners by letting out of town property owners not affected by what goes on in Wareham to sit on boards and make decisions about a town they don't care about enough to live in.Ē I beg to differ with you. My primary home is in Boston. My summer home is here in Wareham and has been since 1972. I am here from the first week in March till the last week in November. I do all my shopping in Wareham and I visit only locale restaurants. As an out of town property owner and tax payer here in Wareham I take exception to your comment that I am ďnot affected by what goes on in Wareham.Ē I am very affected on what goes on here. Moving Walmart affects me. Paving Cranberry Highway affects me. Making Depot Street a one way affects me. Raising the price of the Beach Sticker would really affect me. LOL Although I am a registered voter in Boston and can not vote here in Wareham, everything you folks vote on for affects me. So please donít say it doesnít. I pay my dues down here. I even go to the town meetings as often as I can because I can still join in on citizens participation if I needed to. I bet this year I have gone to more town meetings than most folks that reside here. Itís sad because when I pass the Elks on my way to the town meeting, there are more people in there playing Bingo than at the town meeting. I care about Wareham and as soon as some personal family situations are taken care of and I can sell my house in Boston, believe me I will be a voter here in Wareham because I love this town.
No hard feelings I hope.
Last edited by Zephyr (2010-09-18 15:43:18)
zephyr, if you are here that long march thru nov , then vote in wareham ,glad to have you preety soon in wareham ,if you were put on a commitee what would happen from dec thru march when you were not here would you drive down from boston for commitee meetings.
Hi Liz, Two good questions. I usually come down a couple of times a month just to check on the place from December to April. Itís only about an hour ride if I time it right. I would absolutely like to vote down here but if I register in Wareham I am told I would pull jury down here also and that I donít want to do right now. If Iím wrong on this I hope someone lets me know. In fact, I just received my notice this week that I have jury duty December 8th at 8am. Iím not sure if I had jury duty down here or in Plymouth that I could make it down on time during rush hour. You know how traffic can be.
As much as I feel that I am fairly knowledgeable in regards to the politics in Wareham, I donít think I would volunteer for a committee unless I was actually a legal voting resident. I just feel that it would not be fair to the other members. You know how things could happen and people may want to meet at the last minute. Again, I just donít think it would be fair to the other members or the town.
Do you think Iím wrong?
If I may (to steal a Brenda line), I don't think you're wrong Zephyr. In fact that's exactly what OUR Charter requires; that anyone desiring to serve MUST be a registered voter. Thus there's no need for changing the Charter in that regard, as proposed. If you haven't yet seen the additional proposed changes (39 more) to OUR Charter then click on the link to the October TM warrant @ www.wareham.ma.us
Zephyr, I think we found some common ground here because it sounds like you wouldn't be interested in being on a Wareham committee because the commute to make it down here to weekly meetings would be too much. In reality, aren't most summer residents in the same boat? Are people who live out of state or in Boston really interested in driving to Wareham once a week for a committee meeting? That's why I think this is more about a couple of out of towners who have been whispering in some tin hat ears.
I didn't mean to disrespect the importance of summer residents to the town, but I just feel the line has to be drawn somewhere or else you'd have a situation where people are getting to vote twice.
Has anyone yet taken the time to summarize this outrage, article by article, so we have a score card to distribute at the door?
I would very much like to see someone make an amendment to the article about the CRC being formed every 5 years instead of every 10 years. What I would like to see added to this article is that no committee member can serve consecutive terms. This way, we don't have to see the same bozo's in 5 years.
The biggest outrage is the 7 selectman by district with 1 at large - that would create a city council and the CRC promised the BOS that they got the message that Wareham does not want city government, they promised that if their mayor plan failed, they'd actually listen to the people this time around. They didn't and it's no suprise they didn't.
Billís right we should try to go through each article starting with the charter review committee to see if we can summarize and make sense of each article. Bill I have read them all and tried to start to summarize them but some of them are so convoluted and have so many parts it makes it difficult to summarize and understand what the hell they are talking about. I will try to make a list.
Donít you need a 2/3 majority to change anything in the charter?
I hope Claire Smith as reserved the school for at LEAST 5 nights. It is going to take forever to get through these articles. I think that is what the charter review committee is counting on so many articles no one will show up every night and they might get the votes for some of the articles.
I hope Claire Smith as reserved the school for at LEAST 5 nights. It is going to take forever to get through these articles.
We all know John Donahue would bury this crap so it never saw the light of day. Claire's response, heard second hand, "I hope we're done by Christmas."
Send what you've got, Marny. I'll try to fill in the holes, then post them as online poll questions.
Last edited by billw (2010-09-19 14:39:40)
Hamatron5000, I can completely understand where you are coming from. But I do have friends in the Swifts Beach area who live just outside of Boston. They keep the house open all year down here and come down now and then during the winter. Being on a committee may work for them although I doubt it. And they are not registered voters down here. Never being on a committee here Iím not sure how they work. I would like to think that if a person on a committee isnít pulling their weight then the rest of the members should report that to the BOS. Then again, itís not a perfect world. LOL Bottom line is I feel you should be a registered voter to be on a committee and I would vote NO on this article if I could vote. If anyone believes I'm wrong, I'm more than willing to listen to them.
The good part about this type of town government is if you donít like an article then you vote no. Where I live in Boston we have a Mayor and donít get a chance to vote on anything. We can voice our opinion but thatís it. You folks are lucky in that respect.
One point that seems to have been missed here is that the former dictatorship kicked a number of well qualified people off committees when they decided not to allow the special municipal employee status any longer, now they want to openup committees to summer residents?
They made a big deal out of Carl St.Pierre and Manny Barrows serving on committes because they owned property out of town, now this is a good thing? Only because they figure it will further their political agenda!
pick your battles. think about it. we can't get enough people who live in wareham to get off their lazy butts to be on a committee and to drive three miles across town to a meeting. something tells me we won't have a flood of out of town people wanting to join committees. there is a by law that says if you miss three meetings in a row you are out. there are more important charter changes to get worked up about.
Section 2. Any appointed committee member failing to attend three consecutive
meetings of his committee without justifiable cause may be dismissed after a hearing before the appointing authority. The vacancy shall be filled by the original appointing authority.