I called Town Moderator Claire Smith this morning and asked, "Why give the Charter Review Committee another bite of the apple?" They were unprepared last Spring, I observed, and they were voted down.
The proposed charter changes, Smith points out, were inserted in the warrant by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Charter Committee.
That caught me entirely by surprise. I'd already asked, "How do you respond to a BOS determined to challenge Town Meeting's authority and its very existence?"
"Very carefully," was her predictable, if unilluminating response.
"I campaigned on a promise to remain fair and unbiased," she says, and insists she wants to remain neutral.
"I've reached out to other moderators across the state for their insights," Smith says. "I'm trying to do my homework."
Interpret as you like, gentle reader. Near as I can tell, this means the entire Wareham Board of Selectmen seeks to abolish Town Meeting.
Last edited by billw (2010-09-28 18:26:56)
bill, good point. the bos might have the authority to put those articles on the warrant for the charter committee, but they only have five votes. they can challenge the existence of town meeting but if enough people come out and vote then anything can be voted down. please cut smith some slack. it is not an easy job and we do want her to remain unbiased after the last moderator was literally in bed with the bos or one member at least.
what bothers me more is the town clerk inserting articles to change the by laws. my recollection is only the bos and town boards or committee through the bos can put articles on. citizens can also do petition articles. what authority does the clerk have to change the by laws. do we need a by law committee to do that? anyone know those rules.
Last edited by watchtower (2010-09-28 18:40:16)
I would not criticize the Moderator or BOS for the Warrant contents as long as they are on the warrant in compliance with Charter and By-law requirements. Watchtower raises a good point regarding the town clerk submitted articles and the Moderator has been aware of this issue for some time now. Hopefully she will respond shortly with a ruling on the matter.