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Monday, March 23, 2015

Turn the page, kind of

Okay, I am well overdue for a place holder piece.  Perhaps I am a bit overdue for something more than that.  Who knows?

I certainly don't seem to know much anymore.

If you aren't aware, this year's Government Access Channel candidates' night was held several weeks ago.  There was a second candidates' night last Thursday hosted by the FBA. Made the first, missed the second due to a meeting that night.

Now the first one had its moments.  More on that later.  Can't speak of what transpired at the second even, having not been there.  From reports of a few who were, and they were apparently a good portion of the few who actually attended, it was uneventful.

The third one, always the best in my opinion, is going to be held at the West Island Improvement Association this Wednesday. West Island has one of the last of the classic style nights, at least what I call classic.  Audience questions, small size hall where the only thing usually separating the folks in attendance and the candidates are the opinions everyone has.

Not to mention the folks on the Island treat their guest down home right.

All most always something is asked and answered that can be very enlightening.

Back to the first night though. It was Emceed and paneled by members of the Town Government Study Committee.  Now you might be tempted at first glance to say so what.

Keep in mind one of the few contested races this year will involve the BPW seats.  The same BPW that will be subject to a ballot question AT the same election as its seats. The same ballot question that will be there because of the proposal prepared and submitted to Town Meeting by the Town Government Study Committee.

It was a mildly entertaining segment for the event from the pundit point of view.

If anyone out there was surprised by the positions taken about the willingness to continue to serve if the BPW ballot question passes and the board essentially turns into a paper tiger, I have to ask you why. Better yet why not tell me why you personally would be willing to put yourself through the election circuit to sit on a board with no authority or power or jurisdiction or true function other than listen to people complain.

Now in truth, the candidates' night for the government access channel has for the most part turned into essentially a fluff night.  Don't get me wrong, any opportunity to hear candidates and their positions is a good thing.  

But it isn't a debate. It should never be confused with a debate. It certainly wasn't one this year.

Anyway, the election is coming quick folks. April 6th. The most important thing this year is?????

REMEMBER TO TURN OVER THE BALLOT!!!!!!!!!

If you don't you will miss voting for TM members and the BPW ballot question,  Sample ballot can be found going to the Town Clerk's page on the Town website and clicking the link for "2015 Town Ballot"

Another thing that might interest you is the Town Meeting Warrant is available online. You can download a copy.

The TGSC is petitioning four (4) articles.  While we apparently aren't going to see a charter proposed, it is becoming apparent we are going to get one piece by piece is a very disjointed fashion, essentially maintaining the disjointed and haphazard format of our special legislation existence that was early on criticized.

There is yet another IT article. A Fin Com change article. A term limit for some but not all elected officials. A Town Meeting procedure change article.

Perhaps we should have a "candidates'" night for the committee, with a panel to question it.  I suppose we will of sorts, as the committee is holding one of its open forums on March 26th I believe. Yet again, I will unfortunately miss that night do to my commitment on a different committee.

The Tow Meeting article has what could be a very certain irony to it.

Right off the bat section one of the article should be of interest.  The size of a quorum.  One half of the membership of representative town meeting.  In concept one-half  ain't so bad. Problem is conceptual theories seldom have practical application.

Numbers tell the story folks.  Numbers most often do. The higher the number, the higher degree of difficulty in getting to one half gathered in one place. There ain't much going to change that fact folks.  The penalty clause contained later in the article for being bad and missing meetings isn't going to do it.

Truthfully if TM attendance doesn't somehow shift upward, you are going to be hard pressed to justify continuing to hold onto the designation as the largest representative town meeting in the Commonwealth.

Before I forget the irony, let me point out the potential irony.  The article is late in the warrant.  Depending on how lightening fast we get through the special and some of the votes on Article 4, by the time you reach the Town Meeting article it should be after lunch.

After lunch when we loose droves of TM members.  After lunch when, by most long time observers the attendance at TM has historically dwindled below the quorum being proposed.

One might think it would be just a tad ironic that when using the rationale that such a quorum should be necessary because decisions should not be made by as few as a hundred people that this decision has the real chance to be made by less than the number of people to be established as the minimum.

If the not so subtle or perhaps maybe not so intended embarrassment factor is going to drive attendance up in the afternoon not particularly sure how it will work for those who leave.

Anyway, just a point and perhaps just a point to me.

I imagine there will be a lot of points people will be making, along with pointed arguments relative to the same.

Well, I think this should be enough to qualify as a space saver.  It is certainly enough to qualify for taking up space.

As always, Be Safe.