The Place for Sudbury's Citizen Reporters
Yesterday, about 30 of us went to the State House to testify on the move from three to five selectmen. This is far from a done deal. If you support the measure, and quite frankly even if you don't, now is the time to send email to the two representatives on the elections committee that are required to get the bill to the floor for passage. Below is my letter. Feel free to copy or simply reference this posting in an email.
Senator Barry R. Finegold
Representative Aaron M. Michlewitz
Dear Senator Finegold and Represenative Michlewitz,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak yesterday on H04471.
I urge you to pass H04471 for the following three reasons:
First, this is simple a measure to increase from 3 to 5 selectmen. It is common with our surrounding towns and will force a vote in the Spring to elect two new selectmen. This is not a fundamental change to our town government. Rather, it is an overdue change we should have made long ago as the town grew.
Second, any decisions on your part to return the article to back to the town and hence our Board of Selectmen delivers the article back into the same hands of the people whose power we are working to dilute. We have been trying to increase the board for many years. Each time it has been met with delays, calls for study, and little action. The arguments presented yesterday are what we have been hearing for years. Town meeting heard and rejected these arguments by these very same speakers. The majority of the board is opposed to this measure. Any action you take that involves the board to resolve the matter delivers the voters back to the same people whose power we are attempting to dilute.
Finally, the arguments delivered yesterday at the hearing against the vote were less than compelling. We heard the mischaracterizations that somehow the wide diversity of town voters who want this measure passed are an organized collection of town radicals who jammed something through town meeting. We heard that citizens coming to town meeting to vote is somehow a bad thing characterized as flash voters. We heard that the the highly educated voters of Sudbury somehow can’t effectively decide if five selectmen are better than three without significant study by a town appointed blue ribbon panel. Finally, we heard that this article somehow requires a different path to adoption than all the other votes taken at town meeting.
As I stated in my comments before you, I served my country and take matters of local governance very seriously. If we allow our own local government to slowly slip away from us, how can we expect our state or national government to be any better? I ask that you pass this measure expanding our board from three to five and let us get on with an election in the Spring to elect two additional selectmen. The residents of the town need their government back. Please don’t deliver this article back into the same hands of the people who opposed it.