Selectmen Won't Schedule Special Town Meeting On Charter Changes ... Yet
Board instead votes to schedule two public hearings on the proposed charter changes in January.
The board voted, 3-2, against a motion to set a tentative date in March for a Special Town Meeting for the purpose of considering changes to the charter.
The motion had been _made by Chairman Todd Johnson_ and was supported by Selectman Scott Wilson, who also serves as chairman of the Special Act Charter Committee, which is recommending the proposed changes.
Johnson expressed concerns that denying the request by the SACC to schedule a Special Town Meeting after nearly two years of work might discourage residents from participating on such committees in the future.
Selectmen Doug Sears, David Gay and Anne-Marie Stronach voted against it, taking the position that there was no need to rush the process.
Instead, the board voted unanimously to schedule two public hearings in January. The hearings will offer the opportunity for additional public feedback and questions, as well as examining some of the finer points of the proposed changes and how they would impact existing boards and committees.
The biggest change being recommended by the SACC is a switch from an Open Town Meeting form of government with a five member Board of Selectmen to a nine-member Town Council form of government.
If approved by voters at a Special Town Meeting, the goal of town officials is to present the issue as a referendum question on the November Election ballot.