If the federal government can ever figure out how to move at the speed of Tewksbury’s on Tuesday night, our nation’s shutdown will be a distant memory pretty quickly.
It only took 47 minutes for voters to approve all 25 warrant articles at this year’s Fall Special Town Meeting, which dealt with issues ranging from a new contract for firefighters to a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities until the end of next May.
For Board of Selectmen chairman Scott Wilson, the ability to focus on housekeeping items like transferring free cash and balancing the budget in such a rapid fashion was certainly refreshing.
“This was one of my favorite (Town Meetings),” said Wilson. “It was nice to have it go quickly, I don’t think there were a lot of issues that caused a lot of angst for people.”
While some in the audience hoped that some of the funds appropriated during the meeting could be used for tax relief, Wilson said that the figures discussed would provide only minimal short term relief that couldn’t compare to items such as new playground equipment at various sites across town.
Resident Maureen Castiglione shared Wilson’s views, both on the refreshing pace of the meeting and the approval of funding for the playground equipment.
“I’m thrilled that the money was put forth for the elementary schools in particular, we really need more age appropriate playground equipment,” she said. “I don’t think this was the quickest meeting I’ve ever seen, but it felt like it. It was run very smoothly.”
The meeting was concluded by an announcement by Town Moderator Keith Rauseo that this would be his final Town Meeting, as he would not seek a new term in his role once his current three-year term ends in the spring.
While he wouldn’t discuss any of the reasoning behind his decision, Rauseo felt confident that whoever fills his shoes will be able to run things smoothly.
“I have no doubt, the process works, you can get someone to stand here and replace me,” he said. “I have no no illusions of irreplaceability.”