Sunday, October 26, 2014

Marijuana Public Policy Question #5 on the ballot

During the spring and early summer I spent the most time collecting signatures for the PPQ at Robinson's Hardware in the Pinefield Shopper Center, Concerts on the Common and at spring Town Meeting. It's always an experience asking for someones signature on a marijuana question. But you do get to hear how people feel about the subject and for the most part, as it was in the summer of 2000 when I collected signatures for the first Marijuana PPQ here in Framingham, most were very supportive. But at Town Meeting, it's a mystery to me why some Town Meeting Members would not want to let the question get on the ballot, while most believe in my right to ask sign the ballot without being asked. But democracy from the bottom up still counts and since 2000, free thinking reasonable people have voted in support of marijuana decriminalization and medicinal use. And when it came time to defend the State Law here in Framingham from the prohibitionist's actions, Town Meeting pushed back ALL attempts at banning and restricting a dispensary in this Town.

The positive reasons for legalization are numerous... the negative are few and farfetched. The one thing even the government has to agree with now, is that the majority of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. And while some say these PPQ's mean little, I say, ignore the will of the people, and see what happens. Even the Feds are running around trying to figure out what to do. If all goes well with the PPQ's across the State, perhaps the deep pockets will fund a ballot question state wide in 2016.

Ballot Question 5 - PPQ Language

Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote for legislation that replaces the state’s restrictions on marijuana with a law that regulates the cultivation of and commerce in marijuana, by persons over the age of 21, in the same manner as laws that apply to the cultivation and sale of fruits, vegetables and herbs; such a law would (i) require persons covered by the law to take steps to prevent access to growing plants and marijuana by minors under the age of 18, (ii) punish distribution among and to such minors, (iii) retain for minors the civil offense of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, and (iv) make no change to existing laws regarding driving while under the influence, and “drug-free” schools?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Breaking the silence

After Fall Town Meeting I've decided to resurrect this Blog. For the past few years, I've been so busy with work, 2 TV shows, the band, house repairs, Grandchildren, volunteerism and my responsibility as a Town Meeting member, there was little time left to update the Blog. As Dylan wrote in a song lately, "I used to care but, things have changed". And things have changed for better or worse as only time will tell. I last wrote about the unlawful killing of an innocent black man, Town Meeting spending and the local elections. Not much has changed since. The lawsuit against the Town for decriminalization and negligence is still on going, Town Meeting had the chance to NOT increase property taxes with a zero increase in the levy...all that was needed was to NOT spend 2 million dollars, somewhere, but as most of you know, spending is what we are good at, saving is not. With a few weeks to go, we now are being asked to vote for a slew of elected state wide offices, including the Governor. The big money candidates have side stepped most issues that of a concern to the vast majority of non political type voters. The process has once again, stifled free speech from the 3 other candidates and somehow we all go alone with it. Democracy from the bottom up is what this country was founded on and anyone who votes for either of the 2 big money candidates, only reinforce bad and unlawful behavior by both parties to restrict what others have to say.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Town Meeting will have to decide yeah or neah 20 million in capital spending

The Capital Budget Committee has voted to support nearly all of Kelley's $18.8 million in recommendations for fiscal 2012, while the Finance Committee prepared to vote next week.

Items include:

$8.5 million as a placeholder for a new McAuliffe branch library (which Town Meeting would consider this fall if the town receives a state grant);
$1.7 million for roadwork;
$1.02 million to replace doors and windows at Stapleton School (a project special Town Meeting voted last fall to support);
$975,000 to replace the Fire Department's Ladder 3;
$715,000 for town building improvements;
$500,000 for new school technology;
$250,000 to study a centralized public safety dispatch center.

The Capital Budget Committee is recommending Town Meeting buy only one of the trash trucks the DPW wants, at a cost of $241,000.

The committee supports the Police Department's $152,000 request to replace the fleet's 5-year-old laptop computers at a cost of $5,000 each, McCarthy said.

While they seem expensive, the computers are "made to take a beating," he said. They're so essential that if a laptop needs to be taken out of a police car for repair, that vehicle is taken out of commission.

"It's that critical to the day-to-day operations of the police," he said.

The School Department is asking for $500,000 for laptops for teachers, at $900 each, which the Capital Budget Committee hasn't voted on.

The Parks and Recreation Department seeks a little more than $300,000 for items that include tennis lighting at Butterworth Park and two Ford pickups.

Also on the list of recommendations: $75,000 for garage repairs and $95,000 for window work at the main library on Lexington Street.

(Keep in mind, Mr. McCarthey the chair of Capital Budget is related to a Framingham cop)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Town Meeting

For those of you who care about such things, below is the url for the upcoming Town Meeting.

And the Special Town Meeting on May 5th.

The report from Finance Committee

With 65 new TMM's, many of whom were recruited by Herb Chasen of Save our Schools, one might expect some serious debate over such things as the deal cut with the unions of heath care costs. It now stands at 16/84, which should be rejected. It's way past time for organized labor in this Town to live like the rest of us and pay more for their heath care coverage. There's the meals tax of over a million that may go to schools.. or maybe to where it was intendid, the stabilazation fund. A choice between town emplyees as bus drivers or to privatize... could save big time. The SC seems to indicate that school choice would only save 300,000 or so and may present problems with segragation and all the poor kids at one school. With 6% uneployment in thsi Town, there's plenty of poor kids to go around.

There's still rasies planned for many, and I think it's a bad sign that any raises are being considered. Then there's the question of 5 million in OT for cops and fireman.

And much more...

I'm open to any or all comments, suggestions and resonable debate on any or all of the warrant articales. But the biggest savings this Town can see will be in the Heath Care contract that should be rejected.