Saturday, April 1, 2017

The election.. another yawner

So for the first time in my memory we have 4 woman running for selectman, along with the Moderator and School Committee. One might think that 4 women running would be a big deal, but it has not been so exiting. There was one PTO sponsored candidates night at the High School,, (small room) moderated by the usual suspect, just days before the election. One of the main reasons why we don't have larger voter turnout for local elections is that no one knows who the challengers are and they are not given the opportunity to toot their horns. No real debate goes on and that's the way Town leaders arrange it. It stifles attention among the voters and all be guarantees the incumbent will win.
It will be very interesting to see how many voters (out of 37,000) will show up and vote. One might think the Charter will be a big draw, but from my vantage point, I don't see it. I hope I'm wrong and 40% show up.
Unfortunately, the selectman incumbents will win, along with the Moderator. The incumbents for school committee may be surprised. They have certainly handled the Tracy Scott firing thing as poorly as any one could.

the last words on the Charter

The back and forth has gone on for a while. Each side has made their points with equal enthusiasm.
From the get go.. I was naive to think the Commission would look at Town Meeting as well as a city form of government. It didn't take long before the reality kicked in, after the first public meeting to see where this was headed. It was that first meeting that I heard Giombetti say he wanted the meetings not to be televised. From there it got worse. Anything Teri Banerji brought up was shot down, every time she spoke her fellow members would grunt and sigh with pain, rolling their eyes back in their heads. She was treated very poorly throughout the entire process. Mind you.. she reminds me of both my x-wives and as the moderator she and I have battled on the floor of Town Meeting over procedures. But she should have been shown more respect than she was throughout the process. The arrogance displayed by the men on the commission was disturbing. I'll bet they don't dare talk to their wives like that.
What has grabbed the attention of many residents is the fact that the commission members all, except Val and Adam, will be running for Mayor or council.  These are the very same people who have run or do run the Town now. They have trashed Town Meeting in an attempt to sway the voters. That may have worked... we won't know until next Tuesday.
I hope I don't have to write about how campaign money has polluted our democracy. No matter what you believe, as soon as you ask for money from businesses, you are asking for trouble. Those who gain favor with business will be asked to vote in their favor which will take away our ability to appose or support a position.  We don't have that issue now with Town Meeting. No one would ever try to buy or bribe Town Meeting members. Town Meeting members don't get indicted or charged with excepting bribes or charged with violating the RICO statutes, Mayor's and councilmen do.
Bottom line is I don't trust the members of the commission. They have made it nearly impossible for a resident to make any significant changes to anything in Town by making the signature requirements over the top. Not only with the amount of signatures needed but the short length of time to get them.
Under their city, the Mayor would be King and the council would be his court.
It's widely excepted Town Meeting MUST look at itself and find ways to do the people's business in an efficient and thorough manner. We MUST adopt some meaningful reforms if we are to make residents believe we are equipped to handle the job.
I'm voting NO to this charter.