Three citizen petitions have been submitted to the Town Manager’s office this morning, one sponsored by Jerry Loew and two sponsored by Roland Van Liew. Citizen petitions provide a mechanism for residents to place items on the warrant for Town for that body to vote on.
These are common sense measures that call for voters to have more say in who runs the decision-making process on the ZBA, call for the BOS to uphold the law on behalf of residents, and provide for more transparency in the awarding of no-bid contracts by the Town (right now there is zero transparency).
Certain officials with strident voices in Town Hall are sure to malign these measures and will marshall their insider votes to try and prevent them from passing at Town Meeting.
We need well-intentioned challengers for Town Meeting Rep seats in every precinct. Last April we elected several challengers, but we need another showing like that to overcome the good ol’ boy network. As an example we fell about 10 reps short of stopping the hastily-concocted fire station plan. That’s just one rep per precinct.
You may recall that Philip Eliopoulos was elected last April as a Town Meeting rep with a handful of write-in votes, because there weren’t enough names on the ballot to fill the open seats in his precinct.
We can’t let that happen again. Whatever your precinct, consider running or encouraging someone you know to run. All that’s needed is good intentions to defeat the core of insiders who vote the way the oligarchy wants. It takes less than ten minutes to pull papers at the Town Clerk’s Office and around an hour to collect 25+ signatures in order to get on the ballot. No campaign committee needs to be formed.
The process is simple on purpose. The intent is to allow ordinary citizens to run. We can’t let Town Meeting continue to be dominated by self-interested board members who vote for their own special interest proposals twice a year. The citizen petitions that were submitted today represent a step forward for good and honest government, but they are worth nothing if they cannot be passed at Town Meeting.
Roland Van Liew