I also pulled papers for Town Meeting Representative, as the Town Charter allows board members to simultaneously serve as Town Meeting reps. We need more well-intentioned residents to run for TM Rep in order to move Town Meeting away from pro-development special interests to people of good will who will represent the interests of the community over the interests of a few profit-minded individuals.
I want to take this opportunity to emphasize how simple the process is and how important it is for new representatives to run. It takes less than ten minutes to pull papers and around an hour to collect 25+ signatures in order to get on the ballot. No campaign committee needs to be formed. Details are on the Van Liew for Selectman campaign web site at http://www.vanliewforselectman.com/tm-rep.php.
The process is simple on purpose. The intent is to allow ordinary citizens to run. Right now, town meeting is packed with self-interested board members who vote for their own special interest proposals twice a year. That is not how the system is supposed to work. Voters are chomping at the bit to vote for challengers and dump the incumbents who voted against the citizens' petition to protect Oak Hill, as an example.
I am pleased to say that several people have stepped up already, less than a week since nomination papers have been available. Let's not stop at flipping a couple of seats per precinct. Let's give voters the opportunity to turn out every incumbent that they know has failed to represent the best interests of the community. There are good incumbents, of course. Most voters know who they are, and for those voters that don't, we'll be providing the reps' voting record for them to judge for themselves.
Roland Van Liew