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Selectmen discuss Town Meeting warrant articles

April 21, 2011
STURBRIDGE — At its meeting Tuesday, April 19, the Board of Selectmen began the process of preparing recommendations made by the Charter Review Committee to become warrant articles at the Annual Town Meeting on June 6.

Members of the board placed each of the recommendation items into one of three categories (administrative, procedural change, and substantive) to make the articles easier for voters to understand at the Annual Town Meeting. If any portion of a category or grouping is not supported by the voters on June 6, it will result in the failure of all portions in that category or grouping. However, if a floor amendment or substitute motion specific to certain portions of a category was to be presented, it could be approved by the Town Moderator and subsequently supported by the voters.

"The board is unanimous in its support of the administrative and charter procedural changes, as they serve mainly to rectify inconsistencies or grammatical issues and enhance existing language to more clearly address process related issues," said Board of Selectmen Chairman Thomas Creamer. "In terms of the substantive changes, those have been appropriately grouped into the three components, each of which will be placed as a separate warrant article."

The three aforementioned components deal with several policies by which certain individuals are appointed, including one recommendation that involves the appointments to the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Design Review Committee, and the two appointed positions on the ZBA being made by the Board of Selectmen instead of the current process of appointments to same committees by the Town Administrator, with confirmation by majority vote of the Board of Selectmen. The other two items involve changing the policy of the Town Moderator solely appointing members to the Finance Committee and also changing the policy of the Town Administrator appointing members to the Town Counsel, with confirmation by the majority vote of the Board of Selectmen. All three of the items reflect the majority opinion of the Charter Review Committee to strip power of appointment from one person and transfer it to a group of people.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Janines Frostee
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