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Quiet polls energize petition effort

Citizen group seeks return of town meeting

Hugh McKinnon collects signatures outside the Community Center polling place. The effort needs 5 percent of the total turnout from the last town election to be submitted to Town Council, who will then vote on whether to send it to the June ballot. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
March 08, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — Although the turnout for Tuesday's primaries was very slow, it gave a group of local activists a chance to promote an unusual ballot campaign.

Sitting at a table labeled "Take Back Our Town" outside the polling place, Hugh McKinnon, John Pulawski and Mike Marketti gathered signatures hoping to put a question on the June ballot to do away with the council/manager form of government and revert to the selectmen/town meeting system that existed before 1973.

"There's an increased feeling people are divorced from decision-making, and I feel the current council seems to be doing everything they can to keep it down," McKinnon said. "We ought to switch the system to a partisan one, or we should dump the system."

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

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