On Aug. 15, 2012, the Sudbury Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted to conduct a Special Town Meeting on Sept. 24, 2012. The Selectmen vote was in response to a petition submitted by Framingham resident Stephan Hakar with over 200 Sudbury resident signatures for the STM and two warrant articles.
A Special Town Meeting (STM) is a statutory requirement whenever 200 or more residents submit a formal petition requesting a meeting to address subjects of concern to the residents. Mr. Hakar’s articles will open for discussion the elimination of unfunded mandates and controlled use of chemical plant treatments by utility companies. Topics that are worthy of discussion but probably are not actionable.
The true significance of Mr. Hakar’s recent action, however, is that he enabled the process for taxpayers to submit, discuss and vote additional, actionable warrant articles. Warrant articles that can address and attempt to correct the process and structural weaknesses in Sudbury’s Management perceived by many residents during recent events.
Events such as the Lavender incident, Johnson Farm planning failures, BOS chairman rotation, 278 Maynard Road failure, Noyes School/Donahue dismissal and other recent examples of poor transparency and non-responsive Town/Committee Management.
One such Article that many believe would improve and better reflect the diversity of opinion of Sudbury citizens is to increase the Board of Selectmen from three to five members. A petition proposing an Article for increase from three to five selectmen was written, signed by 264 residents and submitted to the Town Clerk on Aug. 27 in time for inclusion in the Warrant for Special Town Meeting.
Receipt of the petition was recognized by the BOS at their Aug. 28 meeting. The Article will appear on the Warrant the Town is required to provide voters for review 10 days before the Special Town Meeting. If we are truly interested in increasing transparency in town government, improving checks and balances in town government and increasing real time engagement with our elected officials this article to increase the range of talent, depth of experience and availability of our Board of Selectmen may be the best first step we can take.
Please watch for and read the Warrant, participate in the letters and blogs that will certainly result from this citizen petition, attend and vote your support at Special Town Meeting Sept. 24, 2012.
Dan De Pompei
35 Haynes Road