The Special Town Meeting of September 24, 2012 will be a new bookmark worthy page in Sudbury's history. While an agenda of six articles may not seem very big, this meeting really deserved two evenings to allow for more thorough discussion from all interested and concerned citizens. There was no question in viewing the attendance that this article would pass, in my mind anyway.
But there were proposed amendments to discuss thoroughly to the satisfaction of all range of citizens and not just the petitioning parties and many citizens were unable to either be heard or were constantly interrupted with points of order thrown about with no basis for doing so.
Time, it seemed, was of the essence, and the process was not given the full and dedicated scrutiny it deserved to feel that due process had been demonstrated. I refer to the Special Town Meeting setting specifically and not in a general way.
This said, I voted in favor of article 4 but for other reasons than what the petitioner presented. I voted for growth based progress, the sooner the better. Because as the high school auditorium began to burst at the seams I couldn't help but think ahead to 2020 when another critical issue will come up and we will all be looking at video screens and be voting with buttons instead of little green cards.
I hope that meeting will be a more hospitable one and a meeting that will encourage lengthy discussion and not interrupted comments and hurried voting. The meeting in 2020 may have a warrant article to replace the High School roof, as well as another to approve construction of the new Community center. And I am certain that some of those who disrespectfully interrupted me and others last night will cross their fingers in 2020 in hopes they can make their comment without points of order interrupting their momentum.
I was like a naive babe going into this meeting last night. I really believed that the history being made would be flavored with a sense of community and understanding and goodwill.
I left the evening frustrated by the inability to not only make a simple point regarding growth which happened to call for referring to historical data as supporting argument FOR article four, but a feeling of discontent and sadness when neighbors on either side of me left out of frustration as well. I had hoped to bring my youngest son who attends LS with the pretense that this would be a wonderful example of democracy and co-operation at work.
I am glad I did not succeed because I left the meeting feeling Sudbury shed an innocent skin. When and if this article 4 is put to a vote I urge you to support it. We need to address growth with as much input and support as this town can muster.
Pardon the historical pun.