Sudbury Legislators Pushing Selectmen Bill Through

State Sens. Susan Fargo, Jamie Eldridge, and State Rep. Tom Conroy are working quickly to have the bill get voted on this session.

There's a chance it won't get done this session, but if you ask State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, it will eventually get done.

Eldridge, along with fellow State Sen. Susan Fargo and State Rep. Tom Conroy, have been hard at work pushing the bill to increase Sudbury's Board of Selectmen from three members to five with the hope of getting it passed this session.

But because this is a "late filed bill," as Fargo's Chief of Staff Don Siriani said, there may not be an opportunity for the legislature to vote on it.

"The steps involved are quite lengthy," he said. "Once it becomes a bill, it is then assigned to a relevant committee, then you have to book a hearing. Once you have that hearing, that piece of legislature is given a public hearing. Once the hearing happens, you need to book executive session of the bill, and only the members who are relevant would vote favorable, unfavorable or for a redraft.

"There are a lot of steps between now and end of term and it’s an uphill process. It is intended to be very challenging for it to become law."

Siriani said Fargo is planning to be cooperative with bill, but admitted she has questions about the language of the bill, although he didn't say what those questions were.

Eldridge spoke with the Senate chairman of the joint committee on municipalities on Friday so the act is reported on as soon as possible.

"My goal is to pass the bill this year," he said, adding it's not the job of a legislator to take a position bills. "This was passed by town meeting, and it's the obligation of the legislators to file and work as hard as possible to pass the bill, and that's what I’m doing now."

Conroy has kept residents abreast of the process via the OneSudbury Facebook page (formerly Lavendergate), saying the House Clerk will likely assign the bill (assigned H4471) to the House Rules Committee for review and evaluation, and then to the House Steering and Policy Committee for assignment to a substantive committee, most likely the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

"I'll also let you know when the House Clerk posts the status of the bill online and how to check it," he said.

Siriani advised residents to stay on top of the updates so not to miss an opportunity to voice their concerns.

"It's not as simple to just go from three to five selectmen," Siriani said. "To speed up the process, keep your eyes and ears open, and we will keep residents informed when there is a hearing so members of town can attend, or communicate with members of the committee so to convey their needs."

Sudbury voted to increase the Board to five members at Special Town Meeting in September.


SkimThreePercent October 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Translation, Chauls, Jack Ryan and the Offner's got to lame-duck Fargo making her an offer that she couldn't refuse. Kudos to Conroy and Eldridge for not obstructing the will of the people!


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