Annual Town Meeting, April 7, 2016
To All Boards and Committees with Articles at the Annual Town Meeting:
As you are well aware from my comments at the opening of the Special Town Meeting on February 11, 2016, the Selectmen are faced with a lengthy warrant this year that right now may take more sessions than is acceptable. It is their responsibility to work on approving and ordering that warrant. Knowing this Board, I have every reason to believe they will execute that responsibility in the best interests of the town.
I am asking for your assistance in addressing this situation, each from your own perspective.
This week I have written a letter to the Editor challenging everyone involved to work together to keep our Town meeting to a reasonable four sessions. I anticipate writing further and setting out my views on more focused aspects in reaching that goal.
As part of that, I have asked all citizens to participate by making themselves well prepared before the meeting. A necessary component of that is the cooperation of the Boards and Committees.
I am asking each and every Board or Committee with an article at the Meeting to make an extra effort to prepare your articles and motions along with the arguments to support them. Your presentations should be brief but pointed, and developed to respond to all questions that you can anticipate. Part of this is to listen to the questions that come up as a result of your articles. Go out of your way to solicit or at least be sensitive to citizen input and questions. Over the next several weeks, set aside at least some portion of a meeting, or even hold a special meeting, to listen to and respond directly to questions and criticism.
I should note that I am considering reducing the amount of time allowed for the principal presentations by proponents and opponents of any Article. If I make that decision, you will have at least a month's notice.
I have a long history of direct participation in Wayland Government. I recognize the arduous hours that each Board or Committee works, but I do not think this request should materially add to your burdens. In fact, if well handled, it could ease the burden on everyone, primarily including yourselves, when the issue comes up for a vote, as it inevitably will.
If I can be of assistance prior to the meeting, please let me know. While I have to maintain the ability of the Chair to make all final rulings only at that meeting, I will be happy to share my views and experience if that is helpful.
Finally, please put on your calendars the Moderator's Forum scheduled for Wednesday evening, March 23. This is an opportunity to put forward your articles in a relaxed setting with the hope that all parties might find some common ground, or at least know what each other is saying.
Thank you, and thank you for your service to the Town of Wayland.
February 18, 2016