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I am a thirty-year resident of Reading, as well as a Town Meeting Member elected to represent Precinct 5, currently serving my second term. I make a serious and concerted effort to educate myself on each article on the warrant for Town Meeting through various methods, including watching (and even looking back to the RCTV videos, as necessary) many meetings of various boards, with a special focus on Select Board meetings.
When I received the warrant for the upcoming Town Meeting starting today, Monday, October 18th, it immediately struck me that there were several Select Board members who have abstained from voting on if the articles should even be presented to Town Meeting. I had never seen this before, so I watched the RCTV video of the September 14th Select Board meeting to refresh my memory of how that occurred.
Of the nine warrant articles presented, Chair Herrick pulled out four warrant articles that she felt needed to be voted on individually by Select Board Members. These individual votes would indicate whether each select board member supported the article being sent to town meeting for vote. The reason given? Some select board members felt they didn’t have enough information about the projects listed in those warrant articles. For details, see https://bit.ly/3FVgwdP.
I ask that in the future each Select Board Member make every effort to not wait until the final weeks before Town Meeting to state they don’t have enough information about and therefore can’t support articles to Town Meeting. This is especially concerning when those projects have been in the works for years and have been thoroughly vetted. It is completely unacceptable for Town Meeting Members to be expected to vote when Select Board members are unwilling to go on the record as supporting articles to Town Meeting. We look to our senior elected officials to make the hard decisions, and we expect those decisions to be made.
Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member