Latest Sewer Commissioner Article

By Mike Flaherty | Apr 18, 2013

At last Town Meeting (or was it the one before?) there was an article to create a Sewer Commission in order to dedicate that work/role to folks other than the Board of Selectmen.  Imagine how much more meeting time could be spent on more relevant town-wide matters if the Sewer Commissioner item was removed from the BOS agenda.


Ultimately that Article didn't pass.  Honestly, I thought it was going to easily sail through because it purportedly contained tweaked language designed to clear any hurdles that its prior version might have had.


Then David Begley got to the floor and proposed major changes to the Article.  As I recall, most of what Dave was trying to accomplish was to ensure that the newly formed sewer body would not be its own autonomous institution that would only answer to itself.  I think the point was made that if the Article passed as originally written then sewer-related matters (including expenses) would never again need to be approved by Town Meeting.


I think the Article was put off to "further study" or otherwise politely killed.


I remember that I wanted to support Dave's amendment(s) at the time, but I felt that they were so significant that they really needed to be vettted better than the limited time we had on Town Meeting floor.


Later, I contacted Dave and I wanted to work with him on doing exactly that.  Dave was kind enough to send me his verbiage and all of his research on the matter.  I would have re-filed a new/similar Warrant Article at the next TM and championed it myself if I had to.  Alas, that never happened.  I was just too busy with everything going on at work/home/School Committee and so on to get beyond what Dave had sent.


So I was very happy to see that someone (Dorothy Heath) DID file a new Warrrant Article to create a Sewer Commission.  You will find it at...


...and it is Article #31 on Page #13.

Offhand, I don't know exactly how this compares to Dave's proposal.  However, for the most part I do see Dorothy's Article as an improvement over the current process.  With Town Meeting starting in four days, I thought I would get others' thoughts on it too.


Does anyone see any reason not to vote in favor of Article 31?


- Mike

Comments (2)
Posted by: Recycler | Apr 19, 2013 09:20

This looks to be thought out and reasonable to me.  And may I also add that I appreciate that you are asking for discussion.

Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Apr 19, 2013 12:56

I also agree. IMO an independent sewer commission is a necessity.  The topic is too important not to be given the time and consideration it requires. Please don't get caught up in another power struggle.

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