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An Overview Of This Month’s Annual Town Meeting

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The following was submitted by Town Moderator Ellen Harde. To submit your own content, e-mail the editor at [email protected]

There is no quorum requirement to begin the meeting and any registered voter may attend, address the meeting and vote. The meeting begins promptly at 10 am at the Abbot School Saturday morning and will continue for the entire day.

Non-voters are welcome to sit at the rear of the gymnasium, but may speak only if 2/3 of the voters agree.

There are twenty-eight Articles, or items of business, and we will take them up in order. Any voter may ask the meeting to take an Article out of order. That motion requires a majority vote to pass.

A complete listing of the Articles and an explanation of the effect of accepting or rejecting each one are included in the “Finance Committee Report and Recommendations,” just mailed to every household and can be found on the Town website, westfordma.gov.

If the voters agree, five of the Articles will be on a Consent Agenda to be considered after Article 1 as one motion with no debate. If one voter asks that any Article be removed from the Consent Agenda, it will be removed.

 

The proposed Articles for the Consent Agenda are Article 2 to pay a Comcast bill from last fiscal year; Article 5 to approve perchlorate remediation expenses; Article 15 to accept State money for road maintenance; Article 17 to approve the tax exemption for the blind, elderly and disables and Article 23 to authorize the Selectmen to accept easements.

The sponsor of Article 25 has notified the Selectmen that he will be moving to dismiss the article about “openness and transparency in local government.”

At 12:15, the School Committee will present the Gordon B. Seavey Award, followed by a break for lunch. Sandwiches and salads from Paul’s Diner will be for sale in the Abbot cafeteria.

At 1pm, the meeting resumes. We will continue until we have voted on all the Articles, or, if there are still Articles to be discussed and voted, we will adjourn between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and then reconvene on Monday March 30th at the Abbot.

There are many decisions to be made about funding the Town for the coming year. Who will make these decisions? Hopefully, it will be you. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

The FY14 town budget is also online at the Town website, westfordma.gov, accessible from the homepage. The League of  Women Voters very useful “Guide to Town Meeting” is also on the  website.

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