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ABOUT TOWN: Potsy

About-Town-Margaret-WirtenbergHow is Weston charter revision like an urban street game?

I can recall playing hopscotch, or potsy, as a little girl. First and foremost, it required agility. Drawing a straight line on the sidewalk was also a skill that was necessary for at least one of the players. The ability to toss a coin accurately, and with backspin, was a useful talent to have.

My mother discouraged me from playing in the street. Playing urban handball against a wall was fun but had its dangers. Chasing a Spaldeen into the street required having the presence of mind to pause and check for oncoming traffic. But exposure to these games prepared me for other challenges to come.

This meandering in nostalgia does relate to charter revision in the summer of 2013 here in Weston, Conn., it seems to me. Especially the agility part. And as the years have gone by, I have noticed that as cultivated and educated as Westonites are, there is still a bit of the primal urge to compete in almost all of us.

Some people channel these instincts into work, others into sports games that they play, and others into politics.

Summertime here in Weston is always a special opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of our town. Perhaps the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee is working up plans for street closings. And soon we will be treated to what might be viewed as summer’s inaugural, the July 4th fireworks put on by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Soon the political parties will be caucusing, choosing candidates for the Nov. 5 election, which I truly hope lots and lots of people will care enough about to vote in.

This is the sport I have grown to enjoy most here in Weston. As the League of Women Voters always says, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” That means all of us being involved. Starting right now!

Charter

By the time you read this, the just established Charter Revision Commission will have held the first of two public hearings. The second one is planned for September.

The new charter that was approved in 2012 requires that public hearing notices be posted on the town website. I was pleased to see that the site’s excellent “meeting schedule” page included notice of the just held hearing, albeit perhaps less far in advance than might have been ideal.

The first budget process held under the new charter didn’t exactly go as expected. Uncertainty surfaced about what constitutes a quorum at ATBM. There was confusion about what the numerical quorum requirement would be. And then an absent town attorney’s opinion requested by someone other than the Panel of Moderators was arguably incorrect about when during the meeting quorum determinations could be made.

I intend to request that the Charter Revision Commission leave its June 26 public hearing open for public comment until July 4, so that those who may have wanted to comment but couldn’t attend the meeting can have their say. What more appropriate a day than Independence Day to mark the conclusion of public input to this first part of the charter revision process?

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at aboutweston.com.

About author
Check out Margaret Wirtenberg's website: http://www.aboutweston.com/

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