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ABOUT TOWN: Change

The more things change the more they remain the same.

This is a wonderful quote, translated from the original French, and it even sounds French in its English translation! But you know what? It isn’t always true!

Gather your thoughts. On Thursday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weston Town Hall Meeting Room, the Board of Selectmen, with one selectman no doubt recusing himself, will hold its public hearing on the proposed new Weston Town Charter.

What has changed since the last public hearing in late April? At that event, members of the public mostly seemed to stand and speak against the proposed change of the positions of town clerk and tax collector to be appointive.

Speakers praising the new Article 9, “Finance and Taxation,” seemed to substantially outnumber those who objected. The new wording embeds the idea of a mandatory referendum for the bottom line budgets approved at Annual Town Budget Meeting.

Those in favor of this change value the privacy that a referendum vote would provide, although there are those who would prefer to stand up and be counted. But as I see it, there should be nothing personal about the budget.

This document, in a dry way, expresses what the community values. We cherish our children, and for them, no reasonable expense is too great.

Then there were those, toward the end of the hearing, who voiced the thought that if we are to vote in secret why bother with ATBM at all?

Since by law the education budget is voted on as only one line, the bottom one, that position would seem to make some sense. Any cuts that are made to the proposed school budget always seem to occur at the “deliberation meeting” of the Board of Finance, following its own public hearing.

Given the importance most Westonites attach to issues affecting school budgets, as well as to the charter generally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the turnout is large on June 14. Perhaps the Library Community Room might be a better venue than town hall, or at least one that should be reserved as an alternative location.

Charter revision bill vetoed

So much got done during the recent legislative “short” session in Hartford! Some of it for naught, however! It was a surprise that Gov. Malloy vetoed the charter revision measure, which had been approved by both the House and the Senate. It would have provided a means for the scope of Charter Revision processes to be limited, effective after Oct. 1.

The governor had his reasons, one being that he felt the bill would not have assured adequate opportunity for public input to the charter revision process.

Our Charter Revision Commission has essentially rewritten our charter. Was the commission surprised that Westonites have found things to be upset about?

Let’s hear what you think, at the public hearing at the special Board of Selectmen meeting, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. Mark your calendar!

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