Charter revision is now the law. “Power to the unaffiliated!” More of these Westonites can now participate.

Some things haven’t changed. It is still the case that no political party can have more than a one-vote plurality on boards and commissions. However, when vacancies arise on appointive entities, many Westonites who may have been ineligible to participate before will now be able to do so — without having to declare a preference for either major party.

The old charter did not specifically forbid this. But it required that vacancies on appointive boards and commissions be filled only from among persons recommended by the party that had originally recommended the person vacating the office, if there had been such a recommendation. The new charter does away with that provision.

The Democrats have had bylaws that did not allow them to appoint unaffiliated voters, while Republican bylaws did allow it.

In times past, a well-known expert in the field served on the Conservation Commission. He remained an unaffiliated voter, appointed by the Republicans.

It would seem that this charter change might be helpful in filling positions that are presently vacant on seven different appointed boards and commissions. Check out the town website for more information. Do you have time and expertise you can contribute to the work of these boards and commissions?

No doubt there will be other openings in the future to which this charter change will be applicable. Keep an eye on the town of Weston website!

Where’s the plan?

Other changes are taking place in town. One I endorse heartily is being discussed tonight in public hearing. Specifically, that the town website shall be used, in addition to the town clerk’s bulletin board, for official postings of legal notices pertaining to town matters.

In my experience a comment that is often made about government action is “I didn’t know.” Keeping up with local government can sometimes seem like a full-time job. As in a soap opera, if you miss one installment of “As the Board of Selectmen Turns” you are lost!

Why is this the case? Recently, I had been asked to leave what was characterized as a “private discussion” being held after the Nov. 19 special Board of Selectmen’s meeting. Seated in the audience during the selectmen’s meeting were members of several boards. I noticed that no quorum was present from any of the four of them.

Doors slammed shut. What do you suppose was discussed? Included at the non-public meeting were the first selectman, the superintendent of schools together with a few Board of Education members, and the chairmen of the Board of Finance and the Building Committee.

Fast forward to the most recent Board of Selectmen’s agenda. An impressive presentation by the police addressed a new study to be begun of their space needs and possible relocation.

And at the very end, this being a regular selectmen’s meeting, an extra item was added to the agenda, concerning future use of North House. The public would have had no way of knowing about this item in advance.

We then learned that the Nov. 19 private discussion had been about the use of North House. Shouldn’t the Police Commission’s study be coordinated with that? What if an addition to North House is ultimately their best choice?

Shouldn’t there be an overall plan for the center of town?

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