Coming Soon to Your Mailbox – Town Meeting Warrant Book
It’s almost time for Town Meeting! How does the Owl know such things? Well, for one thing, it’s on the town calendar, and for the second thing, a gigantasaurus Warrant Book has arrived in the mailbox. If it is not yet in your mailbox, it will be soon. Too bad it missed coming with you on Spring Break. If you are new to Town Meeting, do not read the following as it is not pure fact, which can be found here.
Things to like about the Warrant Book: it’s printed on paper that is really easy to mark up. The Owl has two colors of highlighter for it–yellow for things to investigate before Town Meeting, and green for things to remember. You can fit lots of small notes in the margins. Other things to like: large print on the back page with all of the dates to remember, and the inside exhortation page (on page 4,876 –no, really it’s about 68) that a single voice can make a difference. In other words, show up Weston! No one can vote for you.
Things to not like about the Warrant Book: the Owl doesn’t love the Finance Committee stating their opinion before the movie has even started. Each time it says “The Finance Committee voted unanimously to oppose this article”, one must wonder what exactly the Finance Committee did not like. For example, why are they unanimously opposed to the Ash Street Sidewalk? Is it the asset value of trees that are coming down that bothers them? (the Owl actually knows the answer to that one). Is it the fact that it costs $400,000 to build a short sidewalk to connect the Connector (yes, that is the name of the Wellesley Street to Ash Street walkway)? Other things to ponder: will we need to rename the Connector if the Ash Street sidewalk does not pass? Will it become the Wellesley Street Road to Nowhere? Or the path to certain doom when trying to dodge the 40-mph cars on Ash? That name seems long. Anyway, having the Finance Committee opinion in print just kills the drama.
Also, it would really help if there were some pictures and diagrams beyond the tables and number-y stuff. Like, what exactly is a pumper truck? Sounds nice. Oh wait, apparently the presentation materials will be available online before the Town Meeting so there’s that. Don’t forget to check those–don’t worry, the Owl shall remind you. The Budget is long and detailed but worth a read before folks start slinging around numbers and you are thinking “hunh?”
A summary of the consent agenda can also be found and links to the materials on the town webpage. You read it first that there is ZERO chance that the entire consent agenda will be voted on at once. Best bets for articles pulled out for separate vote: Articles 19, 22, 23, 30-33, and 34. It will be a long afternoon. Look up all the good stuff.
Important and non-subjective matters are:
Annual Town Election is Saturday, May 8, unless you take the vote by mail or absentee ballot option. Please see the town website for more information: www.westonma.gov/TownElection.
Annual Town Meeting is Saturday, May 15 at 2 pm at the High School Football Field (Proctor Field). Aren’t you glad you voted for the town article for Proctor Field all those years ago? Imagine if we had to sit in mud. This turned out okay. See www.westonma.gov/TownMeeting for additional information.
Fine print: All attendees must be registered voters and be willing to wave colored sheets of paper to vote. Everyone must wear masks regardless of vaccine status. Accommodations are made for voters needing physical assistance to the field.
The rain date is Saturday, May 22 and there is NO ABSENTEE VOTING for Town Meeting. You must be in it to win it. While the Owl feels some sympathy for all the complaints of missed soccer games or the need for babysitters for small children, or the fact that this is the weekend people open up their island getaway homes, your noble sacrifice brings about a better Weston.