The Owl and Town Meeting
I thought I had seen it all, Weston, and regardless of outcome, was ready to carry on with being Westonian today. But after a four-and-a-half hour Town Meeting where a raucous, rude group heckled and insulted a number of volunteers for the town, I find I am spent. Not a single joke to make. I watched grown men high-five at voting down the tree law and say “we put them in their place.” There were audience members yelling comments, snorting and scoffing in volunteer government presentations and completely out of order. I am aghast.
Town Meeting almost always contains a surprise or a laugh and did not fail in that regard. Now I too want to play pickleball with Geoge Clooney, just not in Weston.
To Ripley Hastings, the Town Moderator, you are priceless and kept grace under pressure. To Laurie Bent, Lori Hess, Katharina Wilkins, and all the women who took a lot of nasty last night, I see you and I thank you for keeping on.
You can find out the results of the Town Meeting on the Town page. I strongly recommend that those who did not go to meeting NOT watch the video. It will take me quite some time to erase those images.
The Owl will be back sometime when she has gotten lots of therapy, mostly of the barked kind.
I was embarrassed for my town at the behavior.
Me too. Hope the Globe doesn’t pick it up.
I am sorry, Owl. Unfortunately, this is pretty much my impression of Town Meeting, which I was so excited to join when we moved here. My first Town Meeting was around 25 years ago, which went similarly in opposition to the Rail Trail (which eventually succeeded and became such a beloved benefit to our and our neighboring communities). (I became a library trustee when one of the trustees who had supported the Rail Trail moved away in disgust.). Similarly with deer hunting, the senior development on Merriam Street, and parking at Kendall Green, among others. I’ve worked in government for most of my career. This is not good government. It’s mob rule.
I will not be back. The damage to my feelings about this town is not easy to repair. Hence radio silence.
Sometimes people can get a little to emotional. Sorry to hear about it. On vaca so missed town meeting We need to remember that the town committee members are all volunteers and try to do their best. We can’t all agree all the time but we can try to be civil while doing so
Watch the video sometime and be completely stunned.
It would be nice if people had the attitude of “I disagree with the decision you came you, but I realize you came about it honestly” instead of “I disagree with the decision you came to, and you must have some nefarious/cabalist/evil motivations.”
I don’t see anything in the Owl’s post about motivations or even the decision itself. I see “I’m dismayed at the behavior I witnessed, particularly towards town volunteers.”
Totally agree. Could not say it better.
I left Town Meeting quite depressed. And I left at the end, listening to all issues regardless of whether they were my particular issues. It is hard to take the poor behavior from those who also only come for one issue and don’t give the time or respect to listen to other issues. I cannot fathom why we are not moving forward to repair a decaying water tank. So easy to vote against, but what is the alternative proposed? Nothing, as far as I can tell
I never minded “losing” a town vote just as I never mind losing a soccer game as long as there is sportsmanship. Zero sportsmanship on display by Weston…
Aren’t most of the Weston residents in part here because it’s been a true community? The behavior last evening was not only sad and disenchanting, it was the antithesis of community. I sure hope that’s not where we’re heading.
I am having a very hard time recovering. Still a bit stunned to be honest.
Just in case no one told you (very unlikely) the town site is now http://www.westonma.gov.
the link to the results page is https://www.westonma.gov/1770/2022-Annual-Town-Meeting.
This does not show the vote count, just the results of the vote on each article.
The link to the video of the TM, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0QHYFqIGGE
If you want to skip to the vote and avoid some of the embarrassing behavior (sometimes the opponents made it seem a competition rather than a discussion of the best way to solve a problem) just drag the video forward to the bright green lights.
Thanks, Tack. I did know about the town web address but old habits die hard 🙂 Thanks also for the video address–having been there and experienced it, there is zero chance I will ever watch it again but someone else might!