Let’s Keep Government in the Hands of the Citizens

Dan Kemp–Wellesley Townsman  February 25, 2016

Local democratic government based on voluntary citizen participation is one of New England’s greatest gifts to America.  For the 32 years I have lived in Wellesley, town government, executed through dedicated volunteer citizen boards, has functioned extremely well. Now, despite the long-term success of our town democracy, we have a proposal to take town government out of the hands of its citizens and vest it in a powerful, unelected town manager, who would be insulated from accountability by a multi-year contract and exempt from open-meeting laws. This would be a huge mistake for the town.

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SAVE OUR LIBRARY!

Joan DeFinis–Wellesley Townsman   February 25, 2016

The Wellesley Free Library (WFL) is one of our brightest gems!  It has been skillfully managed and enhanced over time and offers a state of the art library experience for all ages and interests.  In FY 2015 the WFL reported 371,568 people walked through the doors; each with an individual reason for visiting the Library.

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Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater

Royall H. Switzler–Wellesley Townsman   February 25, 2015

Having involvement with Wellesley government for over 55 years; with that experience, I’m not a believer in centralization.  As much as I’ve heard that Question 1, on March 15th’s Town Ballot, is not centralization, it is centralization!

I’ve heard all sides debated and concluded that this By-law change isn’t going to fix anything, that can’t already be fixed within our current government structure.  It’s also going to be costly, with no assurance, where savings would come.

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Perspective of a longtime School Committee Member

Suzi Newman–Wellesley Townsman  February 25, 2016

As a Town Meeting Member, I voted against the Town Manager proposal as it seemed unfair to remove budgeting from any board’s authority. To suggest that boards would still be permitted to decide policies and initiatives seemed to ignore the fact that most policies and initiatives require a thorough grounding in budget details to be implemented. Continue reading “Perspective of a longtime School Committee Member”

Changing Our Government is Bad Business.

Fred DeFinis  Wellesley Townsman February 18, 2016

As a business owner and advocate I was intrigued by the prospect of a more efficient government for Wellesley. What business person wouldn’t want a more business-like approach to governing? However, after studying the work of the TGSC, attending hearings and working through eight long nights of Town Meeting, I see that we would not be getting a better or more efficient form of government for the people who matter most–our citizens. Instead we will get a costly extra layer of bureaucracy and will concentrate power in one person and an expanding group of bureaucrats to replace what has been a top notch citizen run government.

 

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Letter From a New Town Meeting Member

 

By Kevin Hanron, Wellesley Townsman February 18, 2016

I’m writing, both as a 22-year resident as well as a novice Town Meeting member, to express my concerns related to the proposal before the people of the Town of Wellesley to approve a “Special Act” on March 15 to change to a Town Manager form of government.  An approval of this act would insert another layer of bureaucracy and independent decision-making between residents and our elected officials.

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Vote ‘no’ on town manager proposal

By Lois Sullivan, Posted 2/11/16, Wellesley Townsman

Town Meeting has ended after a historic vote to change the way Wellesley is governed. It left me discouraged, amazed and upset. Important issues have normally been thoughtfully decided after options have been explored, debated and then a final plan brought back to Town Meeting for a vote. That did not happen this time and it leaves me asking why. I am left questioning the whole process and wondering why things unfolded the way they did.

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Grateful for way the town safeguards our health

By John and Ann-Mara Lanza, Posted 2/11/16, Wellesley Townsman

By now, we have all heard the news reports from Flint, Michigan, where a contaminated water supply has poisoned a generation of Americans. When we hear these reports, and we look at our children, we cannot help but be grateful for the citizens who volunteer their time to keep our drinking water safe. The residents of Flint were abandoned by an appointed manager who prioritized money over health. The elected city council was sidelined, leaving the citizens with no voice. In the words of NPR’s Jack Beatty, it was “a failure of democracy.”

To read entire article CLICK HERE

 

Send that proposal back for more study

By Gary Woods, Posted 11/25/2015 in Wellesley.wickedlocal.com

“As I watched the numerous town meetings over the last several weeks I was anticipating a discussion on good management practices as documented by people like Peter Drucker, Charles Handy or others who have studied the practice of management. Since the dawn of time, the rule has been that a person can effectively have four direct reports.”

To read entire article CLICK HERE — Make sure to scroll to second Letter

Friends of the WFL concerned about the town manager proposal

by Susan Calcio, President of Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries, Posted 10/9/2015 in Wellesley.wickedlocal.com

“As the President of the Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries, I am concerned about the Town Government Study Committee’s recommendation that a town manager should assume responsibility for the hiring, firing and assessment of the library director and for the library’s budget.”

To read entire article CLICK HERE