Hometown Weekly Weighs In on Town Manager Question

Hometown Weekly

Big Referendum Coming Up in Wellesley–Hometown Weekly.

Wellesley has always had passionate volunteers who care about their town. The upcoming March 15th town referendum on town government is no exception. Legions of volunteers will be posting signs in yards and campaigning for their side of the ballot question: Should Wellesley switch from its current town administrator form of government to a much more centralized – and less transparent– town manager form of government? We spoke to the Vote No campaigners of SaveWellesleyTownGov.org, a broad array of high-schoolers to 90-year-olds, environmental activists to fiscal conservatives, physicians to lawyers to management consultants.

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Need for Change Exaggerated says Tom Frisardi

Thomas Frisardi–Wellesley Townsman, March 10, 2016

Why would residents who have the right to manage their own government yield a substantial part of this right to a single person, who is not even necessarily a resident of the town? Removing power from volunteer boards and committees reduces the value of serving on such a committee and will discourage citizen participation. Why would someone volunteer their time to basically act in a supporting role for someone who is earning $200,000 a year…


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The Myth about ‘The Map’: Another reason to vote no on Question 1

By Marcia Testa Simonson, M.P.H., M.Phil., Ph.D–Wellesley Townsman March 3.

It seemed that most of the audience believed the story this map was telling because in all its geographical sophistication and vivid colors, it just looked so convincing. However, neither the map, nor the story behind it, was an accurate portrayal of the real data.”

TGSC Map                                     Detailed Map

TGSC mapSWTG Map 4

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Globe West–Don McCauley on Reasons to Vote “NO”

Don McCauley–Boston Globe West  February 27, 2016

Wellesley resident, former member of the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, and the Advisory Committee

“Massachusetts permits a dizzying array of municipal structures with differing allocation of responsibilities among administrators, boards, staff, and citizens. No size fits all. There are probably 351 varieties, in a state with that many cities and towns. The task is to use the alternatives to make improvements and maintain strengths”.


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Serious Concerns From Sustainable Wellesley

Quentin Prideaux, President, Sustainable Wellesley, on behalf of the SW Leadership Team–From Wellesley Townsman February 25, 2016

“We do not go to a doctor who is paid by a fast-food company, to a lawyer who represents our adversary, or to a financial advisor with only one CD to sell. We go to impartial experts who are free to speak their mind, and having listened to their advice, we decide, not them or their backers.”

Read entire article below.

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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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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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