Seekonk Selectmen: Low Meeting Turnout ‘Sad’ and ‘Unacceptable’
The Board of Selectmen expressed their frustrations about Monday’s poorly attended town meeting. Changes to the Town Charter were rejected. “For all those that worked hard on the charter changes, we did the best we could,” Selectman David Andrade said at Wednesday’s meeting.
“Barely getting a quorum (78 voters) is sad and unacceptable,” said Chairman Justin Sullivan. “We went through 18 articles in an hour.” Sullivan noted the members of the Charter Review Committee put in two years of work on making recommendations for changes. “Granted they had to endure the fact that we didn’t take all of their recommendations,” Sullivan continued. “We submitted what we thought was best. I think what’s disappointing to me, is town meeting, to quote somebody else ‘didn’t do its job again’”..Voters at the 2021 Spring Town Meeting opted for an indefinite postponement, claiming they were given an insufficient amount of time to review the changes.
The Town Charter is reviewed every five years. Sullivan said a new subcommittee for charter review would have to be assembled in 2024. “We’re going to need people to step up,” Sullivan said. “To watch two years of hard work by that committee get thrown away, not even considered just a little bit for the rest of the town, it was sad. The first time we presented it was a dumpster fire. We didn’t have a lot of documents that all blended together. The second time, the complaints were we didn’t present (the proposed changes) although everything was made readily available well in advance. This time we spoon-fed it with a presentation, cleaned it all up, handed it to (the voters) exactly how you wanted it, and still it gets discarded and cast off to the side.”
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