The ‘spin machine’ at Town Hall is working overtime in regard to Article 6 at the Special Town Meeting. This article was brought forward by the illegal Town Manager for an appropriation of nearly $1million. However, it was not properly presented in the warrant and therefore could not be voted. The result: no money for any of these purposes.
For those who think we’ve been nitpicking over process and procedure, I offer this as a prime example of the real-life consequences of not complying with municipal law.
But before we can determine how this debacle happened, it’s important to know who is responsible for putting together and presenting the warrant. While it is the Moderator’s meeting, it is the Selectmen’s warrant. They rely on Town Counsel to ensure the articles/motions are legal, and on the Town Manager to ensure the printed warrant presented to the public reflects Counsel’s review, revision, approval, and is properly constructed.
Article 6 wasn’t. As to the Warrant, as a whole, it was insufficient, poorly and improperly composed and was not signed. Details of the articles were not available to the public for review until the night of Town Meeting. Since Town Meeting was very late in the calendar, lack of preparation time can hardly be an excuse.
This brings us to the illegal Town Manager’s blatant attempt to lay his responsibility at the feet of others. First Town Counsel was blamed but that didn’t stick because, despite receiving the draft warrant very late in the process, he provided the proper review, advice and verbiage.
Was it a clerical error as the Town Manager states in the Mariner? Well, I guess the only people who know what really happened are the ‘clerk’ and the Town Manager. The ‘clerk’ used to be the Assistant to the Town Manager in more than name only and is widely held to be very competent. The illegal Town Manager, however, chooses to diminish her role and reject her experienced advice. He is obviously ready to throw her under the bus.
But, if, and that’s a big if, the ‘clerk’ made an error wasn’t there any oversight and final proofing by the Town Manager before such an important legal document went to print? Didn’t he sign off on it? If not, why not?
And now to the private citizen, a former selectman and an attorney, who recognized the error and brought it to question at Town Meeting. How is it her fault the BoS and their illegal Town Manager didn’t proofread the warrant? Or that they didn’t know something was incorrect?
This finger pointing is worthy of 6-yearolds not of the highest elected officials and the manager of our Town whom we pay $132,000. The BoS tell us he’s competent and professional – invaluable. This warrant, and Article 6 specifically, stands in contradiction.
This BoS and their illegal Town Manager continue to prove they have little knowledge and no respect for process, procedure and law.
You have good reason to be outraged. Not at their scapegoats but rather at the real miscreants: the BoS and their illegal Town Manager.© Copyright 2012 Tanna Bk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed