If you love town government (and who doesn’t?) you won’t want to miss a special Monday night edition of the Board of Selectmen.
PLYMOUTH – If you love town government (and who doesn’t?) you won’t want to miss a special Monday night edition of the Board of Selectmen, which will meet in the old 1820 Courthouse to review a slew of changes to the town’s charter proposed by the Charter Review Committee.
The night’s agenda – for which three hours have been allocated – will be devoted to reviewing the changes that the Charter Review Committee is asking fall Town Meeting to approve.
They are mostly minor changes, but taken altogether they could have major effects on the manner in which the town operates.
Committee Chairman Dennis Begley put it this way: “There is no one big issue or change we are addressing but rather a collection of little things that if addressed will make the process more responsible to the citizens.”
The changes go from little to big, with some simple cultural changes including formalizing the change from a Board of Selectman to a Board of Selectpersons and making more effective use of social media for postings and announcements.
The changes proposed also include a requirement that Town Meeting representatives take conflict of interest training and the moderator explain conflict of interest rules at the start of every Town Meeting.
If other changes are approved by Town Meeting the moderator’s authority would be reduced by allowing his on-the-floor rulings to be questioned by a 2/3 vote and appointments to the Finance Committee and Charter Review Committee made by a three-person committee instead of by the moderator alone.
Other changes proposed include allowing Town Meeting reps and town employees to be eligible for appointment to the Advisory and Finance Committee and establishing a process by which voters can place a non-binding public opinion question on the ballot of the annual town election; at present only selectmen can do that.
The committee is also proposing adding a third Town Meeting during the year.
All of the little changes proposed add up to what is likely to be a long meeting, hence the scheduled 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. time frame and the fact that no other issue will be on the agenda.
Follow Frank Mand on Twitter @frankmandOCM.