FIX THE TOWN MEETING
There is currently a Petition about seeking to null the ati-Tar Sands Oil Resolution recently voted in. It requests another meeting and vote. I believe that to be a mistake for important reasons: 1. It does nothing to correct the problems that arose at the meeting, i.e. deeply flawed process; 2. We must correct the problems evident in the conduct of that meeting before having another meeting also potentially flawed; 3. It was evident the Resolution would have passed regardless of the “deficiencies” in the process. It's best to correct the problem now.
Several Bethel citizens sent a letter to our Select Board requesting action to form a committee to review and recommend changes to rules for Conduct Of Town Meetings. It seeks the following objectives:
Ensure open nomination of Moderators well in advance of the meeting, allowing for adequate preparation;
Require that the Moderator: a. Have skills and preparation to conduct the meeting: b. Present all relevant rules with sufficient explanation to properly equip voters; and c. Disallow “calling the question” before speakers (for and against the motion) are properly heard.
Add items at the discretion of the Town Meeting Rules Committee.
The request was for the Bethel Board of Selectmen to initiate the action at their earliest opportunity. Our sincere desire is to ensure high quality in every aspect of our civic processes and citizen support will be vitally important.