A Challenge To All Those "Yes" Voters
They did a great job, but both sides need to get more involved in town issues.
Over 3,000 people voted “Yes” in the special election recently. Many of them were people who could be classified as school supporters. They did a great job of turning out to support education in Norton, both at Town Meeting and at the polls. They should be congratulated for their dedication and commitment.
But now I’d like to issue to them a challenge. I ask them to try and stay involved in their town on other issues beside education, issues that may not affect them as directly but certainly have an impact on their lives and the lives of their friends and neighbors. Norton could certainly use their help.
There are other priorities in town that need to be addressed. Our police and fire departments have manpower issues, and money is the major obstacle. We need to build a new senior center in Norton, and it will require support from all quarters. Our town government needs to be revamped and possibly changed, and that will require some serious effort and grassroots help from the community at large.
Over 4,000 voters cast ballots at the June 11 election for the school debt exclusion. When you compare that to the measly 776 citizens who bothered to vote in the April Town Election, you can begin to see the problem here. It is easy for those who are so inclined to point to the “school people” and claim they only come out when they need money for education. Of course, many people who voted “No” in the special election also skipped the April election. But with victory comes the spotlight, so it is focused on the education supporters.
Here is hoping that at least some of those who complained about the Town Meeting form of government this spring will participate in looking at possible changes. There appears to be some political clout on the school side of things, and it will be interesting to see if “they” wield it on things other than just school issues.
To all the leaders of both sides of the recent ballot question issues – I challenge you and yours to come out and work on the other important causes in our town. As Moderator I have a vacancy on the Finance Committee that needs filling, and there are many other things requiring some attention. Your town needs your involvement on more than just one issue.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and the current Town Moderator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.