NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Change day for West Newbury Town Meeting

To the editor:

A group of West Newbury residents would like to change the annual Town Meeting from Monday night at 7 p.m. to daytime on a Saturday.

Historically, Town Meeting took place on a Saturday in April. After a long winter, when roads were once again easy to travel, but before spring planting, residents would gather to decide on the business of the town. It was a social gathering as well, a time to reconnect with your neighbors.

The Town Meeting changed to a Monday night in 1979. At that time, the town determined that a night meeting would better meet the needs of its citizens. We feel it is time, once again, to consider the current needs of our citizens.

The Monday night meeting has become a two- and sometimes three-night event. We believe a Saturday meeting would eliminate this issue.

West Newbury has 4,396 residents, of which 3,251 are registered voters. The attendance at Town Meeting does not reflect these numbers. The night meeting appears difficult for many people to attend due to changing obligations.

Many of our residents are commuters who do not get home until after 6 or 7 p.m. After a long day at work, attending a meeting lasting well into the night holds little appeal.

It is much easier to find sitters who can sit on a Saturday than on a late school night.

Residents who no longer drive at night may not be able to attend Town Meeting.

A Saturday meeting would enable the town to settle the majority of its business.

A day meeting in late April works well, as outdoor yard work is not yet fully underway, and fewer people are on vacation.

In summary, we believe changing the Town Meeting to a Saturday will make for a more productive and better-attended meeting.

Jacqueline A. Johnston

West Newbury

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Serious Flash Flooding in Arizona Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting Man Shot As Protesters Defy Curfew in Ferguson Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Back Together for Two ‘Secret’ Dates
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans