Oak Bluffs holds annual, special town meetings April 10

Oak Bluffs holds annual, special town meetings April 10

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— File photo by Mae Deary

Oak Bluffs voters will meet April 10 for a special town meeting, followed immediately by the annual town meeting. The meetings are scheduled for 7 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center.

The annual town meeting warrant includes a $24.1 million operating budget, with a 1.5-percent cost of living increase for town employees.

WARRANT FOR SPECIAL TOWN MEETING

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

County of Dukes County, ss

To either of the Constables in the Town of Oak Bluffs, Greeting:

In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby directed to notify and warn the inhabitants of the Town of Oak Bluffs who are qualified to vote in Town Affairs and Elections, to assemble at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the evening, then and there to act upon the following articles:

Article 1. To see if the town will vote to transfer $1160.49 (one thousand one hundred sixty dollars and forty nine cents) from the Copy Paper account to the Advertising account to cover a prior year bill or take any other action relative thereto.

Amount Payee

$1160.49 MV Times

Board of Selectmen

Executive Summary: This Article authorizes the payment of bills from a prior fiscal year. A 9/10 vote is required for the passage of this Article.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 2. To see if the Town will vote to transfer the sum of $143,000 (One Hundred Forty Three Thousand Dollars) from the Ambulance Reserve Fund for the purchase of public safety equipment or take any other action relative thereto.

Ambulance Department

Fire Department

Police Department

Executive Summary: This Article funds the current year of the five-year plan for the use of the Ambulance Reserve Fund to meet the Town’s public safety vehicles and equipment needs as follows: Description: 1. Replace manual lifting ambulance stretchers with 4 power assist mechanical stretchers to reduce the high risk of job related back injuries due to heavy lifting ($45,000). 2. Replace Firefighter personal protective gear aka turnout gear. Turnout gear is the fire resistant clothing that firefighters wear to protect them in burning buildings and hazardous conditions. NFPA standards recommend replacing turnout gear every 5 years and can no longer be repaired or cleaned after 10 years. Most of the department’s gear has passed its life expectancy of 10 years and is not longer safe ($90,000) 3. Purchase Thermal Imaging Camera for fire response vehicle which responds to all fire related incidents and investigation. Thermal imaging detects heat patterns or temperature changes in objects and can play a vital role in identifying fire hazards before they become destructive. ($8,000)

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 3 To see if the town will vote to transfer from available funds in the Treasurer/Fixed Costs Expenses Account the sum of $14,391.60 to the Town Treasurer Personal Services Account or take any other action relative thereto.

Board of Selectmen

Personnel Board

Executive Summary: This Article funds the differential in pay for the Assistant Town Treasurer who has been performing the duties of the Town Treasurer for the entirety of the fiscal year.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 4 To see if the Town will vote to rescind the vote taken at the April 12, 2011 Annual Town Meeting which allocated $160,000 of CPA Funds for an Engineering Study for Niantic Park and reallocate the same funds to the Open Space Reserve or take any other action relative thereto.

Community Preservation Committee

Executive Summary: This Article rescinds the funding of the Niantic Park project, which was determined to be not eligible under the Commonwealth’s rules for funding by Community Preservation funds.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 5 To see if the Town will vote to rescind the vote taken at the April 13, 2010 Special Town Meeting to appropriate from Undesignated Reserves the amount of $22,700 for the Affordable Housing project at 54 Pacific Avenue, and relocate the same funds to Undesignated Reserves or take any other action relative thereto.

Community Preservation Committee

Executive Summary: This Article rescinds funding for the proposed affordable housing project at 54 Pacific Avenue due to lack of availability of the property.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 6 To see if the Town will vote to allocate from Community Preservation Undesignated Reserves the amount of $ 5,000 to cover administrative expenses for the Community Preservation Committee through July 1, 2012 or take any other action relative thereto.

Community Preservation Committee

Executive Summary: This Article seeks to fund the administrative costs of the Community Preservation Committee for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 5-yes, 1-no

Article 7 To see if the Town will vote to transfer from overlay surplus the sum of $15,900 for the purpose of updating the Town of Oak Bluffs MassGIS maps and related data and the 2013 interim update of values, with said funds to be expended under the direction of the Board of Assessors, or take any other action relative thereto.

Board of Assessors

Executive Summary: This Article seeks to an update of the Town’s Assessing maps and the 2013 update of values for tax assessment purposes.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

To either of the Constables in the Town of Oak Bluffs, Greetings:

In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby directed to notify and warn the inhabitants of the Town of Oak Bluffs who are qualified to vote in Town Affairs and Elections, to assemble at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs, on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the evening, then and there to act upon the following articles.

Article 1. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate and/or transfer from available funds the sum of $23,513,228.69 and transfer and appropriate from the Wastewater Enterprise Fund the sum of $610,917.41 to fund and pay the departmental expenses and Town debt for the ensuing fiscal year 2013, July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 or take any action relative thereto. (Appendix A)

Board of Selectmen

Executive Summary: This Article approves the Town’s operating budget for fiscal year 2013. The budget is included in the Warrant as Appendix A, and Appendix C includes a budget worksheet showing detailed line items.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 5-yes, 1-no

Article 2. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $55,000 to be appropriately distributed by the Town Accountant to the accounts affected for the purpose of funding the provisions for the contract period commencing July 1, 2012, as agreed to by the Town of Oak Bluffs and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee, Council 93, Local 3992 Unit A and Unit B and to pay for cost of living increases to employees covered by the Personnel By-law, and to determine how the same shall be raised and by whom expended, or take any other action relative thereto.

Board of Selectmen

Executive Summary: This Article approves and funds a 1.5 % cost of living increase for fiscal year 2013 for union employees in the AFSCME, Local 3992, Units A and B as well as for employees covered by the Town’s Personnel Bylaw.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 5-yes, 0-no, 1-abstain

Article 3. To see if the Town will vote to adopt Schedule A, Classification Schedule, and Schedule B, Compensation Schedule of the Personnel Bylaws (Appendix B), or take any action relative thereto.

Personnel Board

Executive Summary: This annual article sets the classifications and compensation ranges for Town employees under the Personnel Board purview. The compensation schedule reflects the implementation of the 1.5% cost of living increase discussed in Article 2 of this warrant.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 4-yes, 0-no, 2-abstain

Article 4. To see if the Town, upon recommendation of the Board of Selectmen will vote as authorized by MGL Chapter 44, section 53E1/2 to re-establish a revolving fund for Department 296, Marina, under the direction of the Harbormaster for the purpose of paying harbor-related costs, to be funded from surcharge receipts collected from all transient visitors, and to establish an annual limit of $15,000 of expenditures, or take any action relative thereto.

Harbormaster

Executive Summary: This article annually reauthorizes the Marina Revolving Account, which is funded through a $1.50 surcharge on all transient visitors. The collected money is used to offset the cost of harbor area infrastructure improvements such as piling repair and small dredging, and to remediate environmental impacts to the harbor such as small oil spills. The estimate of annual revenues and expenditures to this account are not to exceed $15,000.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 5. To see if the Town will vote to transfer the sum of $281,250 from the Ambulance Reserve Fund for the purchase of public safety vehicles and equipment or take any other action relative thereto.

Ambulance Department

Fire Department

Police Department

Executive Summary: This Article funds the Fiscal Year 2013 share of the five-year plan for the use of the Ambulance Reserve Fund to meet the Town’s public safety vehicle and equipment needs as follows: Description: 1. Re-Chassis 2005 Transport Ambulance with over 190,000 miles, increasing maintenance costs and decreased reliability for patient transport ($150,000). 2. Upgrade ambulance software which can no longer adequately maintain the amount of data being stored. Additionally, upgrade will more efficiently process billing data and information necessary to recover receivables ($35,000). 3. Replace 2004 Ford Expedition which was acquired from the Police Department in 2007 for an emergency response intercept vehicle. It presently has over 150,000 miles and in need of numerous costly mechanical repairs ($56,000). 4. Replace Body Armor aka bullet-proof vests which have reached their 5 year contract and warranty. ($12,750). 5. Replace 2004 Police Lieutenant’s unmarked cruiser with over 70,000 miles ($27,500)

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 6. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate or reserve from Community Preservation Funds for Fiscal Year 2013 estimated annual revenues the amounts recommended by the Community Preservation Committee for administrative expenses and Community Preservation projects, with each item to be considered a separate appropriation as follows, or take any action relative thereto.

Appropriation Recommended Amount

Community Preservation Administrative Expense $20,000

Reserves

Open Space $61,633

Historic Preservation $61,633

Community Housing $61,633

Budgeted CPA Reserves $408,329

Community Preservation Committee

Executive Summary: This Article is required by the Commonwealth on an annual basis to ensure that Community Preservation funds are allocated in the amount of at least 10% of total revenues are allocated to each of the three required areas of Historic Resources, Community Housing and Open Space/Recreation. The appropriation for administrative expenses is less than 3% of the collected funds.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 7. To vote from the available CPA funding sources as follows:

From Reserves for Open Space $25,000

From Reserves for Community Housing $61,633

From Reserves for Historic Preservation $61,633

From budgeted CPA Reserves/Undesignated Funds $85,867

For the following projects based on the CPA Committee recommendation to spend $233,953 for:

Project Title Organization CPA Category Amount Recommended

East Chop Bluff & Road East Chop Assn. Open Space/ $25,000

Road Preservation Board of Selectmen Recreation

Highway Department

Conservation Comm.

United Methodist Church United Methodist Historic $32,000

Stained Glass Window Church of MV Preservation

Restoration

MV Museum Collection MV Museum Historic $44,953

Preservation Preservation

4. Rental Assistance Dukes County Regional Community $132,000

Housing Authority Housing

TOTAL: $233,953

Community Preservation Committee

Executive Summary: This Article would authorize the expenditure of funds already collected by the Town’s Community Preservation Program to be used as specified in the Article. Funds are collected from taxpayers as a 3% surcharge on property tax bills. The Community Preservation Committee has developed an additional handout explaining their project recommendations.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation:

East Chop Bluff & Road Preservation 4-yes, 1-no, 1-abstain

United Methodist Church Stained Glass Window 2-yes, 4-no

MV Museum Collection Preservation 5-yes, 1-no

Rental Assistance 4-yes, 1-no, 1-abstain

Article 8. To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds the sum of $38,300 to the Massachusetts Estuaries Project Account for the purpose of conducting an analysis of the Upper Lagoon Pond Nitrogen Attenuation Study, or take any other action relating thereto.

Board of Selectmen

Executive Summary: This Article seeks funding to provide technical support to the Towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs in performing a water quality assessment of the Upper Lagoon Pond system to identify opportunities to use natural nitrogen attenuation to reduce the loading of nutrients flowing into the Lagoon Pond estuary. Natural attenuation of nitrogen loading may result in a decreased need for expensive sewering and is a critical part of a comprehensive program of reducing nitrogen loading.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 1-yes, 7-no

Article 9. To see if the Town will vote to amend the current Oak Bluffs By-Laws pertaining to the police department by striking Chapter XIV Police and inserting in its place the following Chapter XIV Police, or take any other action relative thereto.

Chapter XIV POLICE

Camping, Tenting and Sleeping on Public or Private Property.

No person shall between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. set up on any Property, public or private, without the permission of the owner thereof, a camp, a tent or sleep in the open on any property, public or private, within the limits of the Town of Oak Bluffs. Penalty for a breach thereof shall be in an amount of one hundred ($100.00) and each day or during any portion thereof which violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.

Consuming Alcoholic Beverages in Public Places or Town Property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to consume and/or transport an open container of

Alcoholic beverages on public highways, in public parks or in public parking places,

including vehicles thereon, or on any property owned by the Town within the limits of

the Town of Oak Bluffs unless first applying for, and obtaining a permit from the

Board of Selectmen, in advance of the event to take place in or on a public facility.

Penalty for breach shall be in an amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The

property known as “Sailing Camp Park” is exempted from the provisions of this by-

law and allows the consumption of beer and wine on the premises for special events,

subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen and upon securing a one day beer

and wine license.

Disorderly Conduct

No person shall behave himself in a disorderly manner or use any profane or obscene language in any street or public place within the Town of Oak Bluffs. Penalty for a breach hereof shall be in an amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00).

Firearms

No person shall carry in a motor vehicle or shall leave unattended in a motor vehicle any firearm as described under Chapter 140, Section 121 of the General Laws, while within the boundaries of the Town of Oak Bluffs, unless such a person is engaged in hunting or in a hunting location during a regular prescribed hunting season. At no time after the close of the hunting season shall any person carry in their vehicle any firearm, unless enroute to or from a sporting event, or licensed under Chapter 140, Section 131 of the General Laws. Penalty for breach hereof shall be in an amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense.

Hours for Restaurants

All restaurants within the Town of Oak Bluffs shall be closed for business between the hours of 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM.

Indecent Exposure

No person in a nude state shall swim or bathe in any waters within the Town of Oak Bluffs, so as to be exposed to the view of the general public. Penalty for a breach hereof shall be in an amount of one hundred dollars. ($100.00)

Noise

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons occupying or having charge of any building or premises or any part thereof in the Town, other than that section of any establishment licensed under Chapter 138 of the General Laws, to cause or suffer or allow any unnecessary, loud, excessive or unusual noise in the operation of any radio, phonograph or other mechanical sound making device or instrument, or reproducing device or instrument, or in the playing of any band, orchestra, musician or group of musicians, or in the use of any device to amplify the aforesaid, or the making of loud outcries, exclamations or other loud or boisterous noises or loud or boisterous singing by any person or group of persons or in the use of any device to amplify the aforesaid noise, where the noise is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred and fifty (150) feet from the building, structure, vehicle or premises in which or from which it is produced. The fact that the noise is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred and fifty (150) feet from the vehicle or premises from which it originates shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this by-law. Any person violating this by-law shall be punished by a fine of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) for each offense. This by-law shall apply from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons being present in or about any building, dwelling, premises, shelter, boat or conveyance or any part thereof, other that that section of any establishment licensed under Chapter 138 of the General Laws, who shall cause or suffer or countenance any loud, unnecessary, excessive or unusual noises, including any loud, unnecessary, excessive or unusual noises in the operation of any radio, phonograph or other mechanical sound making device or instrument, or reproduction device or instrument or in the playing of any band, orchestra, musician or group of musicians, or the making of loud outcries, exclamations or other loud or boisterous noises or loud and boisterous singing by any person or group of persons, or in the use of any device to amplify the aforesaid noises, where the aforesaid noise is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred and fifty (150) feet from the premises from which it originates shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this by-law. Any person shall be deemed in violation of this by-law, who shall make, or aid, or cause or suffer, or countenance, or assist in the making of the aforesaid and described improper noises, disturbances, breach of the peace to a diversion tending to a breach of the peace, and the presence of any person or persons in or about the building, dwelling, premises, shelter, boat or conveyance or any part thereof during a violation of this by-law shall constitute prima facie evidence that they are a countenancer to such violation. Any person violating this by-law shall be punished by a fine of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) for each offense. This by-law shall apply from 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

M. Peeping or Spying.

No person shall enter upon the premises of another with the intention of peeping into the windows or a house or other building and spying upon any manner any person or persons therein. Penalty for a breach hereof shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00)

Posting of Handbills, Etc.

No person shall post or attach or directly or indirectly cause to be posted or attached in any manner, any handbill, poster, advertisement or notice of any kind on public property except by permission of the Board of Selectmen, or on any private property without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof.

Any handbill or sign found posted or otherwise affixed on any public property contrary to the provisions of this section may be removed by the Police or the Police Department.

The person or persons responsible for causing the unlawful posting of any notice described herein will be liable for the cost of removal and for the penalties described below. Persons liable under this section include but are not limited to, any individual, corporation, partnership or other organization whose advertisement, message or information appears on the unlawfully posted notice.

Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of $100.00 (one hundred dollars) for the first offense and $300.00 (three hundred dollars) for each subsequent offense.

Roller Skates, Skateboards & Bicycles

No person shall use roller skates or skateboards on the following streets or their adjacent sidewalks within the Town of Oak Bluffs:

Circuit Avenue from Oak Bluffs Avenue to Narragansett Avenue.

Kennebec Avenue from Narragansett Avenue to Oak Bluffs Avenue.

Oak Bluffs Avenue from Circuit Avenue to the Steamship Authority.

David Healy Way (“Mini-Mall”) from Kennebec to Circuit Avenue.

No person shall use a bicycle in the area specified in sections 1 and 4 of this by-law.

Whoever violates the provisions of this by-law shall be subject to a fine of $50.00 (fifty dollars) for each offense. (Amended STM 6/18/02 Art. 9)

Vehicles in Town Park

No person shall permit or allow any motor vehicle, motorcycle or mini bike to stand or remain, or no person shall operate any motor vehicle or motorcycle or mini bike on any Town park except such vehicle owned by the Town, used in the performance of their duties. Any persons violating this by-law shall be fined in the amount of $50.00 (fifty dollars).

Loitering

Any person who obstructs traffic on a street or sidewalk shall move on when asked to do so by a Police Officer. Penalty for a breach hereof shall be in an amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00).

Ball Playing and Missile Throwing in Streets

No person shall play any game in which a ball, missile, Frisbee, bean bag or any other object intended for sport is used in the following streets and their adjacent sidewalks within the Town of Oak Bluffs.

Circuit Avenue from Oak Bluffs Avenue to Narragansett Avenue.

Kennebec Avenue from Narragansett Avenue to Oak Bluffs Avenue.

Oak Bluffs Avenue from Circuit Avenue to the Steam Ship Authority.

David Healy Way (“Mini Mall”) from Kennebec Avenue to Circuit Avenue.

Whoever violates the provisions of this by-law shall be subject to a fine of $50.00 for each offense. (Amended STM 6/18/02 Art. 10)

Police Department

Executive Summary: The article before the voters seeks to increase the monetary fines imposed by the police department for by-law violations listed in the article. All fines listed in this article are double of those currently approved by Town meeting. Fine increases have not been requested for over ten years and are well below the $300 fine amount allowed by State Law.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 10. To see whether the Town will vote, as authorized by Chapter 256 of the Acts of 2010, and incorporated into the Massachusetts General Laws as Chapter 6, Section 172B1/2, to create a by-law enabling the Police Department to conduct State and Federal Fingerprint Based Criminal History checks for individuals applying for the following licenses:

Hawking and Peddling or other Door to Door Salespeople

Manager of Alcoholic Beverage License

Owner or Operator of Public Conveyance

Dealer of Second hand Articles

Pawn Dealers

Hackney Drivers, and,

Ice Cream Truck Vendors

and further, to authorize the adoption of appropriate policies and procedures to effectuate the purposes of this by-law, or take any other action relative thereto.

Police Department

Executive Summary: The article before the voters would allow the police department to conduct fingerprint based criminal history checks of individuals applying for certain licenses from the Town. The Federal and State Government are requesting that police departments assigned to run these checks do so by using fingerprint based checks as opposed to the name, social security number and address checks currently used. The Town must adopt a by-law that adopts the provisions of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 256, Section 172b ½; before conducting these checks. The by-law includes provisions for charging individuals $100 for conducting these checks.

Article 11. To see if the Town will vote to amend Chapter X, Section D of the Oak Bluffs Recodified By-Laws to read as follows:

Chapter X Harbor

D. Vessels in the waters of Oak Bluffs

No boat, ship or vessel of any kind or description shall deposit raw sewerage in the waters of Oak Bluffs. Any violation of this by-law shall be punishable by a fine of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each offense,

or take any other action relative thereto.

Harbormaster

Executive Summary: This Article updates the fine for dumping raw sewerage in the waters of Oak Bluffs from $20 to $200 dollars.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 12. To see if the Town will vote to delete Chapter IV Board of Health or take any other action relative thereto.

Chapter IV Board of Health

B Covers for Septic and Cesspools

All exposed covers for septic and cesspools shall be made of concrete or other

material approved in writing by the Board of Health and shall be of a weight of no less than 160 pounds. All such covers existing at the time of passage of this by-law must be altered or repaired in such manner as the Board of Health shall determine to make them immovable by a child within 90 days of the effective date of this by-law. Violation of the provisions of this by-law shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $50.00.

Board of Health

Executive Summary: This article would delete outdated provisions of the Town Bylaw, which has been replaced by the current Commonwealth of Massachusetts Title V regulations.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 6-yes, 0-no

Article 13. To see if the Town will vote to fix the compensation of full time and part time elected officials of the Town as provided by M.G.L. Chapter 41, Section 108, as amended, for the twelve month period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 as follows:

Board of Selectmen, Chair $ 4,500

Selectmen, Members $ 3,000 each

Constables $ 500 each

Town Clerk $74,360,

or take any other action relative thereto.

Board of Selectmen

Executive Summary: This Article establishes the compensation of elected officials for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012.

Finance and Advisory Board Recommendation: 5-yes, 0-no, 1-abstain

Article 14. To see if the Town will vote to elect the following Town Officers on the official ballot:

One Moderator for one year

Two Selectmen for three years

One Board of Health Member for three years

One Cemetery Commissioner for three years

Three Finance Committee Members for three years

One Park Commissioner for three years

One Tree Warden for three years

One Planning Board Member for five years

One School Committee member for three years

One Wastewater Commissioner for three years

One Water District Commissioner for three years

One Constable for one year,

or take any other action relative thereto.

Executive Summary: This article establishes the local elective offices to appear on the next Town election ballot.

Article 15. To see if the Town will vote to amend the Oak Bluffs Zoning Map by adding the following Assessors Parcels to the Health Care District (HCD) or take any other action relative thereto:

Map 6, Parcel 46.1 34 Windemere Road

Map 6, Parcel 9 38 Windemere Road

Map 6, Parcel 12 39 Windemere Road

Submitted by Petition

Article 16. To see if the Town will vote to support the following:

Shall the Town of Oak Bluffs continue to support the construction of a round-a-bout at the area commonly called the blinking light, where there is a four-way intersection where traffic flow is currently controlled and monitored by stop signs?

Submitted by Petition

Article 17. To see if the Town will vote to instruct the Selectmen to communicate to the Massachusetts State Senate and House the support of the citizens of the town of Oak Bluffs for Senate Bill 772, Restoring Free Speech, which is as follows:

WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations;

WHEREAS, for the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has transformed the First Amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to evade and invalidate democratically-enacted reforms;

WHEREAS, this corporate takeover of the First Amendment has reached its extreme conclusion in the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC;

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections;

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC will now unleash a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in United States history;

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy;

WHEREAS, the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our democracy and self-government;

Now be it resolved that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hereby calls upon the United States Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people,

or take any other action relative thereto.

Submitted by Petition