Important articles should come sooner at town meeting

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Updated, April 26

To the Editor:

The issue of bringing up important warrant articles earlier in town meeting is a salient point. By the end of town meeting, people are tired, and warrant articles are more likely, as last week’s editorial states, to be postponed indefinitely, or lack meaningful debate. Simply put, people want to leave, and many already have — and when many have already left, we are not getting the full picture of what voters really want for their towns. 

A motion to indefinitely postpone an article can sometimes be a downer. A voter can stand up, say a few words, make the motion, and bingo, there it goes! Warrant articles go through a lengthy enough process to make it onto the town warrant, and while the motion to indefinitely postpone an article is given a fair vote, sometimes with discussion, the motion is being used unfairly. Votes should be taken, and discussion should be had. 

As our town moderator in Edgartown said about one article close to midnight, “I’d really like to see a vote on this, but we’ll have to indefinitely postpone due to the motion, if it passes.” Steve Ewing was facilitating local democracy with that comment (the motion failed, and so did the warrant article).

Dean Rosenthal
Edgartown

This post was updated with a new headline