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Citizen's Petition Filed for Wenham Town Meeting

Citizen's Petition filed for Wenham Annual Town Meeting
Citizen's Petition filed for Wenham Annual Town Meeting
    Each year Wenham voters gather at the Town Meeting to consider the town budget for the next year; how much should we spend on employees, equipment, expenses, etc?  On the day of Town Meeting last year, voters were told the method for voting would be changed right then and there without prior consideration.  Voters were only allowed to vote large department budgets.

    A petition has been filed with the Board of Selectmen that will allow the Town Meeting voters decide how they would like to decide how their tax dollars are spent.  With this petition and warrant article, the voters can decide if the transparency of voting by line items suits them better because it allows them to know how their tax dollars are spent.  Alternatively, voters can decide is it is more efficient to let department heads transfer money between line items throughout the year at will.  It is now in your hands to vote on April 5, 2014 at 1pm at the Buker School.  

Here is the legal wording of the petition for those interested:

That the Town Meeting vote department budgets by Salaries and Expense and if applicable, Contract Service and Capital at the Annual Town Meeting for the proposed Town Budget, as described in the Town of Wenham Annual Town Meeting Warrant Book, as it did prior to the 2013 Annual Town Meeting, rather than by Department totals, as it did at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting.  During the course of the year, any request to spend more than the Annual Town Meeting approved Budget Line Item, for example, Salaries or Expense, would require a new town meeting appropriation of additional funds or a Finance and Advisory Committee approved Reserve Fund Transfer or, subsequent to May 15th of each year, a Selectmen and Finance and Advisory Committee approved Line Item transfer, subject to restrictions mandated by the Commonwealth, which restricts such transfers to the greater of 3% or $5,000 for each line item. The only exception would be legal deficits as allowed by Massachusetts General Law."

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Liz February 17, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Michelle, I beg you to proofread before posting your articles.

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