I will have a more extensive review of last night’s town council meeting after I’ve had a chance to watch it again.
In essence it was an encomium to how wonderful everything is under the current regime, with the chairman’s and town manager’s announcement amounting to a defense of all their shortcomings. Clearly rehearsed appearances during citizen’s forum reinforced the “don’t worry, be happy” theme with which the leadership sought to lead into the final week before the town election next Tuesday.
One element, however, deserves attention. This was the chairman’s defense of the prerogatives of the Bylaw Review Committee. She repeatedly compared it to the Charter Review Committee. She noted that no one had appeared before the Bylaw Review Committee to propose any amendment to the trash bylaw. She ridiculed a citizen for not knowing the name of the chairman of the committee. Never mind that, as I’ve pointed out before, the chair violated Robert’s Rules in the appointment of the chairman of the committee. Never mind that there are some real procedural issues as to how the adoption of the final report of the committee will be accomplished.
No, let’s look at the comparison of the Bylaw Review Committee to the Charter Review Committee. Given the infrequent updates to our town website, the record of the Charter Review Committee can still be found there under the heading Boards, Commissions and Committees. There you will find a clear statement of the scheduling of committee meetings. You will also find a link to a Public Comment Form. Under the same category you can’t even find a reference to the Bylaw Review Committee. Nor is there any reference to this committee on the News & Announcements page.
The chairman can attempt to draw all the comparisons she wants between the Charter Review Committee and the Bylaw Review Committee. The record clearly shows that, as regards openness and transparency, there is no comparison.