A shout out to Town Councilor Amelia Peloquin.
Those who watched last night’s Town Council Meeting will remember that the Council voted to postpone the second reading of the proposed changes to the Town By-Laws that were recommended by the By-Law Review Committee.
During the discussion on this subject it was pointed out that a December 2nd memo from the Town Attorney had recommended that the marked up version of the old By-Laws with proposed revisions be made widely available as a means of avoiding the Charter-mandated requirement to read the entirety of such changes at each meeting.
A number of councilors expressed dismay that this memo was not made available to them until they received their packets for last night’s meeting.
That fact constituted a major reason why they voted to postpone a vote on the second reading until the next meeting scheduled for January 27th.
In the course of the discussion the meeting was interrupted by a call from the Town Clerk that the document was available in the Clerk’s Office and on the town website.
Having addressed this matter a number of times and having monitored the town website for the availability of this document, I was surprise by this information. I went again to the town website and all that I could find was the transmittal letter that accompanied the report of the 2006 By-Law Review Committee.
I brought this to Councilor Peloquin’s attention (as several others apparently did) and much to her credit she immediately followed up on the matter.
At 11:30 this morning I received from her a copy of the document in question. I have made it available on Google Docs.
I must apologize for the limitations of this mechanism. While the highlighted additions and changes are clearly marked, for some reason those portions of the old By-Laws that have been redacted and marked in red only appear on Google Docs in shaded form.
Nevertheless, I hope that this is at least a step forward in informing the public of matters that could prove to have a significant impact on their lives as Southbridge residents.
And, once again, kudos to Councilor Peloquin for her diligence in championing the cause of transparency in local government.