Friday, November 28, 2014

What Happened To The Charter Review Committee?

Ken O’Brien

As we pointed out in an earlier article, the Town Council has jumped the gun in its call for the landfill reimbursement receipt study by over six months.

On the other hand, it has been derelict in its responsibility to fulfill a recurring provision of the town’s home rule charter. That is the obligation to name a Charter Review Committee every fifth year following the adoption of the Charter.
12-5-2: The chairperson of the town council shall appoint a charter review committee every five years. The committee shall consist of five members, and shall report its recommendations to the town council within one year from the date of its appointment.

The last Charter Review Committee, of which I was a member, was named in 2009 by then Town Council Chairman Steven Lazo. The other members of that committee were Gary Fontaine, Deborah Gregoire-Lefebvre, Councilor Larry McDonald and Dennis Martinek.

In keeping with the mandated timeline, the next Charter Review Committee should have been named in 2014. 

With only two regularly scheduled meetings remaining in 2014, there is still time to correct this oversight.


  1. chachachachachangesNovember 28, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Recently Chairman Moriarty has mentioned he is seeking individuals interested in serving on a Charter Review Committee, and will likely announce this in a December meeting.

    Let us hope that the next Charter Review is done as professionally and as thoughtfully as the last. A debt of gratitude is due the committee and Max for the hard work they did.
    Let's also hope that the next Council does not fail us like the last, virtually ignoring the hard work of the Charter Review only to offer Boston their own political agenda which was sadly approved afterward by the voters.

    Let's also hope that the Town Council reverses their vote of last week that will lock us into lower landfill fees by prematurely conducting that study. My memory is that a study is mute because we were promised the highest rate paid to any landfill in Massachusetts- something called most favored nation.

  2. Gee, look what just popped up on another site. Too bad he couldn’t have chosen to post it with The O’Zone.
    Councilor Shaun Moriarty.
    We're looking for five individuals to form a new Charter Review Committee. This five-person panel, appointed by the Town Council Chairman, will review the Town Charter and make recommendations to the Town Council.
    This is an opportunity to have a say in the form and rules of our Town's government, and it only arises every five years. Being appointed to the Charter Review Committee is a commitment of up to one year, as the committee is to make its recommendations within one year of being appointed.

    1. what did you expectNovember 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Really Ken, did you expect that Moriarty would be any more than just another shallow politician who gave his releases to those who pandered to him?

    2. There's another site?

  3. Moriarty is too busy saving the McLoughlin crew to deal with a charter group.
    He supported them, how's it work in'?

  4. What other site?

  5. I can't help but wonder why anyone would bother to serve on this committee. The last charter committee spent an entire year, held regular meetings, held several public hearings and turned out an excellent report. That report was then essentially ignored and a politically motivated minority dispensed with it in two meetings and substituted their own plan. And people wonder why people don't volunteer.

  6. Better late than NeverNovember 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    It is true that the last Charter Review Committee was disrespected and their valuable work was virtually ignored, but that is an indictment of that particular Council, not this Council, and I suspect this Council will act more professionally.

    No doubt many of the thoughtful recommendations of the last CRC will be reintroduced and brought to the ballot, and if the next CRC fails to give credit where it is due they will be remiss.

    Let's keep hope alive? Councilor Moriarty appears to have the best interest of the people of Southbridge at heart, not just a certain clique, and it is time to be cautiously optimistic about our town and to look to the new sunrise and recover from the seven years of darkness.

    1. R E S P E C T ~ making a come back ?


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