TO THE EDITOR:
Dear Board of Finance: Thank you for your service to our town. I am aware of tonight's special meeting, and though I cannot attend, I hope you will *not* take a vote on the town and school budgets tonight.
We are already in unprecedented territory by having a budget that can be passed or amended without our normal democratic process of a town vote. To now hold a vote at a meeting that does not follow normal notice procedures, and which can be held with only minimal notice does not support the ideals of transparency, due process, and democracy that are incumbent upon an elected body in a representative democracy that is wielding and exercising emergency power.
A vote at a special meeting by a Board that is not *usually* empowered to hold such a vote on an issue of such critical importance will further drive a wedge between political party members in a polarized time when so many are under stress due to finances and worry about the global pandemic.
I have already made my position on the Town and School budgets clear; I support the budgets as proposed, without cuts. However, regardless of my position on the budget, I believe it is imperative that this body refrain from voting by cover of darkness on an issue that is so important to so many.
I cannot see any reason for this sudden change, nor is there any urgency that requires a vote to take place tonight rather than as previously scheduled. And in fact, taking the time to vote on this matter as previously scheduled makes sense, because in the global pandemic environment, many things are rapidly changing. Why rush?
I urge you to act with prudence in deciding when to vote on these sensitive issues.
— Ruth Israely
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