Refreshments at 6:30.
Important Agenda Item
LWVA Program Change to be Discussed at Annual Meeting
A change in the existing program (that is, the positions in our program book) will be discussed at Annual Meeting. Final action will be deferred until Opening Meeting next fall.
The proposed change is to delete the statement:
"The League supports selectmen-manager form of government (1950, 1995)"
This statement appears in our position on Structure of Town Government, at the end of the section on Executive Branch. See the 2015 Program Book.
On May 9, LWVA members met to consider the question "How can the LWVA best help the voters of Amherst as they decide whether or not to accept the Charter proposal of the current Charter Commission?" We discussed both of LWVA's positions on local government: the 2003 position titled "Local Government: Concepts, Principles and Practice" and the position on the "Structure of Town Government" which has been revised several times since 1950, when it consisted of the single statement above. A detailed history of the two positions appeared in the Spring Bulletin.
Those present at the meeting agreed that the most useful course of action for us would be to use the 2003 position as the basis for a program of public education and/or for analyzing the charter proposal and comparing it with the existing government (defined by the Amherst Town Government Act of 2001.)
Many of those present doubted that consensus on the 1950 statement could be reached today. We agreed that, if asked, the League should explain that it is not advocating based on the 1950 statement because that position is under review.
However, we do need to readopt this position (as we do all of our positions) at Annual Meeting, because other parts of it are in active use. For example, it was cited in support of four warrant articles before the 2017 Town Meeting. And it is too late to amend the position before Annual Meeting this year. The relevant section of our bylaws appears below.
We will discuss this proposed change on June 1 and take final action at our next meeting in the fall.
LWVA Bylaws, Article IX, Program (excerpt)
Sec. 3. Program Selection. Local program shall be adopted using the following procedures…
d) Changes in the adopted program, in the case of altered conditions may be made provided that:
(1) Information concerning the proposed changes has been sent to all members at least two weeks prior to a general membership meeting at which the change is to be discussed; and
(2) final action by the membership is taken at a succeeding meeting.
Please bring your Program Book to the meeting. Another interesting document is the 2003 comparison of existing and proposed local government structures based on the 2003 position.