By Thomas D’Agostino
For the sixty-six voters that attended the reconvening of the May 14 Annual Town Meeting it was a bit of a show. Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the last session were on the Warrant. Temporary Moderator Deborah Keefe explained the procedures of the meeting before Town Administrator John McAuliffe read each department's subtotals and final totals. This was done so anyone opposed to that particular total could shout out a “hold” to be reviewed and voted for amendment. During the reading of the budget, the Finance Committee shouted, “hold” eleven times.
Finance Committee member Joseph Beresik took the microphone for the first item to be debated, the Board of Selectmen’s secretary salary being raised from $38,419 to $41,600. Mr. Bereski wanted to amend the salary to $40,340; a 5% increase as opposed to his calculated 8.3% increase.
“Thank you for coming. This is totally disgusting…” Mr. Beresik began.
Moderator Keefe reminded Mr. Bereski that the issue was the selectmen’s budget. Mr. Bereski began to speak to the crowd, thanking those in attendance while criticizing those who did not show, ignoring the moderator’s request. “Mr. Bereski, we are discussing the selectmen’s budget right now.” Moderator. Keefe stated.
Moderator Keefe went on to state, “So I would ask that we discuss the selectmen’s budget.”
Mr. Bereski said, “This is an open meeting…”
The moderator stated that the procedures were thoroughly explained and continued, “We are here to discuss the selectmen’s budget, not here to criticize the people that took the time out this evening to come to this meeting.”
“I said, thank you for the sixty-six that showed up out of sixteen thousand some-odd people. Shame on those other people. No interest whatsoever.”
A motion was made and seconded to vote on the decrease. Mr. Bereski then approached the microphone once more. The moderator asked if he had anything new to say or was just reiterating his last speech. “I don’t care. Is this a town meeting or what?” Mr. Bereski shouted.
Moderator Keefe then told him, “Mr. Bereski, you are either going to be out of line…”
Mr. Bereski interrupted, “Is this a town meeting or what? That’s why we don’t get more than sixty-six people here.”
Moderator Keefe stated, “Mr. Bereski, I will call you out of order, you will be removed from the meeting, which I have the right to do so if…”
At that point there was a loud applause. The vote was taken and the amendment failed.
In regard to Inspectional Services, Finance Committee Chairman Michael Finamore requested that the Assistant Wiring inspector and the Assistant Plumbing Inspector receive raises in their salaries. This was also voted down. At that point, the Finance Committee withdrew all the other holds.
The budget, $32,983,962 passed. Last year’s budget was $31,624,192.
Sewer and Water Enterprise Funds also passed. For the second year in a row, there are no increases in the sewer and water taxes.
- Wednesday, 13 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News