Friday, May 22, 2009

The revolution in Auburn continues

Well, turnout was a little light at around 18%, but we got a bunch of new developments in town yesterday!

Two new BOS members - Mr Hicks and Ms Goodrich, one new on School Committee and Wayne was re-elected (Page and Hammond) AND we have a new charter! The charter vote was really close but since this passed there are really sweeping changes coming for the whole structure of town government.

One change I spoke with the clerk about that I may propose for town meeting is to actually change the hours of the annual town election. Two things she asked for and didn't get that would really help turnout, which to be honest is well below where it should be. Both involve the timing of the election itself.

Moving from Thursday to Tuesday makes a lot of sense. I think most towns hold election like the Presidential election on Tuesday. Having it on Thursday leads to a lot of confusion and frankly even this time of year folks are getting away for an extended weekend (I know of at least two who did this yesterday).

Also most folks who work, and we have a low unemployment STILL in our town something to be proud of, would appreciate opening the polls at 7 vs 8 AM as it is now. So changing from 7AM-8PM would be my other suggestion.

But, overall we had quite a change yesterday and it'll be interesting to see how things progress as time goes on - congratulations to all who ran and let's make this new charter work for the town!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vote today!

There's an election for school committee, Board of selectmen and on the new charter.

Polls are open 8-8 - get out of the house it's a nice day!

ps - Wave as you go by I'll be holding a sign for Eleena around midday :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Waste treatment funds

Looks like we got $$ for the waste water treatment plant we use from the federal stimulus package.


Wonder if the sewer bill will go down now (roll eyes ;).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Updates from the Fox TV ziptrip

Here's the site

There's a bunch of video and photos etc as well as a nice backgrounder I learned a lot from.

We're #1 for the book drive btw - thanks in large part to Bryn Mawr library and book fair - have to thank Eleena again for running that one and putting a big effort ... she volunteers a lot of time (actually to the detriment of our laundry pile many weeks, gonna kill me for saying that but, the people need to know the sacrifices being made for our town and kids haha ;)

Also we have a wiki:,_Massachusetts

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's a beautiful day for Auburn

What a great morning we had on the Fox ziptrip - I gotta hand it to the local affiliate . There was quite a crowd there early for the broadcast from Goddard park down at the fire station.

Obviously kudos again to Kristin, my wife Eleena and everyone who helped make this happen and come together. I think the more that show our town in a good light like this the better people will feel about it and the more we'll attract good people to our town and serving our community.

Which by the way, I think the town meeting last night was really something to feel good about as well.

Two major things - the budget proposal obviously the unions, departments, finance, BOS, schools really everyone came together and put together a very workable sensible plan for finances this year. It was nice that we are ahead of many other towns in this respect - we've got the "extra" $800K or so into stabilization for the seemingly inevitable budget cuts to come, as well as new growth in levy, some room in the levy limit before any prop 2 1/2 issues. And to have the schools propose a budget that was in line with what finance and BOS came up with - that really helps smooth out the process which frankly was very uncomfortable last year. Think of where we would be also if we had gone with a larger budget in 09. This is not to say there isn't hardship in this budget because it's clear everyone is feeling some of it.

Also on the articles - pretty much all of them passed with flying colors with the exception of the weed control which was split. I was torn but voted for it given the relatively small size of the amount. I see the issue with cuts and that everyone was trying to cut back. But as they mentioned nature doesn't care about budgets those weeds are going to try and grow their hardest despite any financial issues we might have. Hopefully town meeting members in the precincts affected will remember this when Stoneville comes with proposals in the future like this because we definitely need it in our watershed soon.

The other proposal I was really glad we voted for was something I blogged about a while back - impact fees legislation. It's not going to be easy, but this really enables us to not have to punish the whole for the burdens thrust on us from a few. We have to be careful and try and learn how Cape Cod did this because in general the SJC in Mass doesn't like them. So legislation has to be crafted in such a way as to be fair. It does hold the promise of providing a buffer for the town in terms of revenues or fees for large developments that can offset the costs such as police fire and largely schools.