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Longmeadow DPW: Before We Vote, We Deliberate

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Business & Technology Center of Longmeadow High School

95 Grassy Gutter Road

Longmeadow, MA 01106

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Welcome!

Since a proposal on the Department of Public Works (DPW) facility will be on the warrant for the annual Town Meeting on May 9, I would like to provide citizens with an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the issue. The DPW Committee has submitted a final report that was accepted at the October 2016 Special Town Meeting. My role as Moderator is to ensure a fair process for town meeting deliberation and decision-making. I also want voters to be able to have all the information they need to make a decision the town can live with.

What's the process?

Many towns hold pre-town meeting forums to discuss big proposals. This is not a "2 minutes at the mic" kind of event. Based on the National Issues Forum Institute model, this forum encourages you as citizens to speak and listen to each another in small groups (of about 10-12 people) about advantages and disadvantages of voting yes or voting no. The warrant article and DPW Task Force report will be available, as will some display boards and a brief issue guide. Participation will involve:

  • Listening to a brief overview of the event & a short presentation
  • Identifying pros & cons for addressing what to do about our DPW
  • Working with group moderator to ensure an accurate record of comments, questions, and answers (to be compiled into a report for the town website)

I've asked the DPW Task Force to be present to answer any questions that arise, however the bulk of the evening will involve you as citizens weighing the advantages and tradeoffs with each other, based on your values and the town's values.

Why sign-up in advance?

Light refreshments will be served. We need to ensure we have the right room and resources available. Upon registering here, you will get a chance to leave a question you'd like to have answered in advance. I will share all questions (names removed) with the Select Board, Town Manager, and DPW Task Force to see if they can answer them in advance (for publication on the website and at the event.) Thank you!

I welcome your participation in this event. It's new, and designed to get people thinking deeply about what they value, what options we have, and what the benefits and trade-offs are so that when you are, at Town Meeting on May 9, you will have a clearer picture of the proposal and understand what your neighbors value and prefer as well.

As you know, I maintain a neutral stance on all matters that come before a vote at Town Meeting. My interest is in the process. Please email me if you have any questions: RTownsend@Longmeadow.org. If you would like me to call you, leave a number, and I will. And if you'd like to volunteer to help with it, please let me know! Thank you for considering participating in this event.

The date for this pre-town meeting deliberative forum is April 11 (that's 4-11--a great day to get information!) at 6:30pm in the Longmeadow High School . Hope you'll be there!

(Note: A second night has been added, 4/26. Please see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/longmeadow-dpw-before-we-vote-we-deliberate-2nd-night-tickets-33113839385 for that event's registration.)

Best,

Rebecca

Photo credit: Longmeadow News

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Business & Technology Center of Longmeadow High School

95 Grassy Gutter Road

Longmeadow, MA 01106

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