Several folks have asked how things went on Tuesday evening when we made our presentation to the BOS at Town Hall. Due to some confusion regarding scheduling of several agenda items, we got off to a late start. We were scheduled for 10 minutes, but we probably got a half hour, so it was worth the wait.
There were quite a few neighbors present at the meeting. I recall seeing Don & Vicki, Bob & Kathy, Mark, David, Bob & Joan, Terry, George, Dan, John & Terry, Michele just to name a few. I got a chuckle out of the ladies in the front row who made stickers of the Friends of Flannagan Pond logo to wear on their shirts.
If you took the time to review the presentation that was linked in the previous post, you know that we introduced ourselves as a group, we reminded the audience that the pond is not just our backyard refuge, but also a refuge for fish and wildlife, as well as a recreational refuge for the fishermen, canoes and kayakers who frequent the pond.
We offerred online resources from our website of Aquatic Control Technologies (ACT) reports regarding the condition of the pond, as well as their recommendations. I positioned our petition as consistent with the recommendations of ACT and our desire to see the town fund ACT’s recommended course of action with herbicidal treatment. Read the handout, I used it as the template for the entire discussion.
Generally, the Selectmen were receptive to our proposal. We were not viewed as antagonistic or at odds with any individual or group. There were a couple questions raised that seem to be party line questions to dodge the issue; the “educate people about fertilizer” issue and the “Flannagan is a private pond” ploy. These well worn questions have come up in every conversation that I have ever had with anyone from ConCom. By asking the question, there is the hope to divert attention from the real problem, neglect.
Though the BOS traditionally does not endorse citizen petitions, the discussion certainly suggested that there was some degree of consensus on the board regarding the validity of our proposal and our request for their support on Town Meeting. The Board asked for me to confirm my pricing estimates from ACT, I have and I will pass that info on to the Town Administrator.
Town Meeting is May 9th. All articles for Town Meeting Warrant must be submitted no later than April 15th. We have cleared that hurdle, we have made the deadline, our language has cleared legal review by Town Counsel and we will be on the Town Meeting Warrant. Where we end up on the list remains to be seen but if traditional holds true, we will be near the end. Citizen petitions usually go to the back of the queue.
We are working to get a meeting at the Ayer Gun Club a week before Town Meeting so we can review our strategy as well as parliamentary procedure for those who aren’t familiar with the process. I’ll keep you posted.