LETTER: Town Moderator Encourages Voters To Attend Town Meeting On May 4, Provides Helpful Handout

Fellow Residents:

On Saturday, May 4, 2019, I respectfully urge all of you to come out and participate in Wilmington’s Annual Town Meeting. The 2019 Annual Wilmington Town Meeting will take place in the Joanne M. Benton Auditorium at Wilmington High School, and will commence at 10:30 a.m. As in years past, we will be making a concerted effort to start the meeting on time and, in accordance with the Town of Wilmington Inhabitant By- Laws, Chapter 2, Section 19, we need a quorum of one hundred and fifty (150) voters in order to start the business of Town Meeting. Thus, I ask that you please arrive at such a time, and in such a manner, so as to allow for a 10:30 a.m. start time. I thank you in advance for your consideration and cooperation.

As Town Moderator, I aim to foster a fair, transparent and efficient Town Meeting. In an effort to familiarize the townspeople of Wilmington with the happenings of Town Meeting, I created a handout relative to Town Meeting information and procedures. The handout has been posted to the Town’s website and it will be available when you check in at Town Meeting. The handout is aimed to more fully inform Town Meeting attendees as to what Town Meeting is and how it operates. While the handout is not exhaustive by any means, I believe that the information provided therein is aimed at my overall goal of fostering fair, transparent and efficient Town Meeting assembly. If attendees are more familiar with “why” and “how” things are happening, I believe they can better navigate the debate and discussion on any given issue.

Town Meeting is the most pure, direct and inclusive form of the democratic process. However, Town Meeting is not truly representative unless we have an assembly that consists of a cross section of our residents/voters. While our quorum is 150 voters, we should strive to increase attendance to numbers that more appropriately represent our Town. That being the case, the Board of Selectmen and myself will be forming a Town Meeting Review Committee that will examine our current practices and approach to Town Meeting. It is my hope that the Town Meeting Review Committee will come up with ideas aimed at improving our Town Meeting process and increasing attendance. If you would like to be considered to serve on the aforementioned Committee, please contact me at moderator@wilmingtonma.gov.

Your participation in our Town Meeting shows your dedication to Wilmington, and moreover your dedication to your neighbors and friends who will join you in attendance on May 4, 2019. In order to foster a productive environment, I ask that all those attending Town Meeting to conduct themselves with proper decorum and that you treat your fellow attendees with the utmost respect, even in cases of disagreement.

I respectfully ask that you carefully review this warrant booklet before attending Town Meeting. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the warrant articles will allow you to better follow the meeting and will further allow for more fluid, informed discussion. I cannot stress enough the importance of making informed votes at Town Meeting; each and every vote taken up on May 4, 2019 will have a profound effect on the direction of our town. Your attendance at Town Meeting is crucial to ensure that all votes are a true and accurate reflection of the voice of the townspeople of Wilmington.

Robert G. Peterson, Jr.

(NOTE: The above letter was shared to residents via Town Hall’s website.)

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