Why is the the Town Hall open so little?

This question is more complicated that it appears.  The Town Hall is open to the public 9-noon and 1-4 Monday thru Thursday and the first 4 Tuesday evening of the month from 6-8 or 9.  Departments and Boards/Committee hours vary.  There are several reasons for the hours of availability for the different departments.

1)  The appointed boards and committees are comprised of local residents who volunteer to be on those committees.  

2)  The members are paid a very small annual stipend for their service. Job commitments for members do not allow for being available during the daytime hours.  

3)  All boards and committees are subject to the Massachusetts open meeting law (OML). OML law states in part, that the members of a board or committee cannot act unless there is a quorum present and that whenever there will be a quorum, it must be posted and notice given 48 hours in advance of said meeting along with anything that will be discussed by the group meeting. (A quorum is a majority of members.)  

4)  Most of the elected officials are paid a small stipend or wage, requiring most of them to have other means of employment in order to work for you as an elected official.

       *Being an elected official also allows them to choose their own hours.

It has been suggested that the "retired" board members (whether elected or appointed) have the time to work during the day. Ask your self if you would like a fulltime job with no pay.  The members of the boards and committees cannot get paid to do any extra work under the conflict of interest law.

If the Town would like to have access to information during the pubic hours of the Town Hall there needs to be clerical support for the departments or, part time positions need to be upgraded to full time status. 

The Town currently has an All Boards' Clerk position. This position assists the boards, committees and departments.  The position is compensated for 10 hours a week.  For there to be someone available to the public to assist in getting information, documents and help that does not require board action (a vote of the members), the position needs to have many more hours added to it.  This can only be done if the citizens vote to increase the hours and pay, accordingly at the annual town meeting. 

This is an issue that is directly in the hands of the citizenry.  When the citizens do not come out and vote on the annual budget, a hand full of people determine how your taxes are spent for you. 

  The Annual Town Meeting is where these decisions are made.  If you want more access then say so, and vote for it, May 30, 2017 at the Elementary School at 7:00 PM.