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Committee Forming in Weston to Explore Potential Town Meeting Rule Changes

Idea aired at Board of Selectmen's meeting Jan. 10.

An advisory committee to explore potential Town Meeting rule changes is being formed, after moderator Wendy Spector and Tom Crane brought the idea to the Board of Selectmen at its Jan. 10 meeting.

“For a year or more, we’ve been talking about ways to improve attendance and participation at Town Meeting,” said Spector, who took over as moderator in 2010 after Bob Buchanan stepped down.

The goal of forming the committee is to look at potential Town Meeting rule changes to make procedures more clear, and to clarify the use and role of an assistant moderator, Spector said.

Spector noted that the committee could look at Town Meeting procedures in other towns — including different ways of voting and Saturday meetings — to see if they would work for Weston, while making sure any new rule recommendations fall within state guidelines.

Selectman Michael Harrity said he agreed with the premise of such a committee, and the sense that there isn’t enough Town Meeting participation by residents. 

While Spector said some people have already voiced an interest in joining the committee, she would not have a role on it herself. At Tuesday night’s meeting, several members of the audience also expressed interest in joining the committee. 

A rough outline for the committee’s plans includes an initial meeting in February, followed by work to research other towns’ practices, survey Weston residents, draft bylaw changes and make recommendations, likely at Town Meeting in spring 2013.

Through Feb. 2, anyone interested in serving on or learning more about the committee may contact Tom Crane at tom.crane@comcast.net or 781-642-0885.

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