Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

March 14, 2013

Letter: Democracy not spectator sport; get involved with town decisions

Editor, Townsman:

As we draw nearer to 2013 Town Meeting on May 6, Andover officials have developed their fiscal year 2014 budgets and are presenting them in a variety of forums for residents to become familiar with the information. The League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover urges people to take time to review the town and school budgets and learn as much as possible before Town Meeting.

The Town Manager’s Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) are available on the homepage of the town’s websiteandoverma.gov under “What’s New,” and budget issues will be discussed at the Monday and Wednesday Joint Meetings of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee. Their meeting schedule is available at andoverma.gov/meetings/. The Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and School Committee will meet together on March 20.

The School Committee has presented its budget, and it is now available for review on the school website:aps1.net/index.aspx?NID=411. The School Committee is also hosting a public hearing at which residents will be able to ask questions about the 2014 school budget. That meeting will be Thursday, March 21 at 7: p.m. in the School Committee room (in the school administration offices at 36 Bartlet St, at the rear of the building).

On April 3, the League will host a budget forum featuring presentations by both school and town officials that will elaborate on their FY2014 budgets. The budget forum, moderated by League-member Bonnie Zahorik, will begin at 7 p.mm in the Memorial Hall Library. This is an interactive forum with a question-and-answer period will allow attendees to further explore budget issues with officials in a small setting.

If you are unable to attend the League’s Budget Forum, it will broadcast live and will be taped for rebroadcast and posted online at andovertv.org. Questions will be accepted in advance of the forum, as well as during the event, at VoterServiceAndover@lwv-andovers.org.

Andover residents are privileged to live in a town that maintains a Town Meeting form of government. The League reminds people that democracy is not a spectator sport. We encourage all voters to take time to become informed before Town Meeting and to vote on election day, March 26.

Ann Cobleigh, LWV President

Bonnie Zahorik, LWV Budget Forum Coordinator

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