Weigh in on Town Meeting Articles

Sep 7, 2020

The Planning Board and Charter Review Group will be holding public hearings over the next two weeks about articles for the Town Meeting warrant.

On September 10, the Planning Board will discuss most of the articles it hopes to add to the agenda at 6 p.m. in Room 320 in the MultiService Center.

On September 14, the Charter Review Group will be discussing its proposed articles, which cover many changes to the Town Charter, and the Planning Board will be discussing the new zoning district that could allow for the racetrack and casino or another large commercial development on land between Glen Charlie Road and Rte. 25. The Charter Review Group hearing will be held remotely at 6:30 p.m., and the Planning Board hearing will be held at 6:30 in Room 320 in the MultiService Center.

The Planning Board articles, described here, include changes to the downtown Wareham Village, the sign bylaws, and allowing the Smithers Lab to test marijuana within 500 feet of the Decas School.

The Charter Review Group will be asking Town Meeting voters to approve a new version of the charter, which includes many changes.

Several tweaks to the timing of Town Meeting are included.

The new charter would make the Town Clerk an appointed position, rather than an elected position, while keeping the rest of the position’s duties the same.

There are also several tweaks to the section about the Board of Sewer Commissioners.

The section about the town administrator would make several changes to how the position is filled.

The administrator would need to be appointed by at least four members of the Board of Selectmen -- a super-majority. The administrator would be for a term of up to three years, with a renegotiation and possible extension scheduled for discussion six months before the contract is set to end. The charter would also stipulate that the administrator should be qualified through a combination of education, training, and past experience in municipal administration.

Additionally, the town administrator may not have served in elected office in town for at least a year prior to appointment, and it should be a full-time job, during which the administrator may not engage in other business or elected work.

To view the complete amended proposed charter, a guide to the changes, and the current charter, go to www.wareham.ma.us/charter-review-group.