Letter to Concord Select Board and Town Manager Regarding Relocation of the Concord Town Clerk prior to Town Meeting and General Election
On August 24th, League President Julie Rohwein sent a letter to the Concord Select Board and Town Manager asking for a delay in the temporary relocation of the Concord Town Clerk's offices until after the General Election in November as it would be very disruptive to their work potentially putting the voting process in jeopardy.
LWVCC Letter from Jullie Rohwein dated 8/24
Judy Zaunbrecher Letter to Town Manager Stephen Crane dated 8/21
Response from Mr. Crane dated 8/21
Follow-up letter from Ms. Zaunbrecher to Mr. Crane
Letter to Concord Select Board and Town Manager Regarding Capital Projects
On June 7th, League President Julie Rohwein sent a letter to the Concord Select Board and Town Manager asking for a pause for discretionary Town capital projects, including the Gerow project, until the short and long-term financial impacts of the pandemic on our Town and its residents are better understood. The letter can be viewed on the League’s websitehere.
Concord Public Meeting Policy
LWVCC Letter to the Select Board - May 6, 2020
On March 10, 2020 Governor Charlie Baker issued an Executive Order suspending certain provisions of the state’s Open Meeting Law because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Concord’s response to this order, “Temporary Policy Directive And Guidelines For Public Meetings And Public Hearings Conducted Via Remote Participation Due To COVID-19 State of Emergency,” dated April 1, 2020, was introduced at the next meeting of the Concord Select Board. This policy implemented a strict interpretation of the Governor’s order and did not allow non-regulatory and non-executive boards and committees to meet.
There was no public discussion of the policy and it was unsigned; it is unclear who wrote it. After researching what similar towns are doing, several members of the LWVCC Town Government Committee thought it important to ask Concord officials why they had adopted such restrictive guidelines. A letter was drafted and approved by the League Board of Directors on May 6, 2020. This letter and its attachments were sent that day to the Select Board, Town Manager, and Town Moderator. During the May 7 meeting of the Select Board, the Town Manager announced he had revised the Town’s Temporary Public Meeting policy to allow Boards and Committees to meet virtually and to accept public comment.
Good governance is one of the cornerstones of the League’s advocacy. Even in times of emergency, it is important to maintain an open governmental system with opportunities for citizens to be informed and participate.
The May 6, 2020, LWVCC letter to the Concord Select Board, Moderator, and Town Manager includes three sample agendas from the Towns of Concord, Acton, and Westford. The three versions of the Town’s Covid-19 Meeting Policy (April 1, May 7, and May 7 revised) can also be viewed here.