NEWBURYPORT PUBLIC "town meeting" FORUM

 

 


A Public "town meeting" Forum will be held at Newburyport City Hall Auditorium on June 14 at
7 p.m. providing an opportunity for citizens to share their thoughts on topical issues with each other and their city representatives. (View notice of public forum.)

 

The agenda, information format and conversation flow, is as follows:

  • Introduction: Why are we here? Who is here?
  • Flow of presented information and conversation:
    • Issues regarding the budget, with historical perspective and Q&A
    • Tax revenues - City Assessor's comments
    • Issues regarding ecomonic development, with historical perspective and Q&A
    • Issues facing the school system, along with a historical perspective and Q&A
    • Some options being considered with Q&A
    • Wrap-up
  • Post forum
    • Informal exchange of those gathered, gathering momentum for follow-up and follow-through

Based upon the ideals set forth in Section 20 of the original 1851 City Charter, and as proposed in 1999 and first exercised in 2002 and 2003, these forums were to be scheduled in the spring in order to provide citizens' input during budget development and review. (See link within.) This is the people's forum, providing citizens the opportunity to freely consult with city officials and neighbors about community-related issues and make recommendations regarding local government.

Following the traditional though now obsolete protocol, the forum has been "duly warned" in a memorandum from the Mayor to City Council dated June 5, 2007 and is to be received and filed at the June 11, 2007 city council meeting. Ours is a city form of government, so while not technically a "town meeting" with "warrants" voted into law ~ this opportunity to address matters that warrant discussion offers citizens a means to influence the process at a critical point in the fiscal calendar.

This year, the public forum was purposefully delayed until after the results of the tax override referendum on May 22 were known. With that $1.58M tax override soundly defeated and the Mayor's proposed budget figures in the midst of review by City Council, it is time to figure out where we go from here.






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