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Charter Amendment Delays Could Prove To Be Town Council Undoing

Posted by Mike Jaynes 6/04/12 7:45PM
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Delays in the State Senate have prevented the Charter Amendments from being approved in time for the June 26th Town Election.

Estimates for a special election are around $9,000.00; a cost that would be borne by the Town of Southbridge. Community leaders are working to try and piggy back the amendments as ballot questions on the next election after the June elections.

With certainty there will be an election in November, but there is also a chance of a special election coming sooner. On the ballot for the election in June there is one question. The question seeks a debt-override to pay for renovations and an addition for Bay Path. This must be approved in all the Bay Path member towns to pass. If all the towns do not approve the measure then Bay Path can call for a district wide vote to still get their funding. Bay Path will be looking closely at the results of this question in each town to determine if they will pursue this second option.

If Bay Path decides to go forward with a district wide vote it will be on their dime, but it may be an opportunity for Southbridge to answer the Charter Amendment questions also.

Meanwhile in the background a group has been working to change Southbridge's government from Town Council to a Selectmen form. The group failed to get enough signatures on their petition in time to be on the ballot, but the Charter Amendment delays could breathe new life into their effort. Of the Charter Amendments one did not make it past the House. This was the requirement for any local political candidates to be current on any fees owed to the town.

Approved House Bills now being considered by the Senate: