RTM Resignation November 17, 2017

Friends and neighbors,

Yesterday, I resigned as a member of Representative Town Meeting and wanted to make sure you understood from me the reasons for the resignation.  (Please note, Selectman Chairman Mike Lennox also resigned his seat from RTM for similar reasons.) Below are the comments I made last night at the Board of Selectmen meeting.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  I think we have a real opportunity to move North Attleboro positively into the future and it is important in doing so that Town officials hold themselves to the highest standards.  2018 will be an important year for our Town and I am excited to be a part of it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

First, I just wanted to say thank you to Rebecca Jennings, Lyle Pirnie, Dave Reid, and everyone else who planned our Veteran’s Day Celebration.  It was such a moving tribute, especially the ceremony performed by the Rolling Thunder.  As we all took the pledge of allegiance on Saturday, for me, surrounded by the Veterans it took on so much more meaning.  I think sometimes we have said the words so many times, that we don’t stop to think about them.  I took particular pride making my personal pledge that day of allegiance to the Republic and the ideals of liberty and justice for all.  I again say thank you to our Veterans for what they have done to protect those ideals.  I only hope the rest of us can honor them.

With that, tonight I would like to announce that earlier today I submitted my resignation from RTM as a member of Precinct 2.  I began questioning the appropriateness of being both a member of the Board of Selectmen and a member of RTM in the weeks leading up to my election in April.  And after being elected to this Board, I raised my concerns to Chairman Lennox and was pleased to learn he was wrestling with the same question himself.  At the time, we both acknowledged the arguments in support of Selectmen also being members of RTM and the extensive list of previous Board members that have held both seats and agreed to spend some time thinking further about the topic.  After attending the most recent semi-annual town meeting in October, Mr. Lennox and I revisited our prior conversation.

Ultimately, for me, as a member of the Board of Selectmen I am a member of the Executive Branch of our government.  I have ample opportunity to review and provide comment on issues that come before RTM and in many cases our Board actually prepares and submits those recommendations.  Our RTM is equivalent to the Legislative Branch of our government and I do not feel it is appropriate  to get what amounts to two votes on the issues before us.  Once as a member of the Board of Selectmen and then again as a member of RTM.

I appreciate those that have suggested that the People elected me and others who have expressed their confidence in my knowledge of the issues and ability to represent my precinct.  However, at the end of the day, these justifications feel just too self serving.  This town and my precinct have lots of smart, committed people and I am happy knowing my precinct will get another Voice in the decisions that affect our Town.  I will note that I do intend to continue to attend RTM meetings, however for now it will be in the back of the room as a member of the Board of Selectmen.

I understand with the Charter process continuing, much of this may change, but ultimately for me today, I decided I do not need the Charter to tell me what I think is right.

In closing, I just wanted to express my appreciation to all the members of RTM for the work they do.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of that body and thank the leadership for the education I received on the challenges and opportunities we have before us.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

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