On April 9, Lynnfield had one of the largest voter turnouts in the history of the town and I congratulate all who took the time to participate.
On Monday, April 29, you will have the opportunity again to participate in choosing what you think is best suited to maintain the quality of life and excellence of our schools.
Let me explain to many of you who have never attended Town Meeting that it is painless and your vote is electronic and secret with the new system instituted last October.
Your participation in the Town Meeting is just as important, perhaps more important, than any regular election. It is extremely important on all issues that will be voted on.
During the meeting, there will be a series of warrants to be voted on with a recommendation from the Board of Selectmen or Finance Committee. The most controversial warrant article, dealing with the proposed theater at Market Street, will be withdrawn.
The other controversial warrant deals with changing the zoning of an area off Main Street for elderly housing. You should educate yourself on both sides of the issues. Both the proponents and opponents of Article 16 have views on what is in the best interest of the town long term.
It should also be pointed out that the zoning change requires a two-thirds majority vote at Town Meeting, which is not easy for any zoning change.
Prior to making any decisions on this or any zoning changes, we need to look at section 7-6-4 of our town charter and our capital improvements program to examine projected costs over the next five years and how the projected costs will be met.
We are definitely going to need new growth revenue to meet these needs or an override might have to be considered if we wish to maintain quality of life and excellence in our schools.
I believe that the town should attempt to meet the concerns of the opponents of the zoning change by addressing the traffic concerns of Main Street, which will also address safety, and with a guarantee on the wells for water for a project. We should also be exploring possibilities of wells creating excess water that could be used by the water district. This could open the door to “new growth tax revenues.”
In summary, I urge all to participate in our democratic Town Meeting on April 29 and let your voices be heard. Remember, many have made the ultimate sacrifice for you to have this right. Take time out of your busy schedules and go to Town Meeting.