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VOTE NO ON THE CHARTER On the November 3 ballot, Scituate voters will be asked to Accept or Reject the proposed Home Rule Charter that was submitted to the Town Council last June. 2019 by an elected charter commission. Before it becomes effective, it must be passed by Scituate voters and then ratified by the General Assembly.  The proposed Charter has to be accepted or rejected in total. If it does not pass, Scituate’s local government will continue to exist as it is now organized. While Scituate Democrats have always advocated for a Home Rule Charter, the proposed Charter contains some very concerning provisions and omissions. Among them are:
Loss of your right to vote: An appointed town clerk and town treasurer thus removing your ability to elect who serves in that vital office as we do now.
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Loss of your opportunity for oversite: A town manager who is appointed by the town council and only answerable to that body and not directly to the voters. No term limits or a recall provision for members of the town council and school committee. The continuation of partisan elected offices, including the school committee, which we believe should be non-partisan to encourage more people to get involved and run for local office. No requirement that municipal jobs be posted and advertised before they are filled which could lead to the appointment of non-qualified crony appointments. A seven-member town council all of whom will be elected town-wide with no district representation to ensure that all parts of Scituate have representation on the town council.
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Increase in your town costs: The potential for the creation of a municipal court by the town council which will enable them to appoint a judge, a clerk, and thus ad more costs to our local government. The creation of a number of appointed positions like finance director which will increase the costs and lessen the voter accountability to these important officers.
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We urge you to read the proposed Charter that will be mailed to every household in Scituate thanks to an appropriation that was made by the leaders of the Democratic party (and opposed by six of the GOP town council members) at the June 2020 financial town meeting to ensure that everyone has a chance to view it before casting the important vote. We believe that it is important that voters make an informed decision on what they are voting for which, if passed, will fundamentally change the way Scituate is governed. Scituate needs a charter, just not this one. We urge you to vote to REJECT question No. 2 on Election Day, November 3. We can and must do better as a community to modernize our government while protecting your fundamental vote to elect those who govern us.
Paid for by the SDTC P.O. Box 442, North Scituate RI 02857 scituatedemocrats@gmail.com