• Wanting the chance to vote
    April 21,2014
     

    Wanting the chance to vote

    This letter is in response to Peter Kelley’s letter to the editor about “Don’t sign the petition.”

    The bottom line of this entire discussion is that I and other voters of the town of Berlin are asking for one simple thing from our Select Board:The right to vote on the charter that establishes a Regional Public Safety Authority.

    I trust the voters of Berlin to make the right decision for them and the town. Let us vote. Voters of Barre City and Montpelier have already spoken and voted yes for the authority. I know that there are those in Barre Town who are eager to having this same discussion with their newly constituted Select Board after their town meeting. Why are we being deprived the right to vote?

    There is no cost to the town to participate in the authority and to have the opportunity to shape its future direction. Only when the authority issues its Memorandum of Understanding outlining the details of their first public service initiative — which is presumed to be dispatching — will there be any cost involved to Berlin residents. At that time the Select Board, or the voters of Berlin, should the Select Board decide to bring it forward for a town vote, will have the opportunity to vote on whether they want to continue with the Authority and participate in its first public service initiative. The MOU will provide answers to all our current questions and costs.

    It puzzles me why members of our Board have decided that this decision is theirs to make and not the voters of the Town of Berlin? We know how members of the Board think about this issue. It makes sense that as our elected officials would want to know how we, the voters, think. Yes, there will be a petition circulating around Berlin, asking the Select Board to honor our request to bring the charter to the town for a vote. By no means does voting for the charter mean that the Berlin Select Board or the residents of Berlin are obligated to pay for anything. It simply allows representatives of Berlin to be at the “table” to develop the CVRPSA.

    I would encourage all Berlin voters to sign the petition, once it is ready for signature and help bring the issue “to the people.” Any Berlin resident interested in helping with the petition can contact me at 802-371-7080 or at patmcdonald8411@charter.net.

    Pat McDonald

    Berlin

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