THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH VS THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF LYNNFIELD GOVERNMENT
In my opinion, with its recent myopic 2 to 1vote on naming a paper street “Market Street” the Board of Selectmen made a very serious error – not so much on the direct issue of the Street naming/signage but, more importantly, on the big-picture issue of equal respect/balance between the Executive [Board of Selectmen] and Legislative [Town Meeting] branches of our local government. The Selectmen started the process by asking Town Meeting to vote on the Market Street issue and the Town Meeting voted it down. If the Selectmen have found a better solution, given the Town Meeting no-vote, and in the absence of any evidence of urgency, the issue should go again before Town Meeting. No one knows exactly why the Town Meeting voted as it did and, therefore, out of courtesy if nothing else, but more importantly to protect the fabric of our check and balance system of government, the issue could/should have been approved by the Selectmen subject to ratification by Town Meeting in October. That way the outcome would be certain, the will of the people would have been preserved whatever the final outcome, and the perception that the Board of Selectmen can unilaterally overrule Town Meeting would not exist. The action of the Selectmen diminishes Town Meeting and discourages citizens from attending. Why should they if their votes don’t count anyway? I think it is a sad day for Lynnfield with detrimental long-term ramifications that perhaps only the ballot box can mend.