“none of us can possibly know what we all know”

Citizen-Participation-Image-2070045525.Dear Editor, Readers, Neighbors and Friends
Denying open meeting participation is the wrong approach as, “none of us can possibly know what we all know”.
Last Wednesday, April 4th, was a first. Having attended nearly all of the past Market Street Advisory Committee (MSAC) meetings, on this evening I respectfully waited for the public participation opportunity at the close of the committee’s agenda. I rose to be recognized and was dismissively told that “at the discretion of the Chair” there would be no public participation.
For the first time in my 25 years of citizen participation I saw the closure of a public meeting, to which citizens are encouraged to attend, take place without allowing time for any participation. This is particularly concerning, because the MSAC’s “Mission” is to provide for “effective and ongoing communication for Lynnfield residents, Town of Lynnfield Representatives and WS Development and National Development.”
At all previous MSAC meetings, the agendas have allowed limited public participation; restricted to “2 minutes per attendee” in the interest of reaching their targeted 8:30PM adjournment.
It is noteworthy that on this evening, the meeting agenda – which included a discussion of the topics/issues that MSAC intends to evaluate in conjunction with National Development’s most recent 800 seat cineplex proposal – ended around 8:10PM, well before the regular 8:30PM deadline. Yet when I asked to be recognized to offer a clarifying remark on topics raised during the meeting, given that there was ample time for public comment, I was summarily denied this established opportunity and the meeting was abruptly adjourned.
Lynnfield is a town of volunteers. Like many others, I have volunteered time to our community, highlighted for me by service on the Town Finance Committee and in particular as the Fin Com liaison to the School Building Committee. This effort lead to Lynnfield being the very first community to take advantage of new State legislation for financing the backlog of unfunded school projects. Recently I served as one of several volunteers on the search committee for a new Town Manager.
So this sad act of denial will not dissuade me from attending and participating in the remaining meetings of the MSAC or any other meeting where I believe there are perspectives that should be weighed when it concerns my family, my neighbors and my town.
David Basile

Posted in Uncategorized

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