Article 24 Defeated

After a lot of impassioned speakers on Article 24 of the Town Warrant Article which essentially was to take away the voters of Millbury’s vote for Millbury Planning Board members, at least two-thirds majority voted and defeated Article 24, dubbed by some as the “power grab” and “undemocratic.”

Selectmen Christopher Naff, a realtor, and according to his work bio states “His focus pertains to an array of market sectors such as multi-family, retail, and land transactions”, was the first speaker and the individual who brought the proposal of changing the Millbury Planning Board from elected to appointed positions to the Charter Review Committee. The Charter Review Committee Chairperson, Jeff Raymond, tried to justify the Charter Review Committees’ reasoning for bringing such an Article along with at least two other members of the Charter Review Committee. Charter Review Committee member Paul Concemi spoke his rationale and research for an appointed Millbury Planning Board.

The majority of people present at the Town Meeting were not buying what the Selectmen Christopher Naff, Jeff Raymond, Selectmen Scott Despres, Michael O’Connor, Kaye Peltier, Roger Desrosiers, Marie Cafferty, David Cofske, Paul Concemi, and Steve Noonan were trying to sell the Town, essentially taking away our individual voices and votes with appointed planning board members, that would be appointed by the Town Manager.

Three Millbury Planning Board members, Richard F. Gosselin, Jr., Terry Burke Dotson, and Francis P. DeSimone, each spoke passionately in opposition of Article 24, with thoughtful reasoning.

One resident who recently moved from the Boston area to Millbury said she did not want Millbury to become the “People’s Republic of Cambridge” which got some laughter. This is a sentiment shared by many in the town of Millbury.

Millbury residents are not against growth, rather want that growth to be responsible and feel an elected Millbury Planning Board provides more control by the residents of Millbury. If individual Millbury Planning Board members are not following our enacted regulations or favor developers interests over existing residents, then the majority of voters have a mechanism to recall individual members who do know represent the residents interests. Millbury is own town and we should never hand it over to developers to do as they please as certain individuals are advocating for.