EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 9, 2014

Town Meeting to offer free child care

NORTH ANDOVER — There are all sorts of excuses why residents cannot – or do not – attend Town Meeting.

If you have to work the night of May 20, you have a valid excuse. After all, most of us have to work.

Or if you’re scheduled to have surgery that day, that’s also understandable; however, if you regain consciousness in time, you can at least watch the Town Meeting on cable TV or the Internet. You can even ask questions from your hospital bed by visiting the town website, townofnorthandover.com, and emailing them.

If you claim, “Gee, I’m not familiar with the issues,” that’s not a valid excuse, because you have the right to ask questions at Town Meeting or just simply pay attention to the discussion.

“I’d love to go to Town Meeting, but I can’t bring the kids and I can’t get a babysitter.”

Again, no excuse. Town Moderator Mark DiSalvo has again made the arrangements so that parents of young children can focus on the town’s business while competent people watch their kids.

“Once again, the North Andover public schools community programs department has stepped up and is providing free child care at Town Meeting,” DiSalvo said. The community programs department offered the service at the past two year’s Town Meetings.

All future Town Meetings will have the same service, DiSalvo said.

“In order to have a truly open Town Meeting on Tuesday. May 20, all citizens in our community need to have the opportunity to attend the meeting. This assures that parents with younger school-age children will have that opportunity,” he added.

“We are delighted to cooperate with the moderator and support families throughout our town so that they may participate in Town Meeting while being assured that their children are cared for,” School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert said. “Community programs is a highly valuable resource within our school system and contributes significantly to our community life,” he added.

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