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May 1, 2014

Letter: Groveland doesn't need more selectmen

To the editor:

The Groveland election is Monday, May 5, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Town Hall. Other than the names of those running for elective office there will be one question on the ballot, Question 1.

This question came about from the last Town Meeting on April 29. 2013, and was approved by the majority of those attending the meeting. If the voters approve Question 1, then in 2015 the Groveland Board of Selectmen will increase from three to five members.

The basic functions performed by the Board of Selectmen, calling town meetings, proposing budgets for the town meetings, setting public policy, elections, licensing, appointing department heads and employees, setting certain fees and overseeing other departments within the town is not a heavy load that requires two additional members. Those members that served the town over the last 160 years did not have any of the technology available today and did a fine job.

The United States has approximately 315 million people with only nine Supreme Court Justices and 535 members of Congress. The Massachusetts General Court contains 40 state Senators and 160 members in the House of Representatives that represent a state population of almost 7 million residents.

Groveland was incorporated as a town in 1850 and now, more than 160 years later, why do we need to add two additional members to the Board of Selectmen for 6,443 residents? Over those 160 years, all of the members who served on those three-member boards made Groveland a very desirable place to live and raise families.

What we really need on the board is quality, not quantity. We need dedicated individuals who will make Groveland a better and more affordable place to live and not bring shame to our town. We need better government, not bigger government.

Two members added to the Board of Selectmen will result in more opinions, more discussion, more studies, more paperwork and longer meetings. What we really need more of, is for residents to attend annual town meetings. Fewer than 3 percent attended the meeting this week.

I believe the voters who show up to vote on Monday will understand the issue and vote “No” on Question 1.

John Lennon


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