Saturday, December 15, 2012

Can we stop the massacres?

No doubt there was a string of gun laws that were broken by Adam Lanza during the commission of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. It was reported that the two pistols and assault rifle he used were purchased by and registered to Lanza's mother. That he had access to the guns is most likely a law broken. Walking out of the house with them may be another law broken. I haven't seen it reported whether Lanza had a permit to carry, but if he did, he broke a number of laws that go along with that license.

One aspect of these school shootings that we tend to overlook is that we have created safe places for mass murders to commit their crimes. Lanza could assume that the school, or any school for that matter, would be void of people who could take action against him. Firearms are prohibited on school campuses, so there is no hesitance by a criminal to enter such a place, knowing that there will be no resistance; no trained personnel with access to weapons designed to thwart such an attack.

Five minutes of uninterrupted shooting would seem like an eternity; more than ample time to kill dozens of defenseless people before law enforcement's arrival. This is the other side of the double-edged sword that is created by outlawing guns in publicly-owned buildings without providing for the security of the unarmed occupants. We passed these laws with the intent of making places safer that, in reality, put innocent people at risk.

What can be done to stop senseless killings? It is very difficult to defend against someone who does not value his own life. Lanza wasn't planning to be arrested or to get away. He knew he would be one of the fatalities, either by his own hand or by law enforcement.

I have received several emails since the school shooting pleading for something to be done about these heinous incidents. I am asking you to weigh in with your suggestions and commentary.

My deepest sympathies go out to all of the families in Newtown who have been affected directly or indirectly by this despicable act.

46 comments:

  1. This is sticky.

    I respect the 2nd Amendment. I also respect and admire the "responsible" gun owners that are NOT part of this problem - but also feel that perhaps they are being "grouped" into the assault rifle debate.

    Comments have been made that "mass shootings" have become more prolific since lifting the AWB. But in parallel has been the onslaught of social media - itself an issue with ties to bullying and peer pressure, popularity of violent video /cyberspace games and just the accessibility of information regarding assault weapons on the internet.

    It's all so complex. No easy answers. But do ask if automatic weapons are necessary in the average person's home. But if by banning -does that also remove any restrictions and provide accessibility on the black market?

    I do think there has to be some overhaul - similar to "911" and have armed / uniformed staff on site. Perhaps "undercover" -

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    1. Something we should all be clear on: No automatic weapon was used in any of these school shootings. An automatic weapon is a machine gun. A semi-automatic weapon fires once every time you pull the trigger. The Bushmaster assault rifle used yesterday is semi-automatic. So were the pistols. Even revolvers are semi-automatic; that is, every time you pull the trigger they fire a bullet.

      The primary differences, besides size, between a pistol and an assault rifle are 1) the rifle will be more accurate at longer distances (in the case of the Newtown massacre, police report that all victims were shot multiple times at close range; in the Jonesboro and University of Texas incidents, this was a critical element because the shooters were sniping rather than shooting from point-blank range), 2) clips used on assault rifles generally carry more bullets than clips used in pistols; however, a skilled shooter can change a clip in two seconds, making the capacity mostly a talking point rather than a practical limitation, and 3) the rifle will propel the same bullet at a higher rate of speed which creates more energy and, with that, more destruction. Again, at close range, not much of a difference.

      I say all this because there is a better conversation to be had if everyone knows a little about sidearms and rifles. A knowledgeable gun owner will quickly tune out someone who doesn't know the difference between automatic and semi-automatic or who thinks that a shotgun fires bullets.

      We all want to see the end of these tragic events, which is why I'm asking for ideas.

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  2. Randy, you asked for ideas to deal with this issue. I start with preventative measures. No lets not eliminate the ability to collect and own guns, but recognize that there are individuals on the edge, who do heinous things like what happened in Newtown, Ct. this past Friday.

    Although I am not a big government person, there should be some standards, if they don't exist already, that provides adherence by communities towards meeting the safety needs of the public. There should be a process in place, based upon generally accepted stardards within the safety and security "world", requiring an assessment periodically, of the safety and security of schools, town/county/state facilities, etc. These assessments can be done by the town's own experts and their findings made known.

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  3. Randy: Having been trained in the military in the use of assault weapons and many other guns and coming from a family of gun enthusiasts I do have some knowledge of weapons. I have no issue with civilians owning long guns for hunting and sport shooting. I do have an issue with assault weapons. They are high powered rifles with large capacity magazines that were developed to kill as many humans in battle conditions as quickly as is possible. It is now reported that all those killed in Newtown were killed by multiple shots fired from a .223 Bushmaster, a weapon very similiar to the military M-16 and M-40 assault weapons. In addition the killer in Newtown used specially developed and readily available "frag" rounds (bullets) that maximize damage to living tissue. Assault rifles are easy to load, fire many rounds as quickly as you can pull the trigger and at close range require no real aiming skills as they are basically "point and click" high volume sprayers of lead. They are perfect up close killing devices for minimally trained shooters. Because they quickly lose effectiveness at range they are not used for hunting large animals such as deer. At close range, as in bird hunting, shotguns are much better killers. So to to my point they are perfectly suited for killing people up close, are a weapon of choice of mass shooters because of that efficiency, and have no value to hunters of non humans. They should be outlawed for all civilian possession.

    Peter Ouimette
    East Sandwich and Venice, FL.

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  4. Oh and to your primary question "Can we stop the massacres?" No we can't. But we can reduce the number of those killed per "killing event" by reducing their access to high efficiency weapons. Specifically the currently easy to obtain, easy to use assault rifle.

    Peter

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  5. I think we should also look into the video games and movies we so readily have access to. Kids sit endlessly pulling that trigger on the controls, spraying bullets and seeing blood all over the screens. Movies show reckless shooting by good guys and bad guys. It's glamorized and encouraged to kill as many people as possible. That's the point of the games. Yet the kids think nothing of it. The whole culture has gone down the toilet, yet we a shocked when evil shows up and plays the games for real. All the kids will be back on their video games in a few days, scoring "points" and pulling that trigger.

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  6. Feinstein is sponsoring a new assault weapons ban 1st of the year. This will make the naive part of the public feel good but it's no more than nibbling away at the 2nd Amendment a little at a time. The AWB that expired in 2004 never did anything, they crime never went down and they know that.

    Make medical records available to the FBI for their NICS checks, I can't think of anything else besides good parenting and bring kids up correctly. In Texas and down south kids are brought up with guns around the house and they're the last ones that would committ a crime with a gun.

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  7. I think we ought to look at talk show hosts. I can think of two, one who is on Saturday mornings and one who is on week afternoons from noon to 3:00 PM. Both rant and rave about "the liberals" and our President in particular. We should also look at the Cable news channels like MSNBC which spouts out hate on an hourly basis.

    Our young teens do see this every day.

    We ought to look at the civility of our citizens. We hear of four letter words and inappropriate words continuously and sometimes on sports radio. Is this what we want.

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    1. So limiting free speech is an answer. I think not. I have listened to those two men for years and I never once heard them advocate hate or violence in any form. Much unlike Cris Mathews and Bill Maher, who frequently use foul and incendiary language

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  8. Taking away peoples' guns and dreaming of living in a world that is full of sunshine and rainbows isn't even a factor. It's a fantasy. I will never trust this government to have my back. I never ever thought about getting training and purchasing a gun until just a few years ago.

    I hope the future generations can overcome this selfishness that plagues our society today. Selfish fathers, selfish mothers, and selfish politicians have put us in this mess. I apologized to my son the other day. I said I was sorry I couldn't give him a better world than what I was given. God only knows what my future grandchildren will have to suffer through unless we can get our act together and fight for goodness and family, manners, respect, and expectations. Taking away or censoring guns is not the answer, it goes much deeper than that, and we all know it.

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    1. I did not apologize to my children. I brought them into a tough world where their own maturing abilities and actions can bring them knowledge, wealth, and love.

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  9. Take those guns away, no, but maybe do backgrounds, yes, backgrounds that are thorough and include some kind of law that makes it necessary for Doctors to report mental illness. Let's make the odds at least a bit better.

    Thank the good Lord that we live in this beautiful government that allows government to be of the people, by the people, for the people...a government that I can trust.

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  10. This is an extremely trying subject. IMHO, part of the problem in this type of incident has to do with our treatment of the mentaly ill. We insist on "mainstreaming" everyone no matter what their situation. One who is hell-bent on violence is just as apt to be living at home with family as one who just has minor delusions. Perhaps a return to the dreaded "institution" is called for in some cases.

    I know that this opinion will anger the feel-good liberals, but the truth must be faced if mass shootings are to be contained.

    There is no returning the genie into the bottle. The guns are out there and will continue to be readily available, legally or ilegally to anyone who has the price in their pocket. Even the recent "Jakes Law" only rescinded the ownership priviledge of previously licensed convicted felons. It did not mandate the collection of already-owned weapons from them. Where did those guns go? Elsewhere in society?

    I believe in the second amendment. I also believe that any future gun legislation (just like most past gun laws) that will be proposed in response to the Conn. killings will only restrict the activities of the honest, law-abiding gun owner, not the felon who we are trying to divest of guns.

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  11. Carl Johansen would state as a registered license gun permit holder, would say that people kill people, not guns.

    The unfortuned events over the past severel years with muliple killings of the young people needs to have a review like non other before. As has been mentioned above the assault type weapons need to banned from the general population, I would completly agree with that analagy. These are not weapons for protection or hunting, but rather for mass killings. It will be a very difficult task to impliment such a policy.

    This last shooting stands as a testiment that the schools do not have enough safety devises in place to slow any one with a mentel defect from entering such buildings to kill whom ever they choose. Sandwich is no different. The policy that allows any one to enter a locked school door, without challenges, is a place where the sick among us has an easy way to do harm to whomever they want. Has any one paid attention to how we here in Sandwich allow folks to be buzzed in and not have to go the office to sign in, before heading off to some part of the building for what ever.Multiple entry's happen and guess what, no one is present to verify if the people are friendly or not. Parents can come into a building and take out there child from the class room and never check in with the front office, as the proticall call for.

    Safety changes are needed in our schools and perhaps it may change and perhaps it may not, but the murder of 20 children and 6 teachers, for no apparent reason are uncalled for and we as a society can do better to put in place more safe guards to reduce the fire power of the evil element and put in place better safety stops in our schools to keep them out.

    Man can do better and we must, for the future security of our schools and the innocent children should not be paying the price for our lack of doing the right thing.

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  12. I agree with Carl, people kill...weapons do not. I also saw a great post earlier where it said we don't blame vehicles when somebody is killed by a drunk or careless driver......you get the idea.
    I am also a permit holder.....I am not necessarily fond of assault weapons unless they are in the hands of a trained specialist. In my opinion a potential purchaser should need to show proof of specialized training ie being a LEO, or former military or at least having gone to and completed a specialized training course. As they say with great power comes great responsibility.

    The other issues is mental health for those who need it and increased safety for schools of all types.

    All of these issues need to be discussed rationally in a forum without regards for politics or party. Lets just try and use common sense for once.....people just might be surprised by the outcome.

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  13. This country is awash in weapons. NOTHING is going to change our situation in this country whether its control laws or upping mental health support. The horse is out of the barn on gun issues. Even Sen. Brown sees the light and is softening his stance but, in the end, all for naught.

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  14. Carl Johansen would state that the President has taken the bull by the horns snd now we all need to see what comes about in gun control measures. Many questions, many answers, but in the end, it is what really gets down on paper that matters.
    If the proticol changes in regards to how some of these killing machines that should be in the hands of the military or law enforcement can at least be slowed down it just might make some difference in a young life being wasted.

    It has been said that in some cases it would not have made any difference, because the weapons were all legaly purchased. Perhaps that is true and perhaps it is not. As a collecter of fishing equipment, I understand the idea of collecting any thing. In the end, however, my collection would never harm anyone, let alone kill anyone.

    The average gun collector has put together guns that may be legal to buy,and the intended use is purely for target practise. For me these high capicity arms are more about going beyond the scope of just recreational purposes. They are designed to provide a weapon that can kill any one it hits. Most hand guns can also be tricked to do the same thing, but at least the numbers may be limited to killing less.Some would argue that any experienced gun shooter can equal the carnage brought on by someone that does not have the training and actual experience and that makes it all right to use these high velocity, high clip guns in a public setting. Making the laws to purchase such weapons needs to have more steps for these owners to go through, be they mental stabilty or back ground check that prove without a doubt that the person purchasing this weapon can be trusted to use it in the manner it was purchased.

    The laws in place cannot determine what may happen because some one finds another illegal way to get there hands on such a killing machine.

    We as a society need to be aware that the mental state of some who are hell bent on doing harm to any one, be reported, with out hesitation to law enforcement and that the parents who have guns in the home make sure that all weapons be secured, under all circumstances.

    Guns do not kill, only people and that is the mantra we all should remember and being aware of what is happening around us when it comes to gun safety can lead to preventing more deaths, no matter where.

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  15. Mr. Johansen, Mr. Johansen, you state twice in your post of the 20th that guns kill and then in the last paragraph state that guns don't kill, people do. Which is it?

    What are guns for if not to kill. Oh, I forgot they are for collecting and target practice....yeah.

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    1. Guns are for self defense, national defense, and defense against a corrupt government. I strongly urge you to read Federalist 46. Written by James Madison it is the reason we have a are armed in this country. It's not about target practice or hunting.

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  16. Carl Johansen would say to poster 8:09 I have indicated above that only people kill using guns, as a method to do the dasterly deed. Just as a drunk driver, that runs a red light and kills someone may do.
    The car killed someone, but had it not been for the person driving it it would have never happened. The same anagilogy applies to any person with a gun.

    Guns without question are used for severel purposes, one is recreational shooting at targets and the other is to protect life, under our constitutional rights. It goes without saying that regulations are prime in determing who can in fact legally buy and own them

    In those cases any weapon under the care of some one attempting to harm any one can kill another human being or at least slow them down.Depending upon who you speak too some guns are just for protecting ones self, as we are allowed under the constitution, some are just collected and never used on a regular basis.

    Then again we have some folks that believe the end of the world is comming and they are attempting to save themselves any way they think it can be done. In many cases this means purchasing legally high powered, high clip, militery rifles. I do not support such a purchase, as these weapons have been designed to kill exclusively,[In the hands of those that find the need to do so] rather then protect in my opinion. Without stringent rules in place that can provide more guarantees that we all can be assured, that what has occurred can be prevented.

    It is people that kill others, the gun is the vehicle by which they use, such as a car,poison or any other method, by which a death may occur.

    So I hope this provides a little more clarity in my comments above.

    Perhaps you may face a question in the near future that teachers be armed, like it is done in some states. Teachers are being paid to educate our children the answer for me is NO they should not be armed. That is why we have trained police and military folks for. If the threat if violence is so great, from any place we need to impliment better security policys and if needed place police officers inside the schools.

    We also need the parents to be ever mindfall of what there children are doing in the world of outer space and pay more attention when they have any questions or are acting in strange ways.

    If as parents who do not like society for what ever reason gets transferred to what are children do, they are only acting out what they have been taught, we all get to pay for such sorrow in the end

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  17. I just wanted to point out that the NRA is just full of hokum when they parade with their mantra of "guns don't kill, people do" for the most part when someone wants to kill they use a gun many times, we can slow the guns down and maybe save a few lives. There is no good reason for a private citizen to have an assault fifle, ever. Ever. Ever. These guns kill.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and to your family. God Bless you all.

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  18. During the NRA's press conference the other day, I really wished they had said something like this:

    We will work tirelessly to help protect your right to own a gun. But to gun owners and enthusiasts we would like to ask that you please look around you and your family. Look around at the mental state of your children and their friends, family members and anyone else who knows you own a gun. Take precautions with your guns, double lock them or change the locks frequently. If you look at your life and feel that you don't need such a high-powered gun, turn it in. We are asking all our members and others who exercise their 2nd Amendment right to be as responsible and diligent as you possibly can. We see what happens when you are not. If we all work together we can all live together. Be accountable for yourselves and take the utmost precautions for the people who have knowledge of and access to your guns.

    To me, a statement like that would show that the NRA does acknowledge that sometimes things go horribly wrong.

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  19. Why has nothing changed now that the facts are out that a AR-15 wasn't used in the shootings? I feel like the public were blatantly lied to.

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  20. Anonymous, please post your source of information regarding the weapons used.

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  21. I just want ot say this. No existing gun law did one thing to protect those kids. More laws will not work either. An assault RIFLE is a military weapon. It fires both full and semi automatic. The ONLY way you can legaally own one is to be properlicensed by the Federal Government, and pay a $200 yearly tax for each weapon owned. The term assault WEAPON, is a political term describing semi auto rifles made to look like thier military cousins. I say this because I've read so many editorials out there describing these as automatic weapons including one by our Congressman who deliberatly mixed the terms to confuse. Make no mistake there is an agenda at work here, and the incident at Newtown Ct. is a crisis they are not going to waste. As a person who was present, near Oklahoma City and heard the blast when the Federal Building was destroyed, that anything can and will be used when a sick mind decides to act. Even an IED made up of fertilizer and diesel fuel. Rather than more gun laws lets quit wasting money on things like Solyndra, and start building homes for the mentally ill. We used to do that in this country. The political leaders decided to close the hospitals for idealogical reasons. Lets harden up "soft" targets by putting police in the schools. Lets get some common sense.

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  22. Adams parents being in denial about his mental health is my guess, then having any guns in house with mentally ill child was recipe for tragedy. Black markets of anything always thrive so banning lawful gun owners is the worse thing our country can do. we r.lawful gun owners and hunters, since newtown we agree their is no reason for a civilian to own an assault weapon w huge magazines of bullets. bought my 9 mil. for family protection, gun seller wanted to sell me clips higher than 7 rounds and my comment back to him was if i cant get job done w 7 bullets i shouldnt have a gun!

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  23. p.s.until y make y schools a hard target, deranged people will continue to target malls and schools

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  24. So, we provide armed protection for our National and State elected officials, court houses, hospitals, as well as other security devices and measures. Corporations in their high rise towers have armed guards and various security measures at the front entrance. My CEO, of a major company had his own private armed body guard who followed him everywhere.
    Every go to a major sporting event and see the security activity which acts as a deterent? Been to an airport recently? So, what is wrong with arm personnel at a school? Could it be that the lack of such a deterent is what makes schools a prime target for these wackos?
    Something to think about.

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  25. I sat down with a rather conservative group of people the Sunday after the shooting in Newtown. This was before the NRA guy suggesting that armed guards should be in the schools. I made the same suggestion and the looks on the faces of the group, they thought I was way off base. The fact is as the previous blogger suggested, that we guard games, manholes, but we don't protect our children. Yes, having the guns may not stop the murders from happening again, but yes also, they may stop. Is money more important to us than a six year old? I think not.

    While I am at it, why do we pay someone at the High School to watch out for those who may have business in the schools yet don't do the same for our small children who are more at risk than the more mature High Schoolers.

    Folks, its time to take care of the Children first then worry about the Taj Mahal of all buildings in this Town, don't you thinkC?

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  26. Erin, I think I understand. It seems these days that we can never make a statement or suggestion and have people at least listen.

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  27. OK. I'm listening.

    So who would you like to pay for armed guards at our 4 schools? Agreed as we are that money is not as important as children, still the unpleasant reality remains that money is necessary. Probably, say, $300,000/year, for four qualified people to guard our school buildings. So. From where shall it come? Will you petition for a prop 21/2 override for this purpose?

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    1. If you are listening, maybe you should also consider answering some of the useless chatter on this blog about petitioning for a proposition 2 1/2 override.

      If you know the answer then maybe you should share it as you first brought up the subject. To me you were saying that citizens could petition which I believe means ask the Selectmen for an override. Am I correct.

      If you don't have the answer then maybe one of our astute Selectmen or Finance Committee member Could chime in, or better still the experts on Town Government, the Charter Review people.

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  28. I would like to answer anonymous 10:13 although I am not Braless. Where will the money come from? The answer is simple, from the property owners of Sandwich. Just by reading your post, I have found $75,000 as one of the four is already in place. It is my understanding that the Wing may very well be closed and the students moved to other schools, including the proposed STEM academy. That will cut another $75,000 from the $300,000. Now that brings us down to $150,000 once the school is closed. For the first year, assuming this needs Town Meeting approval as part of next year's budget, the figure will be $225,000. So, we are now talking about $150,000 to protect the lives of our most precious assets, the children. The first order of government is to protect its citizens so I add my voice and pledge MY tax money to their protection as they are unable to speak for themselves.

    Your second question seems a bit arrogant in my opinion. You ask if Braless if she will petition for a proposition 2 1/2 override. You write as if you know for a fact that the Selectmen are not going to put on the Town Meeting Warrant, and, you also seem to know that it can't be taken from the current operating budget. Let the Chief of Police or the School Committee propose it and then let us as a Town discuss it like civilized people do instead of doing it with sarcasm and behind the scenes. I would love for at least one of the Selectmen or School Committee member to bring the discussion forward. I remain cynical that the Selectmen will do anything as to me they seem to push paper around, come up with charts and do things at slow pace or never do things at all.

    If and when it may be necessary to petition for an override, then maybe I will do it, if not Braless.

    I shall be retired in two years and at that time will make a decision on running for Selectmen. I can't wait.

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  29. Kim, if I still can afford to live here in two years, count on my vote and support. It is clear to me that the only focus of the Selectmen is to build the Safety Complex. They will have an override for FY 14, but it will not include guards for the schools.

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  30. To the well informed commentors above, you cannot petition for an override.

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  31. Anonymous 3:01: I don't believe that you understand that there is the ability to petition and article for Town Meeting. Now let's get back to the discussion at hand.

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  32. Anonymous 7:07 AM. You are wrong. The public can petition for non-override warrant articles, they cannot petition for an "Override" which is what a previous blogger, Kim Jan.5,2013, 6:46AM was stating.
    Only the Selectmen can place an override on the Town Meeting Warrant and the Ballot. Contact the Town Clerk, or Town Manager for confirmation. Been there.

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  33. Let me see if I understand. If the Selectmen put forward a budget article calling for $69,000,000 in spending, then that is it. If someone then wants to submit an article for another $1,000 and that article passes, then it can be paid our without a 2 1/2 override? The citizens petition has to be put on the warrant. Does this mean that it can happen as a matter of law? Perhaps the original post asking the question about would someone petition for an override answer us.

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    1. A budget is presented to town meeting by the select board. Generally, it leaves some tens of thousands of dollars showing as a projected surplus. As long as amendments that raise spending don't exceed that surplus, they can be passed. If, however, the amendment exceeds the projected surplus, spending in some other area should be decreased to accommodate for what would create a projected budget deficit.

      I say "should" because town meeting can pass an unbalanced budget; not a good practice generally, but it is allowed. Revenue is certified by the DOR later in the year, so we could roll the dice hoping that the revenue certification will come in high enough to absorb the projected deficit. If it is not high enough, a special town meeting would have to be convened to balance the budget by lowering expenditures.

      Regarding overrides, only the board of selectmen can put an override on the warrant article and it must be by a two-thirds vote (in other words, at least 4 yeses out of 5 selectmen). A citizens petition cannot call for an override, which is an increase in revenues. Citizens petitions directed to changing the budget can only deal with spending, not revenues.

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    2. Randy, this all started when an anonymous person asked me if I would petition the Selectmen for a 2 1/2 override. I thought that petition meant "to request in a formal manner". If I were inclined, and I may be, I would try to get several hundred signatures on a petition that I write myself and then present to the higher authorities--the Selectmen. I did know that ONLY the Selectmen can put an override on the ballot. The question being posed, as I saw it, was to ask whether I was going to do whatever I could to move the issue to the Town Meeting.

      Just as aside, is it not possible for me to amend the budget motion and then find the $25,000 from free cash, eliminate one position in human services, eliminate one teacher, $50,000 from Legal Services, and the rest from the dump savings in personnel. If I am short, then keep cutting until we get where we want.

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    3. The $25K from free cash could be applied after the DOR certifies it, so it would take an additional town meeting to accomplish that. Taking expenditures out of other budget line items is fair game via amendment at town meeting.

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  34. So Braless 32A, you and your band of petitioners will be known as the folks who caused people to loose their jobs, correct? Nice going.
    Are you going to be the one stepping up to the podium at Town Meeting to read your petition? One of the petitioners will need to be identified to do so. Lets see who has the courage to do this.

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  35. Carl Johansen would ask Randy about the post from 802 as being a little threatening???

    Any one, upon meeting the requirements as stated in the town bylaws can present any petition before town meeting. The petition must be presented to the town clerks office for legal wording and the town moderator to have any chance of being read at town meeting. The Selectmen in those situations to my knowledge do not need to give approval. That is why it is called a citizens petition.
    When one deals with financial articles at town meeting the Finance Commettee, along with Selectmen can voice there opinion, but the those attending town meeting still get the final word.

    To take it one more step , because town meeting may approve it , the board of selectmen still does not have to honor that vote.

    it is a very burdan to get both town meeting to approve any citizen petition as well as the selectmen, unless a vote of all the people, get to approve it.

    What say yee grand master of this web site??

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    1. Carl, I wouldn't worry about anonymous 802.

      To be clear, citizens petitions cannot deal with new revenue sources derived from overrides. Only the board of selectmen can approve an article for the town meeting warrant that raises revenues by override.

      You make an excellent point, however, in that town meeting approves an appropriation for the coming fiscal year. An appropriation is a limit to the amount of spending that can be made, but does not require the board of selectmen to spend all of that money.

      A recent example of this was when town meeting voted to open the East Sandwich fire station using "free cash." Because free cash does not carry on from one budget to the next, the selectmen chose not to spend that money because there was not a source of revenue to pay for the personnel in the next fiscal year. That is an example of an appropriation that went unspent.

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    2. Mr. J, not only are you cute, but also smart. Thank you for all you do.

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  36. Carl Johansen would say to Braless, I am at a loss for words with your compliments, but non the less here goes. First off thank you for your kind words. As far as being smart goes, we would rather think of it as being informed and voicing ones opinion on what we feel needs to be expressed. We are not always correct, but by the same token, we are not always wrong.

    Now as far as being cute goes, my girl friend of 54 years may not agree with you, but heck, this is a free world we are all living in and it is sort of nice to know that an old guy, such as myself, can still be given a nice compliment.

    Thank you again and have a nice day, where ever it may be.

    ReplyDelete

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