Fairhaven voters, it is surreal to realize how one individual can ignite an idea and unite a group of volunteers together towards a cause to create positive change for our community.
Fairhaven Forward has always been about our town and being open, transparent and apolitical since its inception to engage as many residents as possible to become politically engaged in our local governance whether through serving on boards/committees or helping foster productive conversations on what is best for our town. With this mission in mind, as a group we decided meeting you at Stop & Shop, our post office, and within our own neighborhoods with masks on and hand sanitizer readily available was the best route to take in discussing with you why a Charter Commission should be formed now.
We knew with the challenges COVID19 brings, collecting 1,725 signatures to add onto this April town election ballot would not be easy. However, we worked hard every day through our weekly Zoom meetings and at these in-person events to make sure we would meet our goal of 1,725 signatures. Unfortunately, we want to let you know we have not met the threshold to pursue it on the ballot this election cycle, only collecting 700+ signatures.
The good news is we can hold the signed petitions we currently have and collect the remainder of signatures needed for as long as we want until we reach the threshold for a future town election. Therefore, we are pausing all signature gatherings at this time until further notice and pursuing the creation of a charter commission through Town Meeting.
In consultation with KP Law, we have submitted the following citizen petition to the Town Meeting. It states as follows:
To see if the Town will vote to create a new nine-member committee, to be known as the Fairhaven Charter Committee, to be appointed by the Moderator, which committee shall be charged with the review of all aspects of local government organization and structure, including, without limitation, regional relationships and the operation of all Town departments, boards, committees and commissions, elected and appointed, and make a report or recommendations to the 2022 Annual Town Meeting, or such later town meeting as the Moderator may approve, with the goal of presenting a proposed charter at the 2022 Annual Town Meeting, which special legislation would be forwarded to the General Court for review and approval, in accordance with the Home Rule Amendment, Section 8, and further to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of $10,000.00 to pay for the expenses of such Committee, or take any other action relative thereto.
As we await to hear confirmation that this citizen petition will be added to the town meeting warrant, we are confident it will and will speak at the Town Meeting for your repre-sentatives to vote in favor of this petition to start the process.
Thank you all for your support!
Kyle Bueno. Fairhaven
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