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Ballot questions on town issues

May 8, 2011

Editor’s Note: There is still time to take the 180 survey on town issues. Click here.

On the list of Board of Selectmen Goals & Objectives for 2010-2011 (pdf) is one potentially important goal that costs virtually nothing to implement and could dramatically improve citizen-Town Hall relations. Selectmen set a goal to “implement utilization of Town ballots for non-binding questions to determine public opinion on key issues.”

With a town election coming up, now would be the perfect opportunity for the Board of Selectmen to come up with some non-binding questions to add to the ballots before they are printed. I don’t understand why Selectmen would pass up such an opportunity, especially given that it costs nothing and they put it on their own list of goals.

Here are my suggestions for some non-binding questions to add to this year’s ballot:

In general, are you happy with the direction the town is going in?
Do you believe property taxes are too high in Walpole?
Should the Town Administrator live in Walpole?
Should the town website be completely renovated?
Should the town maintain an Economic Development Officer?
Do you think Walpole lives up to its nickname of “The Friendly Town”?
Do you think Walpole should seize the Kahana property and similar vacant storefronts via eminent domain or tax seizure to resell it for economic development purposes?
Should the town give mandatory raises to all municipal employees on a yearly basis, regardless of economic or fiscal conditions?
Should the town give longevity pay to town employees (bonuses based on the number of years they work)?
Which of the following uses would you support for the use of the soon-to-be old library on Common Street? (list of choices would be provided here)

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