Vote NO on SB 2 in Brookline

On election day, March 13, at the bottom of Brookline’s town ballot, there will be a seemingly harmless question vaguely asking whether we want to adopt “official ballot voting on all issues.” Seems benign when you put it that way. However, what it means is ending our 249 year tradition of annual Town Meetings.

At Town Meeting, we raise a question, discuss what it means, hear its good and bad points and then vote. Under the system this article would replace town meeting with, known as SB 2, votes would instead be on election day by ballot without the benefit of a discussion of the facts and merits of the issue. Voting by ballot for a candidate is one thing. Deciding on road work, for example, is another thing. It can’t be done well without understanding where, how, why and why that much.

SB 2 has a discussion-only session sometime before election day, but experience has proven that attendance is historically minimal at such sessions. As a result, the town loses the annual tradition of gathering together, of hearing each other out and of making decisions on an informed basis. Instead, we are ships passing at the voting machine – quick, convenient and not complicated by a question’s actual pros and cons.

A robust community and good decision-making favor the traditional town meeting. Vote “no” on SB 2.