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May 02

Wilbraham Sets Annual Town Meeting and Calls for Community Involvement

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 12:23 AM by Edward Lennon

The Board of Selectmen set the 2014 Annual Town Meeting for Monday, May 12th. The general meeting will commence at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of Minnechaug Regional High School and will continue to Tuesday, May 13th, if necessary.  New this year, the doors will open at 6:00 pm to offer Wilbraham’s registered voters the opportunity to get to know their community better at the pre-Annual Town Meeting’s "Community Fest."

“One of the takeaways from the Wilbraham Looks Forward report completed by the Vision Task Force is the need to enhance communication and accessibility of Wilbraham’s many community activities, groups and events. The amount of talent and expertise our Town leverages from the community presently is amazing; however, we are only scratching the surface. As a Town, we need to work harder to encourage and enable greater participation by residents in activities and decisions that impact the entire Town,” said Tracey Plantier, Chair of the Vision Action Team and Associate Planning Board member.

Spurred by goals set in the Wilbraham Looks Forward report, the pre-Annual Town Meeting venue being touted as "Community Fest" will offer Wilbraham residents the chance to become familiar with the many active community groups in the Town of Wilbraham. Tours of the new high school will be offered at 6:15 pm and 6:30 pm for those who wish to view the Town’s new high-tech, educational facility. For residents who wish to browse and mingle with fellow neighbors prior to the Town Meeting, entertainment will be provided by high school students performing contemporary music.  As always, the Town Clerk will be registering attendees, and there will be information provided about the 58 articles being presented to vote on at the Town Meeting. The 2013 Town Report will be available to residents as well.

The Annual Town Meeting is a by-product of Wilbraham’s form of government, known as the “Open Town Meeting.” At the meeting, any registered voter may vote on questions placed before the community at the meeting. For instance, participants will act on the Town’s upcoming fiscal year budget and other financial matters, set salaries for elected municipal officials and may be asked to vote on by-law amendments and other items placed on the warrant, such as zoning changes and funding for Community Preservation Projects, by the Selectmen or by citizens petition. All participants at the meeting must be a registered voter in the Town of Wilbraham.

Wilbraham residents who wish to participate but who are not yet registered to vote can register in the Town Clerk’s Office. The deadline to register to vote is April 22, 2014.  Those who are registered prior to April 22 can participate in the Annual Town Meeting and vote at the Annual Town Election, scheduled for May 17, 2014.  Selectman Robert W. Russell encourages Wilbraham voters to take part in the Town’s Annual Town Meeting. He states that “It’s vital for Wilbraham residents to get involved in the Town’s governmental process. This is their community, their Town. No other place can you be this intimate in the decisions that affect your wallet. I strongly encourage Wilbraham voters to offer their voice at this year’s Town Meeting.”

The Selectmen welcome all to participate in this year’s Annual Town Meeting. Child care will be offered at the high school for those who need it. If you are interested in registering your child for child care services that evening, or if you are a member of a community group who is interested in participating in the pre-Annual Town Meeting’s Community Fest to highlight your group, please contact Candace Ouillette Gaumond, Administrative Assistant to the Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen at (413) 596-2800, Ext. 101, or email <a class="Hyperlink" target="_blank" href="mailto:traceyplantier@yahoo.com">Tracey Plantier</a><br> Chair of the Vision Action Team, before May 7, 2014.