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The high cost of a New DY middle school can’t include VotingRights!
People have recently, criticized the lawsuit, the Town of Yarmouth (TOY) Selectmen (BOS), and the citizens who have filed the new suit recently, all for the wrong reasons. I am all for healthy criticism and for encouraging turnout for any vote, (Town Meeting, Special TM, Annual Elections, Dog Catcher or Class President) or for lobbying your side for the same but not for compromising the integrity of the process/vote!
The TOY-BOS act like they planned the delay when no one knew the state building authority (MSBA) had a rule about litigation and the TOY-BOS should not and could not use the suit as leverage. That would be extortion! The BOS fell backwards into it then punted!
The suit was/is about voter disenfranchisement! Separately the DY Regional Agreement could and should be reviewed periodically without any suit on all facets of the agreement. The TOY-BOS, all DY Officials, letter writers and the suit litigants have all missed the important principles that should be protected at all cost not deflected to selfish motives. YARMOUTH should have near 70% voting majority on the school committee as it is currently written. Whenever they change the enrollment/population formula (suppose to be at census time but could be at yearly budget time), YARMOUTH’s representation should reflect it. It use to be a 10 member board so 7 should be from YARMOUTH no matter where you go to school instead of 4 of 7. Now if it was 65% you could do proportional representation but 6 of 9 better than a number that is arbitrary now! That is what the suit should have been argued but both suits get stuck on semantics and not what is winnable.
Constitutional rights including voting rights, equal protection under the laws, one person one vote, proportional representation (anti Gerrymandering protections) are guaranteed at all levels, in all documents from state laws to regional agreements. There is no right, sub paragraph, rule or agreement more important than the right to vote (notwithstanding BOS actions).
DY/TOY Officials should fix the agreement (exclusive to new school or suit actions) including proper proportion of the DY school board! Citizens should: speak up, criticize, activate the courts to resolve disputes over substantive rights including voter disenfranchisement, and taxation without representation but not sacrifice any rights, lest participation (if possible) decreases further because of lack of trust in the process.
TOY plaintiffs, officials and voters should plead accordingly, (neither suits have) and the court should protect those rights. The Voters then will truly decide.
Your vote counts! Prove it!