The All or None petition that has been circulated by The Bethel Action Committee has reached the required 600 signatures and was filed with the Town Clerk, Lisa Bergh, on Friday afternoon.
The petition calls for the following actions:
According to the Bethel Codes section C6-6, E, “Upon receipt of the certification by the Town Clerk of said petition, the Board of Selectmen shall call a Special Town Meeting to be held not less that ten or more than thirty days from the date of such certification; provided that said Selectmen may hold one or more public hearings on such proposal prior to its submission to a Special Town Meeting.”
Section F explains that the the Town Meeting will state the proposal in full and call for a yes or no answer. If the majority votes yes, the proposal will take effect 10 days later.
Billy Michael, the founder of the Bethel Action Committee, said that the petition will only effect a small window of time. “This restricts government speech during the 7-10 days when the town meeting decides to hold the referendum. Every group in town, the Democrats, Republicans, the Friends of the Library, the PTOs, can say what they want. But you can't use your neighbor's money to speak and reach a certain constituency.”
Michaels said that the petition is a resulted in a letter stating that the school district could not advocate their position to a select audience of parents and school staff with public funds.
Michael, said, “The petition simply means that if you are sending information to a certain constituency then you have to send it to everybody.”