"All or Nothing" Petition Filed With Town Clerk by Bethel Action Committee

The petition has reached the required 600 signatures



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.”

John April 03, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Jimmy, they were all at the last Library meeting. Where were you?
Bob Rogers April 03, 2012 at 01:33 PM
The war is against wasted tax dollars. It's a great BAC win with the 600 signatures of support against tax waste, I just thought the "next step" is high risk of additional tax burdens (either by forcing a Bethel wide mailer blaming this new regulation or lawsuit). I would say it's "All or win the support of more voters by taking the high road and in the end win the war."
Barbara Nelson April 03, 2012 at 02:53 PM
it is.
Barbara Nelson April 03, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Mr. Bailey - you sound a bit confused on the concept of Free Speech, which was designed to allow the citizenry to give voice to their opinions without fear of losing their heads to an executioner or being shackled to a dark, cold stone jail cell, as was the case in their prior countries. There are various rules that elected officials must follow in order to comply with State and Municipal regulations. You see, sadly, that does not happen in Bethel. What happens in Bethel is that Town and School officials many times overstep the line and act as politicians, expressing a political point of view via publicly-funded media and resources. This is not their role, but rather the role of PRIVATELY-FUNDED political action committees. This ordinance will not cost one cent to the taxpayer UNLESS the elected officials decide to send emails to their mailing list reminding them to vote. If parents want to form their own political action committee and use private funds to alert people to vote, OR if they want to pick up the phone themselves, there would be NO restrictions whatsoever. Go crazy! Your idea about the newsletter being printed and handed out is a bit flawed, as that would not accomplish the idea of reaching all postal patrons. Unless, of course, the originator of the newsletter agreed to go door to door and hand them out individually. Get out your old American History textbooks and read the part about Free Speech. You'll feel a lot better about All or None.
Thomas Peters April 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Mr. B, this law is not to difficult to follow. If you have a meeting effecting the town tax or town monies everyone is notified, not just the yea or nay voters. Guilt would not be to hard to prove. If you use tax money notify all tax payers.


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