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Mendon Voters Say They Still Want Their Warrants Mailed

During the June 21 Special Town Meeting, Town Moderator Jay Byer jokingly said Mendon voters may have just made history by unanimously rejecting an article that would have discontinued mailing town meeting warrants to all residents.

Article 11 on the warrant was a bylaw change and effort to save the town between $2,300 to $4,800 annually that if passed would have stopped the insertion of warrants in The Town Crier newspaper. If passed, the warrants would continue to be posted on the town's Web site, the library, post office and Willowbrook Restaurant. According to Town Clerk Margaret Bonderenko, the law requires warrants be posed in three places in town.

However, when the article came up for discussion, several voters stated it was important for all residents to continue receiving a hard copy of town meetings warrants through the mail as not everyone in the community has access to the internet, particularly some of the elderly population who may also be house bound.

Resident Alan Kent stated he had trouble finding the June 21 warrant on the town's Web site. "Until we do a better job of cleaning up the Web site, we should vote no on this article," he said to the voters. However, Town Clerk Margaret Bonderenko explained that all finalized warrants can be located on the calendar section of the town's Web site by clicking on the date of the town meeting.

Resident Sharon Cutler also agreed it was important residents continue to receive the warrant through the mail, noting that with the Selectmen planning to reduce the number of Special Town Meetings each year, expenses to mail out the warrants will be reduced. "Some people have cut out their internet service to pay their taxes," she added.

Selectman Chair Rich Schofield explained it was up to the voters to decide what they felt was in the best interest of the residents but added in the future the bylaw could be brought forward again when the time was right.

When it came time to vote on the article and Byer asked the roughly 55 voters in attendance who supported the bylaw change, the room went silent. "I think we may have just made history; the vote just failed unanimously," said Byer.

Irons Way

Another article that sparked some discussion was to accept Irons Way as a public road. If passed, the town would be responsible for plowing and maintaining it. The road is located in White Pines Estates Subdivision off Providence St. Mary Irons, who resides on the road and is also liable for maintaining it, explained to voters it has been difficult to sell her home with the responsibility that comes with it.

"To me, it's a driveway not a roadway," said resident Ruth O'Grady, opposing the measure. "I have a problem with this." O'Grady said if passed she feared this would set a precedence for others living on private streets.

According to Irons, the Planning Board, town engineer, Board of Selectmen, and Conservation Commission approved the acceptance. Highway Surveyor Alan Tetreault stated the Highway Department does not weigh in on such matters. Eventually the article passed by a hand count of 30 to 13.


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