Gray Town Residents get chance to end floor sessions

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July 16, 2009

GRAY, Maine: In a 4-1 vote, Gray Township Council passed a decision to send a charter change to voters in November to do away with the floor session of Gray’s town meeting, citing the lack of citizen participation. Opponents described the move away from debating budget articles to having town spending decided only by ballot votes as stripping away a part of Gray’s democratic underpinnings.

“It’s a Maine tradition that needs to be preserved,” Patricia Watson said.

Several town residents questioned if the council had the authority put such a question on the ballot for voters to decide in the first place. Some residents said a move like that should come from a citizen-initiated petition. Councilwoman Margaret Hutchings, disagreed, believing that a change was needed.

“I just feel that it’s time,” she said.

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