March 2024 Westborough Town Meeting

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Letter to the Editor iconMy wife and I have been Westborough residents since 1991. We attended the March 23rd Town Meeting with great interest in the non-binding petitions (Articles 33-46). These included removal of LGBTQ+ iconography from the schools, ending Westborough School’s Anti-Racism Initiatives, etc. Many targeted the school system.

One reason we originally settled in Westborough was the excellent public school system, which the School Committee and successive superintendents have maintained, nurtured, and improved upon. Our children graduated from the Westborough public school system with high-quality educations that prepared them well for college and work. More importantly, they grew into solid citizens who accept people of all orientations, races, and cultures, and who settle their problems with their words. The Westborough public school system gets much of the credit for that, and I am grateful for it. 

Building successful systems, organizations, and institutions is far more difficult and time-consuming than breaking or destroying them. For that reason, I would be personally reluctant to propose or approve any major changes to the school system or other town functions and properties without first identifying the problems to be solved; understanding the requirements and rationale that drive current systems, plans, and policies; analyzing alternative solutions; and objectively assessing the impacts of the proposed changes. This practice served me well in my work career.

I left the Town Meeting feeling grateful for the many elected and appointed members of our town government – both current and former – who attended and spoke. Town Moderator John Arnold did an excellent job giving advocates and opponents of the non-binding petitions a fair chance to argue their positions in a civil manner. During presentations and debate, town leaders demonstrated that they take their jobs seriously, are informed by facts, follow the law, know their responsibilities, and care about the welfare of Westborough and its residents. The overwhelming majority of Town Meeting members rejected the non-binding petitions, with one article accepted after amendment. This was a fine example of democracy in action.

Keith Melvin

Westborough

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