OPINION: Southside Residents Deserve Equal Representation in Framingham Government

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FRAMINGHAM – Well, here we are 4 years into living in a city. We are entering another election year, and we once again will see multiple people taking a leap of faith as they gather signatures, walk the neighborhoods, and spew the same old tires political lines.

One of the things we all have heard was “equal representation.” All parts of the city will be represented the best way we know how.

As a longtime resident of the South Side, I know how hard it is to get people involved. We have the lowest voter turnout year after year. We have an EXTREMELY hard time getting people involved. Getting people to apply for ANYTHING is difficult.

I remember a couple years ago, the Mayor put out an APB for southside residents to apply for the traffic commission. After delay after delay, the Mayor finally had enough candidates from the 02 to move forward.

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With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised to see over half the applicants who applied for the Community Preservation Commission were from the 02. (Full disclosure, I was one of those applicants). As the State law reads, the mayor appoints 5 people from various city offices, and the city council will then choose the other 4.

I could not help but think that the 02 would FINALLY have equal (Or at least close to it) representation. Fast forward to the most recent City Council meeting. It was brought to the full council’s attention by Councilor Stefanini that from the Mayor’s Appointments, only 1 was from the South Side, and to paraphrase…” Take that into consideration per the ordinance”.

10 minutes later, after all the votes were in, the City Council had picked 2 people from the South Side, and 2 from the North side.

One of the choices was Judy Grove. (Full disclosure again, I myself urged the Council to select her during my interview with the subcommittee). Yeah, sounds odd I know. But I have always been a fan of doing what’s right. And Judy before me is obviously the right move.
But I digress.

The other South Side choice lives on Singletary Lane. A very well to do part of the city nestled in a beautiful section of town in with hundreds of other houses with values approaching $750,000. I am not holding this against this particular committee member by any stretch. I applaud her for taking a chance…a leap of faith by applying. I do not know her, but I have every confidence she will do a great job.

So, out of the 9 people who will spend our money “For the good of the city”, 3 of them live on the South Side. 2 of which are, you know, “Really” South side residents.

The south side residents had enough…MORE THAN ENOUGH applicants to make this an even committee from people all over the city.

Instead, the Council chose to go with a 50/50 split after knowing that it would result in under representation ONCE AGAIN.

Only this time, it could have been avoided.

I rarely get disappointed with the City Council as a whole. But this is one of those times.

Happy election season.

Bill Lynch
District 7

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email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176

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