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The Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which

have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station

to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires

 that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

 certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any

 Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute                                   

new Government..........

 

 

Click Here to see the complete Declaration of Independence

Click Here

To Read the MOPC Goodrich Report Click Here

Click Here For Details that explain the driving force behind all of the Town Hall machinations..... "Connecting the Dots"!

Click Here For a Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law

Click Here For Marcum Report

Click Here for Police Union Rebuttal to Marcum Report

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
   
A Guide to Financial Management for Town Officials  (Excerpted)
   
Role of the Finance Committee 
   
Chapter 5.1:WHAT ARE THE BASIC ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE?
The finance committee is the official fiscal watchdog for a town. Because it is difficult for all taxpayers to be completely informed about every aspect of a town’s finances, finance committees were established so a representative group of taxpayers could conduct a thorough review of municipal finance questions on behalf of all citizens.The role of the finance committee is described in the Massachusetts Finance Committee Handbook published by the Association of Town Finance Committees. A new edition is published every few years, with annual supplements published in the intervening years. It is an excellent resource on the role of the finance committee.The primary duties of a finance committee are to advise and make recommendations to town meeting on the budget and other areas of finance. It has statutory authority to make transfers from the town’s reserve fund (a contingency fund usually created as part of the annual budget appropriations) to departmental budgets for extraordinary or unforeseen occurrences. It may approve with the selectmen some budget transfers during the last two months of the fiscal year and the first 15 days of the next year in order to close out the town’s financial records.In addition to its research and advisory role at town meeting, the committee can play a vital role in the financial planning of the town. In some communities, the finance committee develops long-range revenue and expenditure forecasts, which are very useful in scheduling large capital acquisitions and identifying major changes in the operating budget of the town.
   
The Association of Town Finance Committees
   
Finance Committee Handbook (Excerpted)
The ATFC has received many calls involving the duties and power of the finance committee. These have usually been instigated by clashes with the board of selectmen or town administrator, who are often getting more assertive in claiming a role, or even asserting sole responsibility, in presenting the budget to town meeting. This preface will duplicate parts of the following chapters, but I feel it important to bring together key elements of this issue.This preface will summarize this “discussion” into the broader framework of the division of powers within local government. I see this division of powers as comparable to that at the state and federal government. The board of selectmen and town manager/administrator/executive secretary are part of the executive branch of government. It is their job to collect budget information, developbudget priorities and formulate a balanced budget,the same as a president or governor.Once developed, that budget is presented to the finance committee, representing the legislative branch, the town meeting. In effect, the local finance committee has the same role as the House Ways and Means Committee in the State Legislature. It is the finance committee’s responsibility to receive the budgets from the executive branch (either as a collective whole or individually by department), analyze them, have hearings where the department heads and the public can testify, and present a balanced budget to town meeting. That budget should reflect the finance committee’s decisions based upon their best judgement of the issues and finances of the town.The budget before town meeting is the finance committee’s and it is their job to explain and defend it. This does not preclude department heads or the town administrator, if any, from being called upon to answer questions or explain items in more detail, but it is the finance committee’s budget. 
 
Without finance committee independent review, the town meeting would be at a severe handicap in voting on financial matters when all of the recommendations are coming from one source. Separation of powers was designed by our founding fathers for a reason—Defend It.

Respectfully,

Allan Tosti,

Chair, Arlington Finance Committee

Treasurer, ATFC

Editor, Finance Committee Handbook

Chapter 1 Town & Town Government 
The finance committee’s prime responsibility is to make recommendations on all financial matters,including the budget, to town meeting. The committee has oversight responsibility for all municipalfinancial matters, as well as other statutory authority granted to them by town bylaws Page 1-5
   
Chapter 2  Municipal Budgeting Finance Committee
The finance committee is a town’s official fiscal watchdog. Its primary responsibility is to advise and make recommendations to town meeting on the budget and other areas of finance, although in many towns they prepare and submit the budget as well as comment on it. The state statutory authority of the finance committee does not vary from community to community, but the role and process does. Page 2-7 
   
Town Meeting
Town meeting is the legislative body and appropriating authority of a town. As such, it enacts bylaws (i.e., local laws), approves the operating and capital budgets, authorizes the town to borrow funds and may ratify major policies concerning the financial management of the municipality. Page 2-8 
   
The Finance Committee Report
The finance committee should promote the implementation of a budget process that results in a clear and meaningful budget document. The annual budget is the opportunity to present the voters with a clear picture of town government: what it is, where it is, and where it is heading.The finance committee report is the extremely critical end-product of the budget development process. This document should inform town meeting of the proposed budget and its recommendations on all financial articles. Further, the report often establishes the appropriation framework for the upcoming year.Whether or not the finance committee prepares the town’s budget, the committee is responsible for submitting recommendations on the budget and other financial warrant articles to town meeting.The finance committee report provides analyses,explanations, and justifications for its recommendations. Although the level of detail varies from town to town, more informative reports include financial and statistical data, often trace historical trends and specific appropriations. However, there is no need to duplicate information already presented in a comprehensive budget document.The town’s financial condition, the issues posed by the budget, local bylaws, customs and traditions,and the interests and skills of committee members will all shape the finance committee report. Often,town staff assists the finance committee in preparing the report, and in larger towns the finance committee may have its own staff. Pages 2-11 & 2-12
 
Summary
A local government’s budgeting process should provide a forum for the community to understand,evaluate, discuss, and determine the financial planfor the coming year. The budget document and the finance committee’s report are the media that should guide and influence these resource allocation deliberations and decisions. Properly prepared and presented, these comprehensive documents will meet the tests of excellence in budgeting as espoused by the GFOA, the national, stateand local government standard setters. Page 2-13
 
Chapter 3 THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:
  
STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS
In 1870, a group of Quincy citizens banded together to restore financial order in their municipality,creating the Commonwealth’s first finance committee.In 1910, the Massachusetts courts ruled that a municipal finance committee was legal (Sinclair v. Fall River, 198 Mass 248). In that same year, the Massachusetts General Court also acknowledged the need for municipal finance committees statewide, requiring all but the smallest municipalities to establish such committees to assist in dealing with emerging municipal challenges (St 1910, Ch.130, s 2). Several additional legislative assists (i.e.,St 1923, Ch. 388 and St 1929, Ch. 270), reinforced the mandated or permitted existence of municipal finance committees. Page 3-1
 
Basic Legislation
The present basic legislation, Chapter 39 s16M.G.L. reads as follows:“Every town whose valuation for the purpose of apportioning the state tax exceed sone million dollars shall, and any other town may, by bylaw provide for the election or the appointment and duties of appropriation,advisory or finance committees, who shall consider any or all municipal questions for the purpose of making reports or recommendations to the town; and such bylaws may provide that committees so appointed or elected may continue in office for terms not exceeding three years from the date of appointment or election. In every town having a committee appointed under authority of this section, such committee, or the selectmen if authorized by bylaw of the town, and, in any town not having such a committee, the selectmen,shall submit a budget at the annual town meeting.”Almost every town across the state interprets this statute differently and has established its local finance committee to meet the community’s specific needs. In some towns, for example, the finance committee may prepare as well as comment on the budget. It is generally agreed that finance committees may consider any matter they feel will have a fiscal impact on the town, as well as any other matters the committee feels are relevant. It may reasonably be argued that little comes before town meeting that does not have a potential fiscal impact on the town. Page 3-1
 
Budget
Down to Basics The budget is a finance committee’s major concernand is likely where the bulk of the committee’s time will be spent. Depending on whether a givenf inance committee is responsible for developing the town budget from scratch or for reviewing and making recommendations on a budget developedby the selectmen, town manager or executive secretary,the finance committee will meet fairly regularly for three to six months before town meeting. Most of that time will be devoted to budget development and review.Throughout the budget cycle, the committee’s main goals should be:
• to optimize the value of each dollar spent;
• to address the town’s long range as well as immediate needs;
• to present a balanced budget to town  meeting; and
• to present budget recommendations in a clear and readable format, with sufficient detail and explanation so that town meeting members can understand the basic goals, policies,tradeoffs and constraints that shaped it.
Experienced finance committee members learn to read between the budget’s line items and see the policy decisions, and indecisions, built into the numbers. The finance committee should be willing to share that insight with town meeting. Page 3-6
  
Ideally, the finance committee can support its recommendations at town meeting without alienating advocates for opposing viewpoints. Where compromise is possible, the subcommittee should also work with the opposing sides come to a responsible resolution of their differences. Although the finance committee can and should advocate for its own position, its reports should make it clear that a given position was reached after fair and thoughtful deliberation. No matter how important or controversial the issue at hand may be, the finance committee must remember that its first responsibility and loyalty is to town meeting and the integrity of the town meeting process.Pages 3-8 & 3-9

                                                                                                                                                   

Release the 100 Emails!

To: Provincetown Board of Selectmen

We understand why the previous BOS withheld the 100 Emails. But why are they now still being denied publication?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Special Town Meeting

A Great success

The People Have spoken

Bravo Provincetown!

Friday, October 31, 2014

So Many On Other Posts Are Just Ignorant


h, I know they will hate this, but, ignorance seems to reign on many other
blogs. No intelligence even though they believe they are the smartest in town. 
Or the brightest bulbs--or Lumens--on the East coast, since they don't even live
here.

Disgusting. No Brains and yet such arrogance that they believe they are the
best, the brightest, and the most artistic in sensibilities and tastes.

The mirror you are looking into is a fun house mirror!
10:23 pm edt 

Re: The Town Has Spoken

"Are You Nuts?"

Quoting Wikepedia and academic references. Sorry but you fail the test for even
common sense--something I don't applaud, but you are talking gibberish.

Silence is better than stupidity!
10:21 pm edt 

Town Planner/Planning Board

The Town Planner has much to learn about Provincetown and its people. Obviously
she as well as the Planning Board got an education at this past town meetting
with the outcome of our votes. We have enough regulation, we don't need any more
10:18 pm edt 

Re: The People Have Spoken

"What about people taking certain drugs who are asked to participate
in clinical trials at the same time?"


OMG, do you need some help.  If you don't like wikipedia then go to Any source
on statistical analysis.  They all say the same thing about self selection
introducing bias into a sample.

Now as to the above quote, it borders on the moronic.  When people participate
in clinical trials they do so because they have been scientifically selected
usually because they have a disease or condition that is to be targeted by the
drug.  They are not asked their opinions about political matters but are the
subject of rigorous scientific study on the effects of a drug.  This argument
that you now present is totally ludicrous.  Give it up.  Your bias can't be
salvaged.
10:16 pm edt 

Re: Planning Board

"Making more rules when we have too many now is a power play by the
Planning Board. They're supposed to make things more compatible to encourage
business ,not try to put people out of business!"



Wow do you have a cockeyed view of things.  Nowhere, repeat, no where, do we
have a law or regulation that says that the Planning Board exists to help
business.  It exists to help the entire town be better.  they are not " supposed
to make things more compatible to encourage business".  They should always take
business interests into account when they do there work, but they don't exist to
help business.
10:14 pm edt 

Taxes

"How about benefiting the tax base of Provincetown instead of Truro"


I think that there is some confusion here about taxes.  real estate is taxed the
same no matter who owns it or occupies it.  So if a property in Ptown has a town
employee living in it, or a retiree it doesn't matter.  Maybe you mean that all
town employees must build new homes to add to the tax base?  that makes no sense
either since here is so little land to develop.  Maybe you could expalin a
little more about your tax idea, because what you said makes no sense at all.
10:05 pm edt 

Provincetown vs Jeff Jaran Arbitration

"Guess we must have settled with Jaran because there is no news about the appeal
that was suppose to happen by now. More tax payers money going into that jerks
pocket. Awesome."

What I particularly loved was when the guy from the finance committee told the
truth at town meeting and people booed lol. There were people in the audience
working hard for the town in top positions listening to people tell them they
didn't belong in those jobs because they didn't live in the town. YEARS of
service but it doesn't matter. The same people (especially the woman who got up
to the mike in the front) who screamed and screamed about Michelle J for town
manager, when she lives in TRURO. lol Then the guy asks how did it work out when
Jaran lived in town, and when Lynn lived in town and people get all bothered. It
was too funny. But those same people made sure Michelle could never be picked
for town manager now since she has no interest in moving, so good job! Next time
think before you vote. And we continue to have to pay money out to Jaran who did
live in the town. Awesome! The comedy rolls on.
7:19 pm edt 

Residence

So the principal of the Provincetown school can live in Truro but not
the DPW director, not the fire chief. Bullcocky I say. Benefit to the community?
How about benefiting the tax base of Provincetown instead of Truro. The
superintntdent lives in Wellfleet, more benefit to the community of
Provincetown. Bull cocky.
6:41 pm edt 

Provincetown vs Jeff Jaran Arbitration

Guess we must have settled with Jaran because there is no news about
the appeal that was suppose to happen by now. More tax payers money going into
that jerks pocket. Awesome.
6:39 pm edt 

Re: Planning Board

Making more rules when we have too many now is a power play by the
Planning Board. They're supposed to make things more compatible to encourage
business ,not try to put people out of business!Doe the new Town Planner know
that?Winning Brownie Points isn't the game! It's trying to work for business
efficiency to inspire more not less,since that's the only stronghold here now,to
keep the Town afloat! A long range plan needs to be put in place ASAP!Maybe we
should let a WalMart in here to employ people for survival here all year!
6:37 pm edt 

Re: The People Spoke

The people/voters who cared enough have spoken! Stop trying to
demonstrate your limited intellect by interpreting Limited STM voters presence!
Pur & Simple semantics! 10% voters who cared enough showed up at Oct. STM to
listen to debate & vote! 90% didn't care enough to bother to go! They then get
what they deserve by the outcome!!
6:35 pm edt 

Re: "Isn't That the Definition of a Crossroads?"

Not really.  And maybe we were never at a crossroad where we could have chosen
one direction or another.  The tide of history washed over Provincetown when it
became impossible to continue to deplete the fish stock and expect to stay
economically viable.  Either way, continue unfettered fishing, or greatly reduce
it by regulation, the fishing industry was headed towards disaster.  When that
went away there were really no alternates to continue the kind of economic
climate provided by the busy fishing port.

As real estate brokers say, "location, location, location." We are captives of
our geography.  There may be a time in the future that geography will not be as
important, but that is not now the case.  SO, some fishing, some coastal
research, some tourism.  That seems to be it for now.

To me that is not being at a crossroads.  that implies a choice of direction. 
Does anyone truly think that we do?
6:33 pm edt 

Re: The People Spoke!

"Self-selection is not random. Look it up online or in any statistics textbook.
Here is only one such example:"


OMG you gave a Wikipedia reference? You realize that's invalid in any academic
setting as a citation, right? So when we do all those psych experiments where
there's a call for volunteers, is that invalidated? How about all those signs
out there for volunteers who posses certain symptoms to participate in medical
trials? What about people taking certain drugs who are asked to participate in
clinical trials at the same time? Is that self-selection? So a call for voters
to show up at town meeting is, somehow, semantically different from these
examples? Self-selection doesn't mean what you THINK it means. And the more you
post, the more stupid everyone thinks you are.
6:30 pm edt 

We Had A very Effective town Meeting

I was surprised that so many voters were there. It was productive and the town
voted with intelligence and thoughtfulness.

Quite effective, indeed!
6:28 pm edt 

Planning Cannot Defend Their Regulations

Just do the job you used to do. It's time to halt this regulation madness. Where
Jeff Jaran was over-policing the pier and the town, this group would add
enforcement and policing again to how we live and how we do business.

I have a business here in Provincetown. do I or should I care about what
businesses are doing in Washington DC? Or what a planning board is doing in
Washing DC?

We are who we are. We are not Washington DC and so let's live and work and do
business as we have in the years back--not as they are trying to do now.
6:27 pm edt 

When enough is Enough

Sorry but Reasonable Regulations is Not What this New Planning Board
is all About

It is intense, rigid, and over-regulation. It is control and a power grab by a
board that was less than Zoning and just there. Now they want the spot light and
they want to trigger site plan review at a drop of a few buckets of soil; demand
and order sidewalks; demand plantings; and even demand that neighbors
erroneously clean out the pond at Shankpainter. Now they wanted to add---lumens,
watts, and the type of lighting that we use; then enforce and demand businesses
to add bike racks; and then regulate storage containers.

When enough is enough?  At this town meetings, the voter did say: enough!
6:25 pm edt 

Re: The People Spoke!

"Your argument  displays a total ignorance of  the concept of
randomness. It is obvious that the population at STM was random. Voters
(population universe)attended of their own individual volition. They were not
selected! And they made individual choices, the aggregate of which represented
the voted (weighed) outcome ergo "The People Spoke".


Ergo, you have no clue about statistics and sampling.  The 243 attendees
certainly were selected; they were 'self" selected.  That is like people
volunteering to be included in a poll, as they do with on-line surveys.  The
good people who attended the town meeting automatically identified themselves as
being different than the total universe of voters.  90% of the voters chose to
NOT be included.  10% chose to be included.  The only conclusion that could
possibly be drawn is that only 10% of the registered voters attended the
meeting.  It says nothing about the other 90% except that they did not attend. 
A truly random sample of the thoughts of the total universe of registered voters
could only be done by randomly selecting a statistically significant number of
voters from the entire list and polling them.

To believe that a self selected group is a random indication of the universe is
folly. So, to use your terms, ergo, SOME of the people spoke.  They may or may
not have been an indicator of how the other 90% thinks. We have no way of
knowing.
10:27 am edt 

Re: The People Spoke!

"Your argument displays a total ignorance of the concept of
randomness. It is obvious that the population at STM was random."


You are joking again, aren't you.

Self-selection is not random. Look it up online or in any statistics textbook. 
Here is only one such example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_bias

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.
10:21 am edt 

Clouds of Desperation

If all of these blogs and facebook pages existed in 1980--they would be saying
the same thing about the desperation some people feel living here with only
summer time employment.

here we are all of these years later and these blogs and facebook pages are full
of the angst of working jobs that don't pay the rent. MOVE to a place you can
afford to live.

Year, after year after year it is the same story. One would think that the town
is only full of discontent and people fuming over their living situation--a
living situation that they chose for themselves.

I hardly read these things anymore because of all of the negativity. I just pass
over them now for town news.

What did Thoreau say,"The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation"--except
here it isn't quiet. People rail and lift their fist because she are choosing to
live in a place that can't support them working only summer months.

Face the facts because life isn't going to change here and affordable housing
won't be that affordable as insurance raters go up and electric rates go up (and
these units are heated with electric heat).

Anyone who moves here expecting to live a middle class life style working
summers only and collecting unemployment needs a wake up call. look before you
leap.
10:19 am edt 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Re: The People Spoke!

"Statistical analysis? Joking, right? Statistics that try to extrapolate a
sample to a universe do not start with a self-selected sample. It is totally
invalid. If the 243 attendees had been randomly chosen then it may be a
significant value in the analysis. Since the attendees were not randomly chosen
any extrapolation is meaningless.

Since only less than 10% of the population attended and since that group was not
chosen at random, there is no logical extension that "the people have spoken"
Sorry, that is not my rule but the rule of genuine statistics and logic, not
just redefining things to fit preconceived or desired outcomes.

It is not whether I like it, or you like it. It is science and logic."


Your argument  displays a total ignorance of  the concept of randomness.
It is obvious that the population at STM was random. Voters (population universe)
attended of their own individual volition. They were not selected! And they made individual
choices, the aggregate of which represented the voted (weighed) outcome ergo "The People
Spoke".

Your obvious ignorance of the basics of a statistical construct such as randomness 
is both embarrassing and tiresome. As for your "less than 10%" statement, the law
defines the representative acceptable metric as a "quorum", which was met, except for
the last article. 

It is one thing to desire an outcome, it is another to affect it. Yes it is true that there
are those that embraced the outcome. However,  they in noway individually predetermined the
outcome and as you said, it's logic founded on philosophical and mathematical processes.

The process of aggregation determined the outcome.

9:52 pm edt 

2014.10.01 | 2014.09.01 | 2014.08.01 | 2014.07.01 | 2014.06.01 | 2014.05.01 | 2014.04.01 | 2014.03.01 | 2014.02.01 | 2014.01.01 | 2013.12.01 | 2013.11.01 | 2013.10.01 | 2013.09.01 | 2013.08.01 | 2013.07.01 | 2013.06.01 | 2013.05.01 | 2013.04.01 | 2013.03.01 | 2013.02.01 | 2013.01.01 | 2012.12.01 | 2012.11.01 | 2012.10.01 | 2012.09.01 | 2012.08.01 | 2012.07.01 | 2012.06.01 | 2012.05.01 | 2012.04.01 | 2012.03.01 | 2012.02.01 | 2012.01.01 | 2011.12.01 | 2011.11.01 | 2011.10.01 | 2011.09.01 | 2011.08.01 | 2011.07.01 | 2011.06.01 | 2011.05.01 | 2011.04.01 | 2011.03.01 | 2011.02.01 | 2011.01.01 | 2010.12.01 | 2010.11.01 | 2010.10.01 | 2010.09.01 | 2010.08.01 | 2010.07.01 | 2010.06.01 | 2010.05.01 | 2010.04.01 | 2010.03.01 | 2010.02.01 | 2010.01.01 | 2009.12.01 | 2009.11.01 | 2009.10.01 | 2009.09.01 | 2009.08.01 | 2009.07.01 | 2009.06.01 | 2009.05.01 | 2009.04.01 | 2009.03.01 | 2009.02.01 | 2009.01.01 | 2008.12.01 | 2008.11.01 | 2008.10.01 | 2008.09.01 | 2008.08.01 | 2008.07.01 | 2008.06.01 | 2008.05.01 | 2008.04.01 | 2008.03.01 | 2008.02.01 | 2008.01.01 | 2007.12.01 | 2007.11.01

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