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News of General Town Matters
Were the Selectmen trying to 'railroad' voters?
Why was passage of a $158,000 appropriation attempted at a 'Special' town meeting on very short notice instead of at the Annual Town Meeting in May?
Will the Selectmen try to force the project through anyway?

Read the following article reprinted from The Berkshire Eagle:

Monterey voters reject funding 
for Town Hall

(Reprinted from The Berkshire Eagle without permission.)
by Ellen G. Lahr
Berkshire Eagle Staff
Tuesday, December 04, 2001

MONTEREY -- Town meeting voters failed to deliver the two-thirds majority vote needed to authorize borrowing $158,000 to pay for more expansion work at Town Hall

The vote at Friday's special town meeting was 43-27, a simple majority. But the vote fell short of the 52 "yes" votes needed to move the project ahead; 70 of the town's 605 registered voters were in attendance, said Town Clerk Barbara Swann.

However, voters were generous in upgrading the size of a pickup truck sought for the town Highway Department.

The town meeting warrant asked for a $28,116 half-ton truck, but voters approved increasing the purchase to a $35,816 3/4-ton pickup with a snowplow. 

The vote on the Town Hall expansion -- the town and state have already spent more than $600,000 on the project -- would have involved borrowing the entire $158,000. 

Work until now has involved removing handicapped-accessible barriers and making improvements to the existing building, the former grange hall. The latest expansion would have added square footage to the building, providing office space for all town employees. Some now work out of their homes. 

After the meeting, Swann wanted to be sure that the two-thirds majority was required for borrowing. She said she spent yesterday tracking down state officials for confirmation. By last night, she was convinced that the Town Hall article had failed.

State laws say that any borrowing by the town requires a two-thirds majority vote, she said. 

Ellen G. Lahr can be reached via e-mail at

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