At almost 8 to 1, the voters who turned out in Billerica overturned the vote of Town Meeting that planned a re-design of the Billerica Center.
This result showed the result of the efforts of a small number of people can make quite a difference. With only a short time available enough signatures were gathered to call for a special election, hand-made signs and constant visibility by opponents on the town common, and the people of the town spoke up.
Town Meeting was shown to be the special interest in this case, looking to spend $14 million on a project that much more than a majority of the town did not want.
And all the while, the town leaders were trying to push the project via timing of the special election on a Monday (where traditionally these were held on Saturdays), and then calling out town groups at the last minute to try to get more support when it became evident that the vote was not going their way.
The morning Lowell Sun has one Selectman reacting by saying that the charter should be reviewed after this vote. In what way? Does he look to change the town form of government, or make it harder for the people to succeed at overturning decisions they are unhappy with?
Seems to be a statement somewhere here about the long term viability of town meeting.