Friday, February 6, 2015

Racetracks, future of Budget Committee in Winchester

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

WINCHESTER — Petition articles to regulate racetracks, an operating budget of more than $3 million and an article seeking to dissolve the town budget committee will top this year’s warrant at the deliberative session Saturday.
Resident Robert E. Davis, spokesman for the Winchester Noise Coalition, said Wednesday he submitted the two warrant articles to regulate racetracks because he and his fellow coalition members are at their wits’ end.

“This is our attempt to put in some bylaws under the state law just to give some relief from the noise of the racetracks,” he said.
The racetracks he is referring to are Monadnock Speedway, Winchester Motorsports and Winchester Speedpark.
He said some people who have joined the coalition say the noise has gotten so bad that their children can’t sleep at night when the tracks are hosting events.
The coalition, which was founded in 2007, has 131 members — all of whom live in Winchester — he said. Members have gone to selectmen in hopes of addressing the problem through further regulation, but with no success, he said.
The group did get the town to pass a noise ordinance in 2008, ( Selectmen made the tracks exempt, saying they were 'grandfathered in" ) but more needs to be done, he said.
One warrant article asks voters to require selectmen to adopt bylaws for the regulation of racetracks that address hours and days of operation; limiting the number of race practice days to one four-hour slot per week; limiting the number of event days per year; and developing permit requirements for operators of the tracks.
A second warrant article seeks voter approval to activate temporary racetrack regulations that would be valid until the next annual town meeting.
Those regulations would restrict racetrack hours to between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., and restrict races, practices or any other motor vehicle competition or event to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., except on Sundays, when there would be no activity on the track.
Racetrack owners would also be required to install sound-engineered noise barriers and ensure every participating vehicle has a muffler that meets or exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications to reduce exhaust and engine noise, according to the warrant article.
“We aren’t out to put the racetracks out of business, we just want to make them better neighbors,” Davis said.
Other articles
Selectmen have recommended a warrant article to abolish the town’s budget committee.

Selectmen Chairman Roberta A. Fraser said Tuesday that if the warrant article passes at town meeting in March, it would put the budget process back under the control of the selectmen.

Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.

John Adams
“It’s not that we don’t think the budget committee is a good idea. We think it just needs to be re-looked at,” she said. “Somehow, the board and the budget committee need to get on the same page.”
This year, the budget committee has proposed an operating budget of $3,384,489 for 2015-16, which is $43,478 less than the selectmen’s recommended budget of $3,427,967.
The budget committee’s proposal is an increase of $85,872, or 2.6 percent, from the 2014-15 operating budget of $3,298,617 that voters approved last year.
As an official-ballot town, Winchester residents are allowed to discuss and amend town meeting warrant articles during the deliberative session. The meeting will then be adjourned until Tuesday, March 10, when residents vote by ballot on the warrant articles.

The deliberative session will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at Winchester Town Hall.


Need some new blood said...

WOW, is this really a small town in America? Looks more like a 5 person dictatorship.

Bob Davis said...

Yes poster your right about this town, Your rights to Speak-Out is squashed in this town and if you do we (the dictators) will have the police state shut you up. I stuck my head in the mouth of the lion Saturday at Winchester deliberative session when the supports of the racetrack and the racetrack owners and a group of their brown shirts. Who are not registered voter and live in Mass. Nothing was said by The moderator Murphy. My thought was Murphy saw a chance to be a hero with this group who had me shut down. I had the floor (mic) and was recognized by the Moderator Murphy to read prepared letter in supporting the Winchester Noise Coalition warrant articles under Roberts Rules of Order every assembly uses. I had every right to speak "I had the floor" on how members families cope with the racetrack noise. To the dislike of powers in charge the mic was taken away by the chief of police and escorted to my chair. Your rights to speak-out will never change while these people are in charge.

Not a fan of excessive noise said...

The argument was made at the deliberative session that the racetracks are needed for this town "because they give the kids something to do on Saturday nights and keeps them out of trouble". Excuse me, but shouldn't $50,000 to the ELMM Center for youth recreation already cover that? I won't even go into the effect of proper parenting on curbing inappropriate behavior of youths- it's pretty evident that there isn't enough of that these days.

Frustrated said...

Totally agree with the comments above by "Not a fan of excessive noise." Yes, how about that $50,000? How about the exorbitant taxes that Forest Lake residents pay while enduring the Speedparks excessive noise, loud speakers and incessant engines at all hours of day and evening? Probably could find 4 or 5 of those properties to rival the $48,000 in taxes paid by the racetracks with their quality of life compromised by the tracks.

Anonymous said...

REF: Not a fan said, What subject your kids to alcohol and drugs at the racetracks? That builds character. HUH!

Anonymous said...

Having the floor does not mean endless rambling on. you were given the opportunity to speak and you did, It just seemed like you would never stop, there is only so many hours in the day. Get up make your point and sit down. No one can take over and speak for hours at a town meeting, no one.

Rich said...

Your full of horse shit there racetrack supporter. I only read one paragraph on 3 page which would only take 6 minutes without interruption. So your full of shit sunny=boy. Your stupid statement shows your bias for the the racetrack. Yet you never mentioned Teresa Seppe in your rant, after I was shut down she was allow to do a 10 minute election speak. Which included saying as long as she is selectmen there will always be a racetracks....... That can be fix at the polls. Teresa like Tedford he is all done this time as selectmen also. They are the epitome of stupidity.

Dealing with these stupid mental midgets selectmen is like trying to pickup a turd by the clean end!