Natick’s Town Governance Study Committee has been getting together frequently since launching in the spring, with between one and three meetings per month, and has begun conducting interviews. The group’s mission: “to review the efficacy of the town’s current organizational structure, including the form of government and by-laws and provide recommendations to the Select Board.”
Select Board Chair Paul Joseph said “one of benefits of having this Committee going through this public process right now is really to engage the public. We’ve talked about a higher degree of engagement and community representation and transparency with the community. By the work they’re doing, they’re going to be looking at issues of equity, effectiveness, efficiency and transparency. So inherent in the work they are doing as this town government study committee, they’re really checking the box on the four major goal areas.”
Study Committee Vice Chair Matt Brand was on hand to field any questions regarding the group’s first quarterly update to the Board during the July 27 meeting (discussion starts about 1 hour and 4 minutes into the Natick Pegasus recording). We’ve embedded the group’s memo to the Board at the bottom of this post.
The group is analyzing feedback from more than two dozen interviews it has conducted with town officials and others, and is grouping like answers to open-ended questions to identify common themes, including things people think are working well or not. Among the questions posed to those interviewed: “In your opinion, what aspects of our form of town government and governance work well?” and “What aspects of our form of town government structure and governance are not working well or could be improved?”
“As we originally stated, the intention is to identify problems before we start working on solutions,” Brand said. The group is holding off sharing early results to avoid influencing responses of future interviewees
The group included information about its mission in the latest round of tax bills, and invited members of the public to indicate their interest in participating (contact the Committee here whether or not you get a tax bill or saw the material). More than two dozen members of the public expressed such an interest, and the group also plans to reach out to Town Meeting members as part of its stepped-up public engagement in the weeks and months ahead.
The Town Governance Study Committee’s next meeting is actually tonight, Aug. 10.
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