First 5 Cape Cod Commission withdrawal petitions filed with Barnstable Town Clerk
The first 5 citizen group petitions containing several hundred voter signatures
were filed today with the Barnstable Town Clerk’s Office. The town charter requires that 150 certified voter signatures accompany the petitions in question. Many more than amount have been collected.
The petitions essentially state the following:
Pursuant to and in accordance with the Barnstable Town Charter, Section 8-7(b); Group Petitions, it is hereby officially requested that the Barnstable Town Council hold a public hearing and act by taking a vote on the merits of this petition pertaining to the following measure:
RESOLVED: That the Town Council directs that the Town Clerk cause the following binding local public policy question be placed on the ballot of the next Town Election, or State Election, or Special Election whichever first occurs: “Shall the Town of Barnstable petition the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asking that the Town of Barnstable be released from membership in and removed from the authority of the Cape Cod Commission, and the Cape Cod Commission Act?”
As a rationale, such a proposed petition to the Barnstable Town Council is solidly grounded upon the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Furthermore, funding for the Cape Cod Commission is based upon population, with theTown of Barnstable paying a substantially larger share of the financial burden for the CCC than any other Cape Cod town. However, through their appointed and non-elected representatives, each of the Cape municipalities has equal voting power on the Cape Cod Commission. It is seriously contended that the Town of Barnstable is presently bothunderrepresented on the Cape Cod Commission, and overcharged for the services that it receives from the CCC. The chief issue is equal representation as defined under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. At a minimum, since the Town of Barnstable has the largest population and is charged the most amount of money to support the CCC, then fairness dictates that the Town of Barnstable should possess a weighted vote in proportion to its larger population (similar to what it now rightfully enjoys on the County Assembly of Delegates). Moreover, since the CCC possesses concentrated regulatory and political power on a Cape-wide basis, then respective town representatives to the Cape Cod Commission ought to be democratically elected by the voters of each Town, rather than appointed by municipal officials.