Some information contained within a recent (Harwich editon) Cape Cod Chronicle story titled, “Proposition 2½ Underride Article Deemed ‘Legally Defective” requires urgent clarification.
Regarding a parallel matter, said article mentioned “Voters will also not get to weigh in on a ballot question relating to withdrawal from the Cape Cod Commission.” This reference relates to Town Meeting Warrant Article #48.
Selectmen received a legal opinion letter dated March 17, 2014 from the town attorney, regarding Warrant Article #48, which relates to placement of a local ballot question concerned with municipal withdrawal from the Cape Cod Commission.
Though the legal opinion states that a ballot question cannot presently be put before voters because of technical deficiencies in Warrant Article #48, it also clearly states that the matter must appear on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.
Furthermore, it also needs to be strenuously pointed out that the legal opinion states that at the time Town Meeting takes place, a motion under the petitioned article to adopt it in its published form would essentially render it as “a non-binding advisory vote” by town meeting participants regarding the issue of whether or not Harwich town voters ought to have a future opportunity to vote in a local ballot question referendum on Cape Cod Commission withdrawal.
By doing this (similar to making a formal resolution), Town Meeting can still make their collective democratic voice heard on this significant issue simply by treating Warrant Article #48 as “a non-binding advisory vote.” They are strongly urged to do exactly that.