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  • February 6, 2016

The Sun Chronicle : Columns



GOUVEIA: Is North Attleboro's RTM afraid of the voters?

<p>Bill Gouveia</p>

Bill Gouveia

Many times in North Attleboro "the numbers" just don't seem to add up. But the recent action by the town's RTM is arguably the most nonsensical challenge to mathematical logic in the community's history.

Recently this elected legislative body passed a change making it more difficult for voters to overturn RTM actions via the ballot box.

Under the old rules, it took the signatures of 5 percent (about 900) of registered voters to place a referendum question on the ballot. A minimum of 30 signatures had to be from each precinct. Under the new rules, that regulation remains unchanged.

However, RTM members included a new provision that any such referendum cannot pass unless a minimum of 15 percent of the town's registered voters actually cast ballots. Currently, that would be approximately 2700 people.

The town election this year saw roughly 7000 people (about 40 percent) cast votes, largely because the ballot featured a Prop 2-1/2 override. That was a highly unusual turnout for a town election.

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