So at this point you’re likely wondering what happened to BloggingBelmont? It’s been almost 8 weeks since my last post. A lot has happened in that time. There was an especially dramatic Town Meeting, with votes before the town on issues such as shrinking said Town Meeting (no) and demolishing some commercial property on Brighton Ave to locate a new substation (no again). There was an unexpected bit of drama around the Wellington School debt exclusion vote, after the state Department of Revenue raised issues about the wording of the ballot question. Some quick action by Rep. Will Brownsberger and Sen. Steven Tolman resulted in a legislative fix that allowed the town to move forward with the project, without another vote. The political season got underway, with Selectman Dan LeClerc announcing his intention to run for another term on the town’s Board of Selectmen. And, of course, the ominous drumbeat about budget (and services) cuts, our town’s gaping structural budget deficit and the need for new sources of revenue picked up a bit, as we turned the corner into 2010.
So where has BloggingBelmont been? Not dead, but certainly in a deep hibernation during these short winter days. Obligations at work, home, Temple and on School Committee have kept me from my appointed rounds here on BloggingBelmont. Frankly, I’ve also struggled to balance my dual roles as citizen blogger and elected official — a balancing act that is, I’ll admit, tougher than I anticipated. Readers -notably the cryptic Wayne G. have complained. You’ll just have to forgive me.
That said, the New Year brings a new start. My plans for BloggingBelmont are both to narrow the focus of what I’m writing about and, at the same time, to broaden the discussion and variety of information that readers enjoy with some changes that make it easier for community members to contribute content of their own and share in the discussion. My work with School Committee is focusing more on communications and outreach, so I hope to be able to share with you some of the work we’ll be doing to get information out to the public about goings on with the Committee and the schools as we navigate a challenging 2010 and look ahead to a contentious vote on a Prop 2 1/2 override sometime in the Spring . As always: I’m anxious for contributions from readers and community members. If you’ve got material or thoughts you want to share, email me at paul(at)bloggingbelmont(dot)com!