History of a Grassroots Political Organization in Weymouth

Don Stewart, Anne Hilbert and Paul Crespi holding their NO sign

Don Stewart, Anne Hilbert and Paul Crespi

The Chance Meeting
Don, Anne, and Paul first met at a fund raiser for a local state senator who is running for Mayor of Weymouth. Anne, a longtime political activist, happened to sit to at a table with Don and his wife, Debbie. Anne remarked about how rudely Don was treated at the June 1st Weymouth Town Council meeting for speaking about senior citizen's concerns about the proposed $6.5 million Proposition 2 ½ override. Paul, who was at the fundraiser, also a longtime political activist, also commented about how rudely Don was treated by the Weymouth Town Council for speaking about his opposition to the proposed Proposition 2 ½ override.
Don's concerns were about the financial impact it would have on the working class citizens, fixed income citizens and senior citizens in the Town of Weymouth.

Sure Thing
It was apparent from the attitude of the Weymouth Town Council that they were confident that their Proposition 2 ½ override was in the bag and a sure thing. To ensure that their override would pass the Weymouth Town Council decided not to send informational packets about their proposed override to the voters of Weymouth! This action can be deemed as deceitful to the citizens of Weymouth. It is apparent that the Weymouth Town Council favors having uninformed citizens to achieve their goals.

Formation of the Political Action Committee
After Anne, Paul and Don talked, it was decided to form a Political Action Committee (PAC) to oppose this Proposition 2 ½ override that was endorsed by the Weymouth Town Council and later by several prominent elected officials who represent the Town of Weymouth. This PAC was a grassroots effort that eventually became successful in defeating the override attempt.

Proposition 2 ½ Override Endorsements
Three of the front runners, who are running for Mayor of Weymouth endorsed the override. They are the current Mayor, Sue Kay, State Senator, Bob Hedlund and the Chairman of the Weymouth School Committee, Sean Guilfoyle. All three are elected official who represent the Town of Weymouth. In addition to these officials, the Weymouth Town Council and the entire Weymouth School Committee endorsed the override.

Weymouth Citizens Opposed to the Proposition 2 ½ Override Campaign
A web site was created that explained to the citizens of Weymouth what the override was all about, something that the elected officials of Weymouth decided not to do until the PAC's web site was placed on-line. The PAC gained support from a number of volunteers who shared the views of the PAC. These volunteers delivered the PAC flyers to almost 8,000 residential properties in Weymouth during the blistering heat of June, July and August. These volunteers will always be known as the true heroes of our campaign. They were the boots-on-the-ground. They personally delivered our message to the resident of Weymouth. Most citizens of Weymouth didn't know the details of the override and what the financial impact was on their future taxes. Our flyer provided the details of the override to the residents of Weymouth.

Vote Yes for Weymouth Organization
This Vote Yes for Weymouth Organization was formed to promote the passage of the $6.5 million Proposition 2 ½ override. In the end the voters of Weymouth saw through their attempt to monopolize on the endorsements of all elected officials instead of focusing on the true impact to all citizens of Weymouth. Their special interests were the only thing of importance to this organization. The outcome of the election demonstrated that special interest groups in Weymouth, no matter who backs them and how strong they think they are, cannot deceive the voters of Weymouth.

Outcome of Proposition 2 ½ Override Vote
The override failed and did not pass. The vote was 6713 against the override with 5065 for the override. A win margin of 1648 votes. The win margin was approximately 17% and in elections is considered almost a landslide. To win by this margin in a special election in the heat of August is definitely considered a resounding victory. The outcome showed that citizens of Weymouth did not, by any means, endorse the override.

Moving Forward
It is clear from the results of the Proposition 2 ½ override vote that the current elected consortium is not in tune with the citizens of Weymouth.
Unless there is a dramatic change in the leadership of Weymouth, another Proposition 2 ½ override or debt exclusion attempt is on the near horizon. Weymouth voters must be vigilant. An override or debt exclusion means easy living for elected and appointed officials.
Now is the time for that dramatic change in the leadership of Weymouth to happen.