Feb 17, 2010

Fitchburg City Council Meeting last 2/16

Meeting Synopsis:
Thanks to all who braved the snowstorm to go to the Feb 16 City council meeting.   The City Solicitor and majority of the City Council were very hostile towards pro-lifers.  Now, beyond the councilors fear of saying "boo" to PP, the councilors started to berate those citizens at the Public Forum who spoke and used the words "Planned Parenthood" or "abortion".  Most vociferous in his criticism was Tom Conry, who not only loudly complained and interrupted citizens when they used the phrase "Planned Parenthood", but also when they used the phrase "the unmentionable organization".  It was hard for many of the citizens to express themselves.  Kevin Starr seems not to have read the zoning petitions in that he was berating me for being off-topic and using the word "abortion".
And this is for the 17 pro-life people who went out in a snowstorm to attend the meeting. 
Prior to the first CC set of meetings on Feb 2, the City Solicitor Ciota admonished the Councilors that they could not divulge what the solicitor had instructed them because of "attorney-client" privilege.  At this meeting, he gave them pages upon pages of case law.
The citizens’ constitutional rights were trampled on.  The councilors' actions seem to revolve around their own fear of lawsuits.
At the meeting the zoning petitions were nixed with a vote of 1 in favor (Rosemary Reynolds) and the rest against. 
The resolution to keep PP off Main Street was brought up as a late file by Dean Tran, but was considered by the councilors before the zoning petitions.  We were not able to address the resolution as a separate agenda item.  Many of the councilors were concerned that voting positively or even speaking of PP in the resolution discussion would open up the city to lawsuits.  The councilors were reluctant to vote in the affirmative for the resolution in that if the zoning petitions were to go forward, the affirmative vote for the non-binding resolution might be held against the city.   Yet the councilors would not put off the resolution vote until after the zoning petition vote. The resolution failed 7 against and 4 for (Rosemary Reynolds, Dean Tran, Marcus DiNatale, Kevin Starr).

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