“Who’s making these decisions?”
That question gets asked a lot when talking about the goings-on in our fair community. And the answer is simple: the decisions are made by those who show up.
Frankly, not many of you have been showing up.
An analysis of the last three municipal voting cycles showed that just 350 people in Abington voted in each of the last 3 municipal elections. That’s not even 1% of the town’s roughly 10,000 registered and eligible voters; that’s about ⅓ of 1%.
Yes, we know, there has been a pandemic the past two years. Not everyone may have felt comfortable going to the polls. True. But this was a trend even before the pandemic arrived, and turnout numbers actually increased over the past couple years.
Only 875 of you showed up to vote in 2019, the last pre-election Town Election; 1,109 cast ballots in 2021.
“Am I bugging you?,” renewed Irish philosopher Bono asked once. “Don’t mean to bug ya.”
[Insert blistering guitar solo from The Edge]
The 2022 Town Elections are scheduled for Saturday, April 30th, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., at the Beaver Brook Elementary School. There are three competitive elections: School Committee, Planning Board, and Board of Health. The people who show up on April 30 will be selecting the winners. The winners will then be making a lot of decisions in the coming years.
If you have no time to spare on Saturday, April 30 to vote, you can request an absentee ballot through the Town Clerk’s Office.
VIETNAM WAR CEREMONY SUNDAY
Abington’s Vietnam War veterans will gather Sunday to mark the 47th anniversary of the end of the war, according to the town’s Veterans Services Department. A small ceremony will take place starting at 2 p.m., at the All Wars Memorial Monument, next to the Abington American Legion. The ceremony will also remember those who did not make it back home.
YOUR VIEWS WANTED ON CENTER SCHOOL REUSE PLAN
Town Meeting voted in 2019 to declare the old Center School surplus property. The Affordable Housing Trust and Board of Selectmen have partnered with the Barrett Planning Group to help create a plan for the property, which is located at 65 Thaxter Avenue. Residents will have multiple chances to give their thoughts. Here’s how!
Register to attend a virtual community meeting about the project via Zoom on April 27 at 7:00: https://tinyurl.com/CenterSchoolAbingtonApril27
Provide feedback and input via an online survey, open from April 11-May 6: https://tinyurl.com/CenterSchoolSurvey
The Surplus School Building Committee evaluated both the Center School and North School back in 2018 and recommended both be demolished and kept as open space until the town decides what to do with the land. Both schools remain standing, but in varying degrees of decay.
YOUR VIEWS WANTED ON TOWN CHARTER UPGRADES
Should Abington have a mayor? A representative Town Meeting? A 7-member Select Board? These are some of the questions the commission charged with reviewing Abington’s Town Charter is asking in its public opinion survey. The 10-question survey is available here.
YOUR CHOICE ’22: BOARD OF HEALTH
ACAM Community Chat candidate interviews:
Aaron Christian, Jaimi Pinola, Katie Vannest
YOUR CHOICE ’22: PLANNING BOARD
ACAM Community Chat candidate interviews:
Michelle Kearney, Rick Shepherd, John Warner
ACAM MEETING & EVENT COVERAGE
Municipal meetings (April 11 – 14) and video coverage links produced and provided by Abington Community Access & Media.
Board of Health April 11 Meeting
Conservation Commission April 12 meeting
Zoning Board of Appeals April 14 meeting
Charter Review Commission April 14 meeting
AHS Senior Prom – Grand March, April 14
Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works Board, 3:30 p.m., 366 Centre Avenue. Agenda includes a report from the Superintendent, a report on system financials, and an executive session to discuss a contract for the new assistant superintendent
Council on Aging, 6 p.m., Senior Center. Agenda includes a report from the director
Fire Station Building Committee, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussion about the RFP for site locations, needs assessment for a joint DPW facility, and expanding the committee to include a representative from the DPW and/or police department.