League Positions

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

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League Positions

League of Women Voters National Positions:  

 https://www.lwv.org/impact-issues

League of Women Voters Massachusetts state positions: 

https://lwvma.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Where-We-Stand.2018.pdf

The League of Women Voters of Sudbury supports measures to implement the following:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Executive

Town Forum (1967) (A League initiative, the “Town Father’s Forum” was established as part of a Selectmen’s meeting to give department heads and town committees an opportunity to exchange information about their activities on a regular basis.)

Long range planning and coordination by all town departments.  

    

Legislative

All reasonable efforts to allow citizens to become knowledgeable before Town Meeting (adopted before 1969) and the annual meeting of the Water District (added in 1986 or 1988?), specifically through the creation of an information booklet on Town Meeting (1998). 

Measures for keeping Town Meeting moving at a reasonable pace (before 1969). 

 

Specific measures supported (1998) are:

  • ADOPTED By ATM:  Limiting the length of speeches for an initial presentation and follow-up (recommended 10 minutes and 5 minutes respectively)

  • ADOPTED By ATM: Abolishing the practice of advance recognition

  • (The above two recommendations were adopted by the 1999 Annual Town Meeting.  Although they are a fait accompli, they should be re-evaluated to see if they are being honored.)

  • Using pro and con microphones.

  • An exploration of alternative ways of voting at Town Meeting to provide equal access to all citizens (1998).

Water District

The issue of bringing the Water District under Town government was studied several times between the establishment of the Water District and the 1960s.  The League-inspired Strategic Planning Committee, established by the town in 1996 to look at growth issues, also suggested examining this issue.  In particular, the annual issue of water shortages and future issues such as new well sites requiring additional treatment and the changing focus of the DEP toward regional management of water resources made the study of this issue timely once again.  As a result of its 1999/2000 study, the LWV of Sudbury supports:

  • Maintaining the Water District as a separate entity from Town Government, given the current duties and responsibilities of the Water District and present Town needs. (2000)

  • Holding Water District elections in conjunction with Town elections. (2000)

  • Formalized coordination and communication between Town and Water District on policy, long range planning, and implementation of goals and strategies. (2000)

  • Continued efforts to increase citizen participation in Water District Annual Meeting. (2000)

 

Elective and Appointive Offices

The premise that only policy-making offices should be elective; all others should be appointive.  

 

Local Finances

    • Capital budget planning 

    • A long-range fiscal planning committee, small in size and not confined to the chairmen of town committees, with representation from the Finance Committee, and members at large (1969) (Restudy)

CONSERVATION

  • Measures to preserve in their natural state selected areas of the town’s woods, meadows, marshes, streams, ponds or rivers. (1960)  

  • Further purchase of conservation land; a balance between cost and the desire for open space must be maintained; taken into consideration should be present monetary cost and potential financial impact to the town. (1975)  

  • The following criteria for conservation land: accessible and usable; a balance of land types including woods, open fields and wetlands; retain a feeling of open space for the town (1975)  

  • Public use of conservation land for quiet recreational purposes.

  • Oppose erection of overhead high tension transmission lines through Sudbury. 

 

LOCAL PLANNING

Planning

  • Land use planning for the Route 20 business district leading to protection of Sudbury’s water supply, traffic mitigation, and the elimination of strip development.  This effort should include feasibility studies addressing public sewer and alternative layouts (including but not limited to a north-south connection between Nobscot Road and Union Avenue.) (1992)  

  • The establishment of a town-wide system of greenways and walkways.

 

Zoning

  • Improvement of appearance of Route 20 through off-street parking and landscape buffers, except as otherwise provided in the Village Business District (1994).

  • Support changes in residential zoning to provide more diversity in residential options.  Changes supported by the League include: strengthening the cluster zoning bylaw; mixed use (allowing apartments over stores); smaller houses on smaller lots; multiple unit housing with existing height restrictions and architectural review for developments of eight units or more.  In all cases, there should be no increased negative impact on the environment.  The Sudbury League also supports some degree of “pyramid” or cumulative zoning, which allows less intense uses in districts of higher intensity use (but not the reverse).  The League does not support age restrictions in zoning, although they may be imposed to reflect the purpose of a development.  (1994)

 

ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILTY

Over the past few years, it has been increasingly difficult to meet legitimate town budget requests with existing property tax revenue, and town budget officers anticipate more of the same in the years to come.  Therefore, in order to help the town meet its obligations over the long term, the LWVS supports (1996):

  • Continuing exploration of methods to control/cut costs for Town operations, except that any cost control measures should minimize deferred maintenance and reduction of services.

  • The assumption of responsibility by Town Government to encourage development that does not put a greater burden on the town budget than it brings to the town in taxes;

  • The development of a comprehensive growth management plan, which would enable to town to implement zoning controls which could encourage and balance economic development, preserve the town’s historical character, and provide environmental protection.  

 

RECREATION

    Town-sponsored teen programs, using existing facilities. 

 

LIBRARY

  • A strong, dynamic, public library, which is able to meet its obligations to current and potential users and to the Minuteman Library Network.  Particular emphasis should be given to collection development (books) and extending operating hours.  In addition, reference materials, including related technology, should be enhanced. (1993)   

  • The premise that the Town itself should be the mainstay of support (though not at the expense of other Town services) to ensure that Goodnow Library is able to maintain its position as an important (re)source to the Town and region.  At the same time, the League recognizes that it is appropriate that private funding be sought for special services. (1993)

 

LOW AND MODERATE INCOME HOUSING (1974)

  • The Town’s accepting the responsibility for providing its share of moderate and low-income housing as provided by Chapter 774 (1974)  

  • A mixture of higher income groups being included in areas of low and moderate income housing developments; developments of low and moderate income housing should not be concentrated in one area of town. (1974)

  • First priority being given to Sudbury citizens who may have need for moderate and low income housing. (1974)

 

HEALTH CARE

  • Efforts to set up health-related programs and support groups which address Sudbury’s health care needs. (1989)

  • The position of a social worker for the Town of Sudbury (1989)

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT

  • Efforts of the towns of Wayland and Sudbury to develop more adequate and efficient waste management systems with the following criteria: effective administration; compliance with legal requirements; protection of the environment; convenience for residents; and adequate public information. (1989)

  • Public sewer for the Route 20 business district, for the protection of town well fields.  The League also supports small private systems (package treatment plants or small community septic systems) in residential areas only, to allow for alternative housing configurations.  Public sewering could be accomplished through joining the MWRA or other existing sewer district, creating a joint system with Wayland, or by constructing our own municipal system.  The choice should be based on cost/benefit analysis and the degree of local autonomy allowed.  Financing through state or federal government programs or betterment fees is preferred.  (1994)  

  • The League supports the establishment of municipal curbside pay as you go (PAYT) trash disposal.  The League also supports maintaining the PAYT transfer station and public oversight of trash hauler and recycler contract negotiations to assure the highest levels of recycling technology, fair labor practices, and cost efficiencies for the town and its citizens. (2005)

 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION

The League of Women Voters of Sudbury supports efforts to preserve the records, buildings, artifacts, and other aspects of Sudbury's history, including:

  • Establishing a Sudbury Town Museum

  • Encouraging historic preservation organizations to collaborate on long-range planning and to prioritize preservation projects

  • Hiring a town archivist to oversee preservation efforts

  • Encouraging historic tourism in Sudbury.  (2011)

Comments, suggestions, questions?  Contact us!

League of Women Voters of Sudbury
PO Box 338
Sudbury, MA 01776

lwv.sudbury@gmail.com

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