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September Town Meeting

September Town Meeting

Speakers at the September Town meeting found themselves shouting to be heard over the din of a boisterous heckler who made it difficult for council members and candidates to be understood. And, though speculation would have it that the interruptions were a part of a broader political agenda, no position or platform was identified and the purpose of the interruptions was not clear at the time of this writing.

The Camp Venture Council of Advocates met at the Venture Center on Monday September 14. Present were all the members of the Council leadership, the agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens, and Theresa Freson who acted as the group’s facilitator. Though a number of Council members arrived late, approximately 70 voting members of the Council were on hand for the meeting. The President opened the meeting at 7:10 PM and began with the Regular Session of the Town Meeting. A number of speakers took the floor until about 7:25 when a special candidate’s session was opened up so that they could make a pitch to the voters on this, the last Town Meeting before the primary election scheduled for the end of the month.

Tom, John, Peter, and Bernie spoke and discussed a number of mostly personal issues and shared a few accomplishments. Tom brought forward the upcoming plans for the Holiday party and his comments invited Theresa Freson’s enthusiastic announcement that the party would be moving to the Comfort Inn this year. Susie T. and Peter K. also spoke but struggled get across their concerns.

Candidates Gary, George, Jeffrey, Ryan, Meagan and Madam President all took the opportunity to make their case with their audience of voting Council Members. Gary wandered a bit into a discussion of his love life but spoke with great zeal. Meagan and Ryan spoke thoughtfully and articulately. George spoke well but was a little harder to understand. The President’s talk was better than her previous speeches but she chose to use most of her time to tell the group about her new job at Stop and Shop.

The balance of the speakers in the Regular Session of the Town Meeting, that resumed after the candidates had had their time, offered mostly the usual fare of personal updates, sports scores and general announcements. Several struggled with the competing conversation from the resident heckler whose behavior was a clear departure from the kind of civil and respectful deportment that has become the tradition at the Town Meeting.
The Council Primary ballots have since been sent to the residences and early returns are expected by Monday September 28. The top two vote-getters will face off in a live election at the November 9, Town Meeting.

In spite of the interruptions, none of the Council members responded with anger over the cross conversation that had disrupted the meeting. As one member explained: “She (the heckler) is young and she doesn’t understand that you’re supposed to be quiet and let other people speak.”

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2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
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