Town Meeting voted not to reconsider article 5 during the fifth and final session of the May 2012 session on Wednesday, May 30.
The article in question, but forward by the Board of Selectmen, asked members to consider changing the Town Treasurer/Collector position from an elected post to an appointed one. During the original discussion selectmen Walter Zenkin argued that making the position appointed would help ensure the most capable person be in the position to oversee the town's $107 million budget. He said that six months of an inexperienced treasurer making poor decisions could cause five years of damage to the town. He also said that while Burlington likely has qualified residents who can perform the responsibilities of the job, there is no guarantee that they will run for election or be voted in if they do.
The . However, Town Meeting members Norman Steeves and Gary Kasky petitioned to have the body reconsider the vote in a secret ballot. Steeves argued this week that some members might feel intimidated to have their votes on the issue made public and suggested a secret ballot would more accurately reflect members' views.
In order for Town Meeting to reconsider an already-decided article requires a 2/3 majority. Further, conducting a vote in a secret ballot would also require a 2/3 majority vote.
Town Meeting members, however, voted 71 to 7 not to reconsider the article. The vote on whether or not to use a secret ballot was thus not taken up.
A couple of Town Meeting members spoke up against the idea of secret ballots in general, despite not having to vote on it.
"We already voted and if you'd like to bring this up before a future Town Meeting, that's fine," said Bruce Morey, precinct 1. "But we are elected by the pubic and our votes should be public."
"I have really strong feelings on this," added Christopher Hartling, precinct 3. "A secret ballot is an insult to my neighbors."