Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Select Board, May 01, 2024

Resolution for a Ceasefire Proclamation

The Arlington Select Board discussed a continued hearing for Article 5, a resolution for a Gaza ceasefire proclamation. After hearing from multiple members of the public with varying perspectives on the issue, the board considered how to proceed with advising the town meeting on the resolution. The board had a motion before them to report to the town meeting without a recommendation on the warrant article, which effectively means that the resolution itself becomes the main motion before the town meeting as brought forward by the proponents, without the Select Board’s recommendation attached.

Public Comments and Positions

Numerous residents spoke both in opposition and in support of the ceasefire proclamation. Some expressed concerns about the divisive nature of the resolution, its relevance to the Arlington community, the potential impact on addressing local hate crimes, and the accuracy regarding Arlington’s funding contributions to foreign countries. Others emphasized the moral responsibility to respond to the conflict, citing the impact of the Arlington community, the connection between the climate crisis and the conflict, and the role of American funding in the ongoing violence. Arguments included points on antisemitism, the experiences of Israelis and Palestinians, the impact on local students, and calls for the Select Board to reflect the values of the community by endorsing the ceasefire.

Board’s Decision

While board members acknowledged the heartfelt public comments and recognized the importance of peace and safety, they acknowledged that the resolution on international issues falls beyond their typical purview related to town governance. There was an expressed commitment to the importance of town meeting members in making a decision without the Select Board potentially swaying the outcome. After discussion, the Select Board voted to report to the town meeting without a recommendation on the warrant article.

Next Steps

The special town meeting is scheduled for May 8, where the town meeting members will consider the resolution for a ceasefire proclamation as the main motion, as presented by proponents of the Article. The board will issue a report before the town meeting.

Additional Items on the Agenda

The board tabled the final vote on Article 2, which was also part of the agenda, due to time constraints. They will hear Article 4 in the next meeting. No new business was reported by board members or town officials. The meeting adjourned following the decision on Article 5.



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