March 4, 2024 Holliston Select Board Meeting Public Comments

"… I really want you to look at some of the people sitting here and look them in the eyes. Not at me, at them — because some people here have more courage than I will ever have or all of us together. When you look at that Zoom. There are a couple of parents I know there. And they had a five year old kid who had more courage when they were five years old, than all of us together. And then I look at that policy. I don’t see an ounce of courage in that policy. I see the simplistic way out. The simple one, the easy. Let’s do it because it’s easy, not because it’s right. But probably, what’s sadder than all of that, is that it’s not even the Select Board’s policy. It is a town council policy, it is written by a lawyer to protect the town, disregarding entirely every single person that came up here and talked, or talked by Zoom. If somebody should be sitting tonight at this table, it should be the town counsel. Because he’s the one who wrote it. He should be the one defending his actions here."

Andres Vargas addressing the Select Board; March 4, 2024 Select Board Meeting 21:50


"I’m very disappointed to see that the proposed revised town flag policy continues to limit the flying of the pride flag to just Blair Square. I love Blair Square, and I’ll be very happy to see the Pride Flag flown there in June. However, it does not hold the same level of power and meaningfulness as seeing the Pride Flag flown on our town’s government buildings, particularly the Town Hall and the library. I’m a mother of young children. And I feel like it’s so important to raise our children in a town where they see clearly that their community is welcoming and inclusive, embraces and celebrates diversity. The flag policy as it’s currently written fails to do this, it also fails to meet the goal of the Holliston Strategic Plan. Honestly, the board’s position that flying the pride flag at Blair Square as an equal swap for being flown on the Town Hall and library is a joke and a huge insult to the LGBTQIA+ community. I hope upon further review and reflection that the board will modify the flag policy to ensure that the pride flag be allowed to fly; to fly proudly on our government buildings."

Statement from Christina Smith to Select Board; March 4, 2024 Select Board Meeting 34:02


"Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on the flag policy. The current proposed policy does not reflect the values of the community; the policies outlined in our strategic plan. The words of the strategic plan are meaningless if they are not reflected in the actions and decisions of our elected representatives. Blair Square, while lovely, is not the epicenter of our civic life, nor is it the visible expression of our community. To those who travel through Holliston and visit here Washington Street is where our Town Hall and library are located. Not all public spaces are created equal. Blair Square is not equal to Town Hall in terms of visibility and desirability of location for expressing speech and community values. Not all seats on the bus are created equal; seats on the back of the bus were never equal to the rest of the seats on the bus in terms of equity and value. Let’s not be Montgomery, regressive policies imposed by our chosen electorate, or against the plain language of the strategic plan we agreed would govern us, if this proposed flag policy is passed, it will serve as the functional equivalent of relegating the identities and presence of valued minority community members to seats on the back of the bus.

"As a constitutional lawyer who has been in practice for over 30 years, I’m sure that I do not have to tell you that there is no case law on record in the Commonwealth, and certainly no case law at the Supreme Court level, that mandate such regressive and inequitable treatment of basic values-based expression and I’m sure you have a competent legal adviser who has explained this to you, you have a choice to do better. And you should. Thank you again for the opportunity to be heard and thank you for your service to our town."

Statement from Amy Belger, 35:13


Many more citizen comments from this meeting are at the following links:

March 4, 2024 Select Board Meeting Transcript

March 4, 2024 Select Board Meeting Video

“.. a bleak portrayal of what happens when we speak truth to power”


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