DATE: January 23,1997

CONTACT: Helen Lemoine 620-1942
         Jim Miller 626-3687
         Tom Scionti 872-3319



A coalition of concerned town residents announces the formation of TOWN 2000, a group working to defeat the city charter question on the ballot on April 8th.

The organization, co-chaired by Helen Lemoine, Jim Miller and Tom Scionti, says its goal is to show voters that the proposed city charter is a bad deal for Framingham. The city charter would replace professional management with political management, cost more and deliver less, and exclude residents from access to the political process.

Co-chair Tom Scionti, a Town Meeting Member and former DPW Commissioner, says the new Town Manager/CFO form of government adopted last spring by Framingham voters is proving successful. "Why change now? It's working," says Scionti. "The new Town Manager and CEO have taken administrative control of the town and are bringing effective, professional management to the community."

Former candidate for State Representative, Jim Miller, a co-chair for TOWN 2000, says Framingham residents have a right to know what city government will cost them. "Pro-city commissioners have deliberately stayed silent as to costs associated with the city form of government. Cities spend a greater percentage of their budgets on general administration than do towns of comparable size and wealth," says Miller. "The bottom line is that money spent on administrative overhead means less money allocated for services like trash collection, road maintenance, schools, police, and fire."

Co-chair Helen Lemoine, a Planning Board member and former Town Meeting member, says the city charter is riddled with flaws, not the least of which is the exclusion of citizen participation. "It is the very large group of volunteers and activists that see public service not as a profession, but as part of their job as citizens, that makes Framingnam the unique community that it is," says Lemoine. "Town government provides neighborhoods with a voice. The city charter eliminates that voice. It undermines neighborhoods by drastically reducing representation and eliminating the accountability of elected boards that are so vital to neighborhood interests," Lemoine says.

TOWN 2000 will kick off its "Vote No on City" campaign on Sunday February 23rd at Ken's Steak House from 2:00-4:OOpm. It is a family event and children are welcomed. For more information about TOWN 2000 or how to get involved, please call 626-2627 or 620-1942.