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Brookline Town Meeting

Brookline Town Meeting is in session right now; we met last night and we're meeting again tonight.

There's a lot of important issues we're debating. We just approved the town's $172 million budget. We're now offering only one health-care choice to town employees, so that it can be offered at a lower price, but the question is still in the air of when married same-sex couples will be offered benefits for the non-working spouse. Tonight we're once again debating a possible development project that would bring more money into the town, but at the risk of impacting a neighborhood, which itself is divided on the issue.

So what does the news media decide to focus on? The anti-spanking resolution.





Bah. Stupid media.

But since when are resolutions that "urge" anything proper agenda items for legislative bodies anyway? It's just a feel-good toothless show, and as you've seen, the media will jump on stuff like that instead of reporting on the real issues.
Actually, such resolutions are quite important. For example, Brookline was one of many towns that voted a resolution opposed to the Iraq War. And that encouraged the cities of Chicago and New York to do likewise.

But this particular resolution...well, it's just minor.
So wait...Brookline hasn't been offering domestic partner benefits? If they have, what's the chiddush in offering them to spouses. And in any case, if the town provides benefits to nonworking other-sex spouses, why is there any question that it should provide them to same-sex spouses? The law's the law, married is married.

And on the anti-spanking resolution (not that I'm taking the time to follow the links), I have to ask: so does that mean I can't spank G, or I can't spank S?? :-)

Lucretia, I honestly don't know the full story on domestic partner benefits, but from what I understand, due to a lawsuit Boston and Brookline weren't allowed to offer any. This could be incorrect information, of course, and I'm planning to talk to the guy in charge in Brookline for more information.

Which is why I brought up (when no one else did) the question of same-sex marriage. Now that we have such a thing in this state, towns better be able to offer health insurance to the spouses of those marriages, just like they do for opposite-sex marriage.

As for the spanking question: spank S. all you want. :-)
The newspapers probably thought it would catch the interest of a wider audience; regardless of what's more important, people outside of Brookline aren't likely to care as much about the employee health-care plan.
The spanking issue is the most "amusing" of what we dealt with, but in terms of importance to the town and to society, it's the most minor.

Last night we approved the zoning changes at 2 Brookline Place, for example. That's going to affect lots more than the spanking resolution.
It's definitely more important but it's not as "splashy."

December 2016

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