P.O. Box 324
Truro MA, 02666

Unprecedented Voter Turnout at Special Town Meeting | A Sea Change for Truro

After three delays of the original date for Special Town Meeting (STM)- from October 21 to November 28 –   approximately 700 voters showed up at STM as reported by the Provincetown Independent.

“TRURO — About 700 people arrived at Truro Central School on Nov. 28 ready for a climax and dénouement to months of dramatically rising tension and civic disagreement here. But even using the school’s library and cafeteria as well as the gymnasium, the building could hold no more than 523 voters. With nearly 200 more stranded outside, no votes on articles could be held, and the meeting had to be postponed for the third time.”

The meeting was short, opened to the 525 voters who could fit into the school facility safely, and concluded with an overwhelming majority insisting that the meeting be held at the same date as a “meeting within a meeting” (to protect this STM Warrant)  at the start of Annual Town Meeting 2024, voted to be held on May 4th at the Truro Central School ball field.   See the actual vote here.  

This massive turnout can be attributed to community anger about and rejection of large capital projects that would astronomically increase Truro taxpayer burden by an estimated $100 million (including debt service) for at least a generation and due to the unwillingness of the Truro Select Board to respect and act on majority community views on the Walsh property, the proposed DPW facility and site, and the non-renewal of the Town Manager.

Voters were also deeply upset at the delays and the decision to hold the meeting at night.  In combination with challenges to 66 new voter registrations,  baseless accusations against TPRTA and others questioning their right to encourage proper voter registrations, personal attacks on citizens’ raising concerns over the Town’s DPW and Walsh projects as proposed by the Town, and the failure of the Town to act on serious allegations of improper activity by specific Town officials and committee members that had been revealed in public comments, these were seen by many as a systemic effort to suppress voter turnout.  The Town denies this.

These trigger issues resulted in the creation of a new citizens’ movement called “Take Back Truro” — an independent community effort to express voters’ actual views and to “find a Town Manager who is a good fit for Truro” and thereby make Truro government more transparent, truthful, and more accountable to residents.  TPRTA is pleased to see the rise of engagement of long-time town residents, a cohort that is usually not officially engaged but now committed to affordable taxes, preserving Truro’s rural character, and providing housing and services for Truro residents on an affordable basis and proper scale for Truro taxpayers, without compromising the first two goals.

Ironically, TPRTA and some of its Board members have been “blamed” for instigating the community backlash on these matters.  In fact, the great and true story here is that Truro VOTERS have become energized and engaged in preserving the Truro community on their own terms in unprecedented numbers.

Contrary to those keen to spin a false narrative to suit their purposes, the truth is that TPRTA expressed no positions on the warrant articles for STM at any time.