9/4 6:05pm Online public forum for discussing the Norfolk Town Meeting Warrant
Norfolk's Fall Town Meeting starts on Tuesday, 9-Nov-2010. The Town of Norfolk wants to help its voters to better prepare for our Town Meetings. The Town Moderator formed the Norfolk Town Meeting Technology Committee (TMTC) and charged it to research, report and make proposals to Town Meeting and the Moderator regarding the use of technology to increase voter education, participation and ease of operation of Town Meeting. The TMTC has recommended the "OnlineTownhalls" website for the purpose of discussing the Warrant articles prior to the Town Meeting. Warrant articles and their Recommendations will be posted on a web-based, structured, discussion forum (similar to a bulletin board system, but more highly structured). This is a description of the process of gaining access to the online forum.
As Norfolk approaches a town meeting, the Board of Selectmen will provide the Warrant which will be posted to the forum. When official Recommendations become available they will also be posted to the forum. Since this discussion forum is intended to prepare for voters for the Town Meeting, we envision it being in operation from soon after the Warrant is finalized through the end of the Town Meeting. This web-based discussion forum will be readable by anyone with internet access and a web browser. Norfolk residents without internet access at home, will be able to read and comment on the web-based discussion forum using a computer at their office, the Norfolk Public Library or the Norfolk Senior Center.
The interactive discussion forum will be a place where Norfolk residents can comment on Warrant articles or Recommendations, ask and answer questions about them, provide background material, or advocate in support of, or in opposition to, various articles. Interactive participation in the web-based discussion forum will require a "login account". Login accounts will be available only to Norfolk residents. (There may be a small number of Town employees, state officials, or other experts who are given login accounts even though they are not Norfolk residents.) All participants' comments will be identified with the commenter's real name. The interactive comments, questions, answers, and advocacy are all intended to be visible (read only) to anyone with internet access and a web browser.
In order to have a login account created, you will be asked to show a government issued photo-ID (e.g., drivers' license, passport, etc.) to confirm your identity and residency. You will then be given a TMTC-ID Code along with instructions for registering for a login account. Some of the information that will be required is your preferred E-Mail address and your preferred phone number. Neither your E-Mail address nor your phone number will be visible to other users of the discussion forum. You will have the option of supplying alternative E-Mail addresses and alternative phone numbers, if you choose to give the administrators alternative ways of contacting you.
Beginning with upcoming primary election on 14-Sep-2010 and the general election on 2-Nov-2010, volunteers from the Norfolk TMTC will have a table in the school gymnasium just outside the voting area. Each resident will be able to show their government issued photo-ID and be given their TMTC-ID Code.
If you are unable to pick up your TMTC-ID Code on primary election day, you can send an E-Mail to TMAccount@VirtualNorfolk.org to make arrangements to show your photo-ID and get your TMTC-ID Code.
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