Hello Bethel: Construction of New Police Station Voters Approve Additional Funds at Special Town Meeting

A Special Town Meeting to vote on additional funding for the new police station took place on May 3. The amount under consideration was $888,678.

The General Purpose Room at the Municipal Center was full when the meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm. In quick succession, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the meeting notice was read, and the moderator (First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker) was nominated. The floor was then opened to public comment, at which point long-time resident and former Selectman Bob Legnard approached the podium. Acknowledging that he may not be the most popular person in the room for what he was about to say, he gave his opinion that discussion over the amount of additional funds for construction of police station as well as the reasons for the budget overruns had already taken place in previous meetings. He said that the purpose of the Special Town Meeting that evening was to vote on those funds, and he “called the question”.

“Calling the question” is a motion under Robert’s Rules of Order, a manual of parliamentary procedure that outlines how municipal meetings are run. Essentially, the motion of “calling the question” is a vote on whether to vote on the topic at hand, thus precluding further discussion.

Legnard’s motion was seconded and approved by the room. Moderator Knickerbocker then asked the attendees to vote on the actual question at hand: approval of an additional $888,678 for the construction project. The room overwhelmingly voted in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 7:08 p.m.