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On June 15, 2020, the Board of Selectmen proclaimed June 19th as Juneteenth:
This is following a discussion from June 4th in which the Board released a statement regarding death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the resulting protests across the nation. The Shrewsbury Police Department also released a statement in response to this tragic event.
The Board of Selectmen will be discussing the creation of a task force on June 23rd as recommended by Selectmen John Lebeaux on June 9th. Town Manager Kevin Mizikar also made a statement at this meeting:
"16 months ago we began to gather as an internal team to think about long term planning and find in-roads to begin deeper engagement with the community. I was proud to be a member of internal town leaders in the government, and they devised a purpose statement for the Town of Shrewsbury.
PURPOSE: The Town of Shrewsbury is dedicated to fostering a vibrant and safe community for all to thrive.
from there we began to build a vision on what that meant to be a local government with a purpose for everyone to thrive. We’ve developed this statement internally that simply reads:
- VISION FOR THE TOWN GOVERNMENT: The Town of Shrewsbury will be the best local government in the world.
If we’re able to foster a local government for the town to thrive, we have to be the best at our jobs.- In my opinion local government was created for the benefit of and to serve its residents. There is no government entity that is to be closer or more responsive to its residents. Local government employees whether by actual physical address or professional commitment are members of this community. We are here to serve, protect, foster and enable. Never to harm. - I know the individual employees of this Town and I see their passion to serve protect foster and enable and reject all things that may cause harm.- I see and hear the residents of this Town and others asking for us never to cause harm, physical, physiological; intentional or unintentional.- I have compassion for the groups and individuals that local governments have harmed. I am disgusted by and reject any actions that would cause harm. I grieve for the family of George Floyd.- I embrace my role as the Town Manager to better connect the employees of the Town and the residents of the Town.- We are not separate groups; We are Shrewsbury."
The video clip of the meeting can be viewed below:
The Board will discuss any and all steps necessary to consider questions of diversity, discrimination, and racism in the Town of Shrewsbury and how to best address them. The formation of a much larger body than a standing committee, a task force that will meet intensely over a period of say 90 days to study the issues and provide a series of recommendations to the Board. Membership will be composed of a mix of residents and government leaders that reflect the makeup of the community. The Task Force will offer opportunities for public comment through written and, if technologically feasible, oral comments. More details will become available after the Board’s discussion on June 23, 2020.