When Tewksbury began its ban, it joined nearly 100 other cities and towns throughout the state, including Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. The ban was passed during an Oct. 2 Special Town Meeting with 137 votes in favor to 78 opposed.
“Based on the calls we’ve received and what I know, I’d like to think the repeal is not going to pass,” Town Manager Richard Montuori said in a phone interview with Boston.com.
However, he noted that it’s “tough to say” considering that Town Meeting attendance is often driven by the issues being taken up.
There’s roughly 22,000 registered voters in Tewksbury, which has an overall population of just over 30,400, according to Montuori. That means that the 215 people combined that either voted for or against the ban made up just 0.7% of the population.
Montuori said he believes the initiative to repeal the ban has to do with the idea that the people behind it don’t want the town telling them or businesses what they can and can’t do.
“Article #28 at Tewksbury Town Meeting on May 6 allows consumers and businesses in Tewksbury a choice, without forcing anyone to use any particular type of bag,” a statement from Joe Dunn, the article’s proponent, says.
“Public support to repeal the ban has been expressed on social media in various Facebook and Twitter posts, but the decision to repeal the ban will be up to the registered voters of Tewksbury who come to Town Meeting,” he said when asked how much support the repeal may have. “At this time I believe the article could be decided either way.”
The repeal article reads:
“To see if the Town will vote to amend the Tewksbury General Bylaw, Title 18 – Environment by deleting all of Chapter 18.10 Prohibition Single-Use Bags.
Executive Summary: The intent of this article is to repeal the amendment which prohibits single-use plastic bags in Tewksbury at stores such as supermarkets, retail stores, etc.”
It takes 10 signatures on a petition to put an article on an Annual Town Meeting warrant — that number jumps to 100 for a Special Town Meeting. The proponents had exactly 10, according to Montuori.
He said he hopes the ban will prevail.
“It’s the right thing to do for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We hope it stays in place.”