Calling all activists!

After helping to start Acton Forum and spending a lot of free time posting articles, writing blogs, and doing a little investigative reporting, it is time for me to retire and pass the torch to others who wish to continue.

I have asked Scott Smyers, a local activist and blogger on Acton Forum, to officially take over, and have reached out to a few other individuals who can help, with the thought that an editorial board can be formed to lead the website in the coming years. Charlie Kadlec will continue to stay involved and I may write the occasional opinion piece, but I have no plans to continue working on local issues unless something super important comes up or my other activities and plans do not pan out.

One of the things that Scott and I would both like to see is a broadening of viewpoints published on this site. Since the start, we have offered Acton Forum as a platform for anyone to participate, and that invitation is renewed, perhaps with the hope of more success now. So if you would like to contribute the occasional article, or are interested in a regularly published blog post, please contact either of us and we will get that setup. Scott’s email is

One of the ideas for improvement that Scott and I discussed was having community groups use the Forum to discuss their activities, either for promotion or publicity. Regular updates of news and events by such local groups would be a great public service, especially as the resources of the Beacon appear to be waning. Setting up blog accounts for such information is offered which allows the posting of materials by the group directly, or you can submit articles to us and we will post them for you. So if your group is having events, looking for community involvement, seeking members, etc., and you would like to have the Forum post this information, let us know and we will work with you to help that happen.

For those interested, my plan is to start up a new journalistic endeavor which is just in the planning stages now. I expect it to require significant time such that I won’t be able to continue doing Acton Forum work nor spending time on local issues. I do want to thank the many people who have offered encouraging words over the years, and to especially thank my critics who have kept me thinking about and defending my positions. Debate is so important, and making good decisions without such input is that much harder. This is why my number one goal in my local political work has been to try to ensure that both sides of debates are fairly presented so that voters can make informed decisions.

If I could make one change in Acton by waving my magic wand, it would be to restore Town Meeting to its original function, which is to allow local citizens the opportunity to meaningfully participate in making important local decisions. Acton has lost this vital “check and balance,” but maybe one day it will come back. If you don’t know what I mean by this, I would refer you to probably several dozen posts over the last 10 years, from the proper role of the Finance Committee, to how they should be presenting the budgets, to the decimation of citizen participation due to the Acton Leadership Group, to the stifling of free speech, and to the lack of balance in opposing viewpoints at Town Meeting.

Allen Nitschelm