Town Meeting night one: Burnett House preserved; early adjournment

by beth on April 11, 2016

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Above: Residents voted to spend Community Preservation Funds on preserving a beautiful piece of Southborough history (photo by Allan Bezanson)

The meeting was adjourned an hour early tonight, due to technical issues. But not before Town Meeting voters overwhelmingly supported articles to preserve the historic Burnett-Garfield Estate. The Town will buy a Preservation Restriction for $970,000.

The restriction requires the property owner to make some exterior restorations on historic buildings. He is also required to preserve those exteriors, and the landscape, in perpetuity.

The presentation and discussion on Article 13 took up a significant part of the evening. But the mood in the room was clear early on when teen preservationists got an enthusiastic (partially standing) ovation.

Still up for vote are Articles 20-39 (Main Street easements through Medical Marijuana zoning bylaw changes.) Voters will reconvene at Trottier Middle School at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 12.

The sound system cut out as soon as Community Preservation Chair Freddie Gillespie tried to begin her portion of the explanation for Burnett House Article 13 .

Gillespie cracked that she was “a showstopper”. But it was the failing sound system that actually put a stop to the show.

Sound was temporarily restored. But it continued to cut out at points throughout, forcing Gillespie and others to “speak loudly”. (With motions to make on six articles, it’s fortunate Gillespie had a strong voice!)

Close to 10:00 pm, Moderator David Coombs called for a five minute recess. Shortly after, he called it a night. Coombs said working mics were required for keeping an accurate record.

Prior to the adjournment, voters approved Articles 1-19, with just a couple of amendents. I’ll share more details tomorrow. (I have to get some sleep!)

1 Todd April 12, 2016 at 6:55 AM

Any discussion of the Park Central development?

2 beth April 12, 2016 at 7:01 AM

There is nothing on the town weren’t that is related to park central.

3 John Butler April 12, 2016 at 11:12 AM

If you were concerned to protect Garfield House, you will want to have your vote counted tonight on whether to take land all along Main Street, to make it into a Federal Highway compliant road. It would give us a standard highway from Sears Road to Mauro Market front porch, but change the look of everything in the center, and cause parking problems. Please attend.

4 Al Hamilton April 12, 2016 at 2:00 PM

There is an even better reason to attend if you are a Garfield House proponent. No motion to reconsider has been made on either article.

There can be only one motion to reconsider per article and if it fails then the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed and the matter cannot be discussed further at this meeting. The motion must be made by someone who voted with the prevailing side. Reconsideration requires a 2/3 vote and the proponent typically hopes it will go down in defeat.

If things hold true to form tonight will be thinly attended and 65 dedicated people could undo the work of several hundred from last night.

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