As luck would have it, I have Internet access here at Trottier for Day 1 of Southborough’s Annual Town Meeting, so I’m going to give live blogging a shot. I’ll keep updating as long as the Internet holds out, so check back for the latest.
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11:45 pm: I lost my Internet access there at the end, but Town Meeting approved changes to the Salary Administration Plan (Article 6) as well as funding for the Assabet building repair project (Article 7) before adjourning at 11:25 pm.
The fun continues tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7:30 pm at Trottier. See you then.
10:55 pm: After a standing-count vote, the motion to reconsider Article 4 failed with 98 in favor and 108 opposed. Town manager legislation is dead for now.
Article 5 was indefinitely postponed, so we’re on to Article 6, changes to the Salary Administration Plan.
10:48 pm: An Advisory Committee member just threw Town Meeting a curve ball by making a motion to reconsider the vote on Article 4. He said he wants voters to be able to consider a 5-person Board of Selectmen. Reconsidering an article requires a 2/3 vote.
10:40 pm: The motion to postpone Article 4 (town manager legislation) has passed by a vote of 112 to 101. Moving on to Article 5 as a number of residents file out of the auditorium.
10:35 pm: Vote on the motion to indefinitely postpone Article 4 is too close to call (requires majority vote), so a standing count is being conducted.
10:24 pm: Leo Bartolini has made a motion to indefinitely postpone Article 4. There was a clamor to second the motion. If voters approve the motion, that’s it, there would be no further motions, including any to split the article. The Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee both oppose the motion to postpone.
10:00 pm: Still talking Article 4. The line at the microphones is getting deep. Still no motions to postpone, divide, or otherwise.
9:35 pm: Discussion from the floor on Article 4 has mostly centered on concerns about loss of control – to the proposed town manager and to the state legislature. Applause both for and against change. No significant motions from the floor have been made…yet.
9:06 pm: Selectman John Rooney is presenting “a year in the life of a selectman.” Making the point that selectmen are so overburdened by administrative minutia that they don’t have time to think long-term. “You want your selectmen dealing with issues other than tree stumps, and tree hearings, and transfer station violation hearings, and the cost of soap and paper towels…We need to do more for the community.”
8:27 pm: Articles 2 and 3 approved without discussion. We’re on to what I anticipate will be a lengthy discussion on Article 4, the proposed Town Manager legislation.
7:55 pm: We’re doing Article 1, reports from various town committees. Zoning Advisory Committee announced they will be holding public hearings on proposed zoning bylaw changes starting in May/June leading up to a vote at a Special Town Meeting in the fall.
Joe Laning is giving a report from the Drafting Committee for Town Manager Legislation. No questions allowed until Article 4 comes up.
Congrats to Carol Willoughby who was the recipient of this year’s Doc Stone award for service in the area of public health.
7:34 pm: We’re underway. Coombs is going over rules and regulations. Town Meeting is dedicated this year to Richard Upjohn and Richard Curran, who both passed away earlier this year.
7:16 pm: Town Moderator David Coombs just announced we have a quorum, so things should be kicking off in just a few moments.
7:03 pm: Crowd is filing into the auditorium, but it’s a pretty light turnout so far. Waiting for things to get underway.