Town Meeting continues tonight – here’s a preview (UPDATED)

There are 24 articles on the warrant this year, and last night Town Meeting made it through only the first seven. That means there’s still quite a bit of action to come – and lots of money on the line – as Town Meeting continues tonight.

In particular, voters will be asked to approve a $47.8M budget which includes increases for the schools, public safety, human services, and other town departments, offset somewhat by reductions to the public works budget.

In a report to Town Meeting last night, Selectman Bill Boland said if the budget is approved in its entirely, the average single-family tax bill will go up by $150 next year. That’s an increase of 1.8% over the current fiscal year.

If voters want no tax increase next year, they will need to eliminate $595K from the current budget proposals. Boland said service reductions and/or layoffs would be inevitable with such a cut.

Town Meeting tonight will also be asked to allocate $1.1M for capital purchases, including $74K to replace defibrillators used by the fire department, $90K for a new generator for the fire station, $72K for two new police cruisers, $200K for DPW equipment, $525K for improvements to the DPW’s Boland Station, $35K to demolish the unused Fayville pumping station, and more.

Voters will also consider whether to set aside more money for the ongoing legal battle with Northborough over the Algonquin reimbursement issue, how to spend Community Preservation Act funds, and whether to assess a fine for those who rely too heavily on the fire department to pump out their basements.

And don’t forget, anyone can make a motion tonight to reconsider a vote that took place last night. It’s already happened once with the vote to postpone the Town Manager legislation. Could it happen again tonight? You’ll have to be there to find out.

It all starts tonight at 7:30 pm at Trottier. Hope to see you there.

Update 6:00 pm: Thanks to a closer reading of the Town Meeting rules (found at the front of the warrant) I learned that an article may only be reconsidered once, so it looks like Article 4 is officially dead. According to the rules, “If the motion to reconsider is defeated, then the original article stands as previously voted and may not be reconsidered again.”

 

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Mom of Two
10 years ago

Susan, do I have this right: If I go to TM tonight I can motion to reconsider the Town Manager legislation. Really? Is there a li it to the number of times the issue can be reopened?

Also, can TM go into a third night if, for example, the Town Manager issue gets reopened and it gets too late into the night to consider the rest of the articles?

Thanks for all the updates. I was out of town and couldn’t attend last night.

Sboro mom of 2
10 years ago
Reply to  susan

Ok, thanks for the explanation! I wish I could attend but I can’t. I REALLY wish there was live streaming and also live voting!

Joe Laning
10 years ago

I have resisted on numerous occasions over the past months to write something for the blog or the newspaper and while I stand by that decision, I also regret not voicing information more frequently that may have helped motivate or inform the residents of Southborough to come to Town Meeting and act on the Town Manager Legislation Article. To all those who came to support the Drafting Committee’s work, I thank you. For all those who helped us with interviews, research, and related activities, you have my gratitude. That being said I cannot stress strongly enough that the night’s result on Article 4 is disappointing. The resistance to change and the seeming need of the vocal few to remain firmly affixed in the past is truly puzzling. It was and is my firm belief that by changing to this type of government; (1) the sky was not going to fall, (2) we were not going to give up our right to self-govern, and (3) this was in the best long-term interest of Southborough. Most of the comments to the contrary simply amounted to scare tactics. To supporters I am sorry that it couldn’t get done and I do feel somewhat responsible in that maybe there was something else that could have been done. This personal engagement and commitment is probably why I resist getting further into Town politics (not enough Tums). The more I and the majority of my fellow committee members researched and learned the more convinced we became of the validity and necessity of this type of governance change, both now and especially in the future. In addition I am particularly concerned that the vocal minority can so significantly influence the operations and development of Southborough and for the most part the majority of residents either don’t realize it or don’t care. I do hope and encourage any continued efforts to make needed changes to the way we govern ourselves however yours truly will be taking a break.

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