Updated Warrant: Indefinitely ditching drainage, political sign restrictions and demolition delay

Since the Town finalized the official Warrant, some articles have been scrapped for this coming Town Meeting.

The proposed bylaw to restrict political signs (Article 24) will be “indefinitely postponed”. This morning, interim Town Clerk Michelle Jenkins confirmed that the decision was based on advice from town counsel.

Materials to be used in the Board of Selectmen’s pre-Town Meeting confirm that the citizen’s petition article to fix drainage issues on Clifford Street will also be pulled. (Purportedly, the residents have worked things out with the Departmant of Public Works.)

And, as I posted earlier this week, the Historical Commission has decided to hold off on its Demolition Delay bylaw for now.

So, I’ve updated my summary of articles to be voted on at Town Meeting.

But first, some reminders and explanations. This year’s Annual Town Meeting opens at 7:00 pm on April 13th at Trottier Middle School.

For those of you wondering what a “pre-Town Meeting” is, here is the explanation Town Administrator Mark Purple sent to the Advisory Committee and article sponsors:

On April 7, 2015 at 6:30 PM, Moderator David Coombs will conduct the annual Pre-Town Meeting as part of the Selectmen’s meeting in the second floor meeting room of the Town House. Everyone who is sponsoring an article is invited to attend, but it is not mandatory that you do so. At this meeting, David will go through the warrant, review motions, and discuss any issues that people are aware of regarding articles. It is more procedural in nature, and not necessarily the time to try to gain support for your article. I have attached a final copy of the warrant, and a draft copy of the motions as I have them for each article. The motions will be further revised after the Pre-Town Meeting. If your particular motion is not correct, you can submit any changes to me ahead of the meeting, or you can bring those changes with you for Tuesday night. This will help things go much more smoothly the night of Town Meeting.

You can see the draft motions here.

Once again, I’m bypassing the usual administrative business and budgets*, to focus below on articles that I consider “new business” voters will need to decide.

(For the full list and details on any given article, see the Warrant here. You can also see the Annual Town Report here.)

“New business” through articles proposed by Town boards/committees: 

5-6: Salary Reclassification – This year, you can expect the Personnel Board to make a presentation in support of major changes to the new salary classification and pay grades they recommend adopting and funding.

Proposed by Personnel Board; BOS and Advisory to provide recommendations at Town Meeting

19: Tennis Court Restoration – Authorize using $62,000 from Community Preservation Act funds to restore town tennis courts located near Finn and Neary schools.

Proposed by Community Preservation Committee; Supported by BOS and Advisory

23: Code on boards, committees, and commissions – Amend town code to regulate member requirements. Would restrict voting membership to residents.

Proposed by Town Clerk; Supported by BOS; Advisory to provide recommendation at Town Meeting

25: 9-11 Field home rule petition – To ask the state for a long-term lease on 9-11 field (necessary to finance returfing with repayment through user fees)

Proposed by BOS and supported by Advisory

26: Solar Bylaw – Provides a permitting process and standards for commercial solar energy systems 250 kW or greater.

Proposed by Planning Board; Supported by BOS; Advisory to provide recommendation at Town Meeting

27-28: Street Acceptances – Metcalf Lane (27) and Thayer Lane (28)

Both proposed by BOS; Advisory to provide recommendations at Town Meeting

29: Demolition Delay Bylaw – To allow an up to 9 month delay for demolition of historic structures built before 1925

Proposed by Historical Commission; BOS and Advisory to provide recommendations at Town Meeting

30: Choate Field lights – To raise/borrow/appropriate funds to replace lights at the town’s recreational area in front of Woodward School.

Proposed by Recreation Commission; BOS and Advisory to provide recommendations at Town Meeting

The following articles are by Citizen’s Petition:

32: Recycling sticker – Asks for a special $25 per year sticker Transfer Station for access only to recycling & swap shop.

[Note: Town Administrator Mark Purple told BOS that town counsel said the vote can only act as advisory to BOS.]

Petition led by Jack Barron; Opposed by Advisory Committee; BOS to provider recommendation at Town Meeting

33: Stony Brook Market Alcohol license – Asks the State House to provide the town with another alcohol license.

Petition led by Konstantinos E. & Christo A. Baltas; Supported by BOS and Advisory

34: Posting of board and committee communications – To require all public boards and committees to share online all materials and communications that fall under Open Meeting Laws within 7 days.

Petition led John B. Butler, Jr.; Opposed by BOS; Advisory to provide recommendation at Town Meeting

*Note: Annual business that I skipped are articles that represent the basic business of running a town.

These include annual administrative measures (e.g., Accept PILOT payments, allow short-term borrowing, allow the town to enter multi-year contracts, allow hiring of consultants, authorize/reauthorize account funds and transfers, authorize required payments and clean-up of unused funds.)

They also include the town budgets (article 9) and capital expenses (10-11).

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