Stoddard Park Beach now Open by Order of Board of Health
Senior Center Annual Fall Fair - Sept 9

Summit of the Local Powers (Selectmen meeting 5/25)

by Ben Kaplan
May 26, 2017

The selectmen from Holliston and four surrounding towns met at the recently renovated Thayer Homestead in Medway Thursday night. Representatives from Holliston, Medway, Millis, Hopkinton, and Ashland all gathered around the table to share potentially outstanding issues as well as explore how to better relationships between the towns.

A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to how each board goes about governing their community on certain issues. One of which was shared resources. It was largely unanimous among the towns that centralized control works best for overseeing the servicing  of community resources, but it was also found that while some aspects are easier to have complete control over, such as animal control, things like education facility maintenance are divisive issues.

Holliston for instance, wants to control the majority of the upkeep of school grounds. They have received backlash from the local schools though, which want to keep federal funds that they might not receive if they no longer had to be responsible for the sports fields, the parking lots, etcetera. Similarly, Medway is looking to create a separate town facilities branch that would include the schools as well. Jay Marsden, one of the Holliston selectmen, said that centralization would allow schools to “keep the place looking good, but focus more on educating the kids.”

Some of the “best practices” noted during the meeting included Holliston’s use of stipends in the fire department and Ashland’s noise nuisance by-law.

The selectmen also discussed local projects with regional impacts, such as the effects of the growing Legacy Farms development in Hopkinton on traffic in neighboring towns and the prevalence of out-of-town commuters in residential areas. All towns reported instances of increased congestion and traffic violations caused by construction of some sort. It was found that a mixture of temporary measures, such as restrictions on street usage during certain times of the day, and an overall increase in joint communication between towns on proposed projects and their possible consequences could be a solution. Ashland has recently created a sub-committee specifically for traffic related issues.

Also mentioned in the meeting were the key performance indicators for the towns. The KPI are statistics that measure things like budget expenses and town election turnout. A majority of the statistics talked about were financial related. The peer average of revenue was around $48 million and the average debt was 6.7%. The biggest expense for each town was education; making up an average of 55% of the total budget.

 

E-mail This Article

Comments (0)

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Ben Kaplan:

Board of Selectmen Met 07/24/2017

Once again, the Board of Selectmen met for their bi-weekly meeting at Town Hall on Monday night. This week’s meeting was relatively short with few pressing issues at hand.

Continue ...

Rep. Dykema meets with local environmental advocacy group

Representative Carolyn Dykema met with members of the Holliston Green Working Group earlier last week for an open forum in the Gilman Room of the public library to discuss legislation and outreach in regards to Massachusetts’ renewable energy goals.

Continue ...

Board of Selectmen 07/11/2017: Paint Gate and the Animal House

The Selectmen hosted a packed house at their weekly meeting on Monday night. Two trending issues in the town were the focus of the night’s discussion: the status of the animal nuisance complaints at 70 Lakeshore Drive and the state of Chamberlain St. in regards to the double-painted yellow lines.

1

Continue ...

Habitat for Humanity Family Fundraiser

The Holliston branch of Habitat for Humanity hosted an event Friday afternoon for local families to raise money for their ongoing two-home construction project on Chamberlain St.

1

Continue ...

Board of Selectmen 06/19/2017

This week’s board of selectmen meeting on Monday night continued the exploration of a few ongoing issues including the proposed medical marijuana growing facility at 29 Everett St. and interviewing more applicants for Town Counsel. Members of the Town Planning Board meet with the selectmen

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Politics:

8 Arch Bridge Committee Met August 15, 2017

by Paul Saulnier

The final plans and specifications for the proposed repairs and alterations to the bridge were reviewed by the committee with Town Administrator Jeff Ritter.

Continue ...

Selectmen Meet August 7, 2017

by Paul Saulnier

Planes, trains and automobiles were on the agenda this night. The business of running the town went on despite the lack of veteran Selectman, Jay Marsden, who was on vacation.

1

Continue ...

8 Arch Bridge Committee Met August 3, 2017

by Paul Saulnier

Committee chair Jay Robinson reviewed the plans resubmitted by Gill Engineering in response to comments from the committee

Continue ...

8 Arch Bridge Committee Met July 18, 2017

by Paul Saulnier

Finalizing the design and setting the schedule were the topics of the meeting.

Continue ...

State House Update-Summer 2017

by Representative Carolyn Dykema

Dear Neighbor, Happy summer! I hope you are making the most of the warm weather and long days here in the 8th Middlesex District. Here in the State House, we have worked to finalize a fiscally stable FY18 state budget, continue to hold hearings for the 4,000+ bills that have been filed this session including major healthcare reforms, and are working to engage stakeholders on critical issues like climate impacts and immigration. This session I am the primary sponsor of 35 bills on issues ranging from veterans' preference in hiring to teen texting and driving. Two of my environmental priorities this session include H.2113, An Act to protect Massachusetts pollinators and H.2115, An Act relative to drought management. More information about all of the bills I've filed can be found on the legislative website. If you have questions about any of this legislation, I'd welcome the chance to discuss them. Input from you is essential to the work I do to represent you at the State House. Please stay in touch. Warmly, Carolyn Dykema

Continue ...

Advertisement