Civics Sunday: Special Town Meeting; October 28, 2019
The purpose of today’s issue of Civics Sunday is to provide an overview of the Town Meeting Warrant. Not all articles on the Warrant will be highlighted in this article.
The Special Town Meeting being held on Monday, October 28, 2019 deals largely with Capital Budget items. There are 20 articles on the Warrant. Eighteen of the Articles are Sponsored by the Board of Selectmen, one by the CPC, and one article is Sponsored by Petitioners.
The Finance Committee Report and Warrant can be viewed in its entirety online: https://www.townofholliston.us/sites/hollistonma/files/uploads/fincom_report_for_october_2019_tm-1.pdf. Hard copies are available at the Town Hall and Public Library.
At this time each year the Finance Committee takes a broad look at the Town’s financial situation. And, as is the custom, the Finance Committee reviews each article of the Town Meeting Warrant. The Committee then recommends that voters support or not an article providing their rationale for taking that position.
Article 4 of this meeting’s Warrant relates to the Capital Budget.
This excerpt from the Finance Committee report provides their rationale. “The $1,789,940 in recommended spending is funded from two sources: $317,796 from Water Retained Earnings, with the remainder coming from the Capital Expenditure Fund. With approval of these recommendations the ending balance in the capital expenditure fund will be over $6.3 million, a level considered acceptable by the Finance Committee in light of potential large expenditures on the horizon.”
Articles 8, 10, and 11 deal with allocations to fund studies. The Board of Selectmen support these articles and the Finance Committee does not support them. In the full report the Committee’s reasoning for not supporting these articles is presented.
Article 14 would rename the Board of Selectmen as the Select Board.
Article 19 is a proposed By-law regarding illicit water discharge.
Article 20 is sponsored by Petitioners and relates to School Start times.
The meeting will be held in the Holliston High School Auditorium beginning at 7:30 pm. All registered voters in the Town of Holliston are eligible to vote at this Town Meeting. HCAT will be broadcasting the meeting.
For those who are not familiar with our form of local government, TOWN MEETING, not the elected officials, are at the top of the pyramid – the ones who make the decisions about how the town will proceed with purchases and projects in any of the departments. Officials IMPLEMENT what Town Meeting decides.
In Holliston’s case, there is no “they,” as in blaming elected officials. As Pogo said, “They are us.”