Special Town Meeting – Part 2

“WARRANT FOR THE OCTOBER 28, 2019 SPECIAL TOWN MEETING: FULL TEXT of Articles 11-20 of the TOWN OF HOLLISTON FALL TOWN MEETING

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Middlesex, ss. Town of Holliston To any Constable of the Town of Holliston, Greeting:

In the name of the Commonwealth you are hereby required to notify and warn the inhabitants of the Town of Holliston who are qualified to vote in Town Affairs to meet in the Holliston High  School Auditorium, 370 Hollis Street, Holliston, MA:  MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. to act on the following Articles, to wit:” 

ARTICLE 11:  SIDEWALK PRIORITIZATION PLAN SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen  

ESTIMATED COST:  $40,000 “To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds $40,000 for the purposes or creating a sidewalk asset inventory plan and prioritization plan including but not limited to design, engineering, and construction management and maintenance services, or take any action relative thereto.”

DISCUSSION:  Select Board member Tina Hein advocated for Article 11, stating that a sidewalk inventory plan “addresses one method to improving pedestrian safety,” and is one way to bring residents and visitors downtown.  The study “could be applied throughout our community,” Hein continued.  Ken Szajda, Finance Committee Chair, spoke following Hein. “I don’t disagree that we need to look at walkability.”  But Szajda noted from the Complete Streets website, “They help towns to develop policy…They will fund this study.” Szajda made a motion to indefinitely postpone.

OUTCOME: Hand vote of 132 to 125 to indefinitely postpone.

ARTICLE 12:  ADVANCED METERING INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEM SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen  

ESTIMATED COST:  $60,000 “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds or borrow $60,000 for the purpose of purchasing an Annual Service Agreement and hardware related to the implementation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure system with Mueller Systems, Inc.; or take any action relative thereto.”

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 13:  REMOVE STRUCTURE(S) AT 310 WOODLAND STREET SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen  

ESTIMATE COST: $25,000 “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds or borrow $25,000 for the purpose of removing an abandoned building(s) and other site work as needed, or take any action relative thereto. “

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 14:  RENAME BOARD OF SELECTMEN TO THE SELECT BOARD   SPONSORED BY: Board of Selectmen 

ESTIMATED COST:  Unknown  “To see if the Town will vote to rename the Board of Selectmen to Select Board and to make all corresponding amendments to the Town’s General By-Laws to reflect such change, or take any action relative thereto. ”

DISCUSSION: Resident Marilyn Horn proposed a motion for a different change of name–the “Board of Select People.”  “Select Board is ambiguous and awkward,” Horn said.

OUTCOME: Motion to change name of Board of Selectmen to Board of Select People did not pass.

DISCUSSION: Select Board member Tina Hein noted, “MMA [MA Municipal Association] refers to Boards of Select People,” and that Holliston is “trying to be consistent with other municipalities.”  Henry Delicker, former member of the Select Board, said, ”They [members of Select Board] should choose what they call themselves. Select Board carries through from history to the present.”

OUTCOME:  Passed by voice vote.    

ARTICLE 15:  ACCEPT DONATION OF LAND FROM GENERAZIO REALTY TRUST SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen 

ESTIMATED COST:  $5,000 “To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen, with the approval of Town Counsel as to form, to accept a half (1/2) share ownership on two (2) parcels of land located in the area 0 Mohawk Path as gift and donation of land, from the Generazio Realty Trust, and or the fee or any lesser interest in all or part of the parcel(s) of land consisting of approximately 4.47 acres of land (Board of Assessors Map 15, Block 1, Parcel 1; 2.17 acres and Board of Assessors Map 15, Block 1, Parcel 2; 2.23 acres) more or less, and, further to authorize the Selectmen to accept any and all necessary restrictions on such land and, further to appropriate a sum of money for the administrative costs for securing such transactions, or take any action relative thereto. “

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 16:  STORM WATER MANAGEMENT SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen 

ESTIMATED COST:  $59,950 “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds $59,950 for engineering services related to compliance with the EPA and Mass DEP Municipal Storm Water Management Regulations.  Funds to be used to develop regulatory mechanism assistance, operations and maintenance plan, Stormwater pollution prevention plan preparation, public education assistance, integrated GIS data collection, field work BMP inspections, and annual report; or take any action relative thereto. ” 

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 17:  ESTABLISH THE POSITION OF FACILITIES MANAGER SPONSORED BY:  Selectmen  

ESTIMATED COST:  $60,975 “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds $60,975 for the FY2020 budget to account number 01422-5110 (Facilities Manager) for the purposes of hiring a Facilities Manager, to be supervised by the DPW Director, and to oversee and implement a facilities assessment plan, for the repairs and maintenance of all public buildings and facilities, or take any action relative thereto.”

DISCUSSION: Jon Varrell asked if the Facilities Manager would oversee school property.  John Cronin, Select Board Vice Chair, clarified that the position would include schools by year 3. 

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 18:  DAM INSPECTIONS, REPAIRS AND OWNERSHIP SPONSORED BY:  Board of Selectmen  

ESTIMATED COST:  $45,000 “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds $45,000 for the purposes of determining the condition and legal ownership of various dams including any water rights if any, or take any action relative thereto.”

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

ARTICLE 19:  ILLICIT DISCHARGE BY-LAW SPONSORED BY: Board of Selectmen  

ESTIMATED COST:  Unknown “To see if the town will vote to amend its General By-Laws by adding the following section; ARTICLE XLIV – ILLICIT DISCHARGE”

OUTCOME: Passed by voice vote

Prior to reading Article 20, Moderator Mayer thanked all for coming, as the hour was getting late and he anticipated a quick departure once the Article was discussed.  Additionally, Mayer reminded all of the importance of maintaining civil discourse on both sides. 

ARTICLE 20: SCHOOL START TIME

SPONSORED BY:  Petitioners  “To see if the Town will vote to create a by-law to limit the first school bus pick up as no earlier than sunrise, for elementary students.”

Michael Simon (l) and Dr. Brad Jackson, Superintendent of Schools (r)

DISCUSSION:  Michael Simon presented a slide show highlighting his support of petitioned Article 20.  Dr. Brad Jackson, Superintendent of Schools, spoke against the petitioners’ Article 20 “to present a balanced view.” 

As residents began to come forward to speak, Moderator Mayer asked that two lines, each representing one side of the issue, form along two auditorium walls, with speakers alternating at the microphone.  It is worth noting that following each speaker’s comments, there was applause from the audience – civil discourse at its best!

Discussion ensued concerning each side of the issue. Bruce Wood made a motion to indefinitely postpone Article 20.  Discussion of pros and cons continued until well after 11:00 PM.

OUTCOME: Motion to indefinitely postpone was approved by hand count of 165-76.

 The meeting was adjourned at 11:41PM.

The Publishers

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