Select Board Thoroughly Reviews the Town Meeting Warrant

Select Board Chair John Cronin called the Tuesday, April 20, 2021 meeting of the Board at 7:00pm. The agenda covered a breadth of topics / decisions.

Health Plan Offerings – Public Employee Committee (PEC) Agreement(s) Ch. 21-23 and 150E

The Board approved two Memoranda of Agreement with the PEC and the Town’s bargaining units to offer health care plans through June 30, 2024.

Coronavirus Community update

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy presented his weekly update to the Board.  Highlighted in his comments was that Holliston residents have private access to vaccine appointments – THIS FRIDAY – from 9:00 – 2:00 at the regional collaborative site at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough.  The appointments can be accessed HERE – >  link.  (The supply of shots is limited – first come; first served.)

Holliston’s positivity rate was slightly above the State’s average at 2.37% placing the Town in the Yellow category for the 12th week in a row.

Overall, the State statistics are trending downward.  For example, the number of communities in the Red category dropped from 77 to 59.

This week’s update included the following graphic which had been requested by Chair Cronin last week.

Cassidy encouraged ALL eligible citizens to pre-register for the vaccination.

Holliston’s vaccination totals continue to climb – in all age ranges.  The Board called on our new consultant Linda Marshall to update on work with the elder population.  Marshall reported that some citizens are still reluctant to get vaccinated.

CARES Act Programmatic update

The Board approved the Facilities’ request for 3 additional air purifiers for use in Senior Center offices.

The Chief previewed some early input from the Mass Department of Administration and Finance about what MIGHT be coming to Holliston via the American Rescue Plan Act.

Warrants: The Board approved the weekly warrant totaling: $1,080,001.40.

Public Comment: Mr. Cronin reminded everyone that trash pickup is delayed one day all week.

Comments from the Town Administrator:

Mr. Ahern let the Board know that the Medway Select Board is voting at this week’s meeting to support Holliston’s application for a Heavy Commercial Vehicle Exclusion on South Street (Clark St. in Medway)

Continued Public Hearing – Summitpointe Drive Road Acceptance

Summitpointe resident Matt Coletti (below) sent the Board correspondence outlining his position on the acceptance.  He shared during the meeting that he is supportive of the acceptance as long as it includes the existing easements and maintenance stipulated in the residents’ deed.  He sees the retention ponds as a big draw for wildlife.

The Board approved the acceptance provisional on the completion of the ‘punch list’ items.

The Draft Town Meeting Article (below) was shared by the Town Administrator.

The Public Hearing was closed at 7:44pm.

FY22 Budget v. Revenue Discussion

Mr. Ahern presented the most current iteration of the Review / Budget picture that maintains a level service from FY 21.  He brought forward a revised Police Department budget that reflects the elimination of adding a 26th officer in the next fiscal year.

The Board approved the revised HPD budget of $3,204,926.

Annual Town Meeting (incl. Warrant development)

The Board and Town Administrator reviewed each of the 37 articles in detail. 

Dan Alfred commented on the Board’s apparent lack of support for the recommendations from the Stipend Committee regarding phasing out stipends for elected officials.  The Board disagreed with Mr. Alfred’s position, stating that there would be no impact on the FY22 budget from the Stipend Committee’s recommendations and that future Boards could enact the recommendations.

The Board called on Sam Tyler to answer questions about how the Governance Committee’s (GC) work / recommendations fit with the upcoming visit by the Mass Technical Assistance Bureau (TAB).  Mr. Tyler has had experience with TAB and he is comfortable that the GC proposed articles are consistent with TAB guidelines.  Ultimately, Mr. Sparrell did not support Article 9 (at this time) while the majority voted for it.

The Board and Mr. Ahern emphasized that there will be NO article / vote at Town Meeting on the 555 Hopping Brook project.

The Board re-opened the Warrant to revise wording in Article 3 and 35. The Warrant was re-closed by the Board.

After the lengthy review, the Board approved the inclusion of the proposed sponsored articles and to include the citizen petitions in the Town Meeting Warrant.

Board Business: The Board took the following actions:

  • Approved the parade permit Reece birthday parade 5-1-21 Exchange at Water Street
  • Approved the parade permit Memorial Day parade 5-31-21
  • Issued a one-day liquor license Father’s Day Beer Garden Historical Society 6-20-21(meeting COVID guidelines)
  • Approved the Blair Sq. Farmers Market License with Bobby Blair and the Ag Commission as fiduciary
  • Approved Driveway Permit Application at 85 Union Street (in preparation of the upcoming Mudville road work)
  • Approved the HCA Agreement – HighMark Cultivation facility at 201 Summer St.
  • Approved the minutes of the March 29, 2021 meeting.

Other Business:

Mrs. Hein:

  • Sunday morning early noise at Marshall Street soccer facility is disturbing the neighbors. Mr. Ahern to follow up.
  • Update on curb cut from Municipal Parking lot
  • Looking for meeting minutes from the 9 Green Street committee several months ago.

The meeting adjourned at 10:07 pm.

Chris Cain

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