Voter Information for May Town Meeting and Town Election

Are you registered to vote?  Town Meeting is coming up (begins May 3), and in order to vote on the school budget and many other town services, you must be a registered voter.  The deadline to register to vote is April 13 at the Town Clerk’s office (office hours are weekdays 8am-4:30pm, and until 7pm on Tuesdays).  Please visit the Town Clerk’s elections web page (http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/clerk/elections.htm) for more details.


Would you like to help shape the future of Hopkinton?   There are several elected positions within Hopkinton Town Government that are up for re-election this year.  This includes positions on the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, the Planning Board, and several others.   The last day to file nomination papers is April 12.  Town Elections will be held May 17.  Please visit the Town Clerk’s elections web page (http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/clerk/elections.htm) for more details.

Office # Positions Term
Selectmen (2) 2 3 years
Town Moderator 1 3 years
Town Clerk 1 3 years
Board of Assessors 1 3 years
Board of Health 1 3 years
Cemetery Commissioner 1 3 years
Commissioner of Trust Fund 1 3 years
Constables 3 3 years
Member of Board of Public Works
The candidate with the greatest number of votes will serve 3 years, the candidate with the second greatest number of votes will serve 2 years, the candidate with the third greatest number of votes will serve 1 year.
3 1 for 3 years
1 for 2 years
1 for 1 year
Housing Authority 1 5 years
Parks and Recreation Commission 2 3 years
Planning Board 2 5 years
Planning Board 1 Unexpired term – 2014
School Committee 1 3 years

Budget and Financial Articles Submitted to Appropriations Committee for Review

Budget and Financial Warrant Articles

On March 15 the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen voted to adopt a town-wide budget. They also voted to take a position on the school and financial warrant articles for the Annual Town Meeting. The Selectmen voted unanimously to endorse Town Manager Norman Khumalo’s $61.1 million budget. Within this budget the Hopkinton Public School district did NOT receive its requested 0.5% increase. It is not yet clear what services and/or staff the School Committee would have to cut from its proposed budget to make the $170,000 reduction called for in the Board of Selectmen’s budget.  Below are the proposed capital articles for Town Meeting, along with the vote by the Board of Selectmen on each article.

The Next Steps in the Budget Process:
The budget has been given to the Appropriations Committee who will now review the budget in detail, hold one or more public hearings and develop recommendations on the budget. Residents will vote on the budget and the financial warrant articles at the annual Town Meeting, which begins Monday, May 3 at 7:00pm.

Upcoming Appropriations Committee Meetings:
All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and are held at Town Hall in the 1st Floor Conference Room. These meetings are NOT televised, but are open to the public.

Monday, March 22 – School Budget to be reviewed at this meeting.
Wednesday, March 24
Monday, March 29
Wednesday, March 31
Monday, April 5
Wednesday, April 7
Monday, April 12
Wednesday, April 14
Wednesday, April 21
Monday, April 26
Wednesday, April 28

Article / Sponsor BoS Recommendation Amount
#12 Loader with Plow / BoS/TM Not Recommended $132,000
#12 Senior Center Parking / BoS/TM Recommended $161,000
#12 ADA Compliance / SC/BoS Recommended $101,000
#12 two police cruisers / BoS/TM Recommended $60,500
#13 Cedar Street Snow Dump improvements / DPW Not Recommended $120,000
#14 Water Meters / DPW Recommended – Paid for by Water Enterprise Fund $220,000
#15 Service Truck / DPW Not Recommended $42,000
#16 Downtown Design Enhancements / DPW No vote taken 3/15/10 $400,000
#17 Water Main / DPW No vote taken 3/15/10 $700,000
#18 Traffic Beacon at Main St/Church St / DPW/DRC Recommended $15,000
#19 Town Well Imrovements / DPW Recommended – Paid for by Water Enterprise Fund $25,000
#20 Thermal Imaging Camera / Fire Chief Not Recommended $14,291
#21 Class “A” Fire Engine / Fire Chief Recommended $510,000
#22 New Service Vehicle / Fire Chief Not Recommended $37,841
#23 Eight portable radios / Fire Chief Recommended $19,960
#24 Restoration of Damaged School Property / School Committee Recommended – Already paid by insurance $52,690
#25 Repair or replace Elmwood School Boiler / School Committee Recommended – Leftover money already borrowed for Center School boiler to be used $145,000
#26 Repair HS Loop Road / School Committee Not Recommended $227,000

Board of Selectmen to Vote on Budget and Town Meeting Articles Tonight

Town-Wide Budget
On Monday, March 15 the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen will vote to adopt a town-wide budget including the school and financial warrant articles. At this time the Board of Selectmen will also take a position to support or not the Annual Town Meeting Articles. The televised portion of the meeting begins at 6:00pm. Residents may attend in person or watch on HCAM-TV. Residents may also send questions and comments to the Selectmen at selectmen@hopkinton.org.

The Selectmen are considering reducing the Community Preservation Act (CPA) tax by approximately 1%, which would require a vote at Town Meeting. Since 2001 Hopkinton has contributed 2% to the CPA. If the reduction happens, the net tax impact of the proposed budget would be about 0.3%. If the CPA tax is not changed, the tax increase necessitated by the proposed budget would be 1.3%.

For your reference the CPA allows communities to create a local Community Preservation Fund to raise money through a surcharge of up to 3% of the real estate tax levy on real property for open space protection, historic preservation and the provision of affordable housing. The act also creates a significant state matching fund, which serves as an incentive to communities to pass the CPA. Matching funds have been reduced in recent years due to the state’s economic situation. Read more at http://commpres.env.state.ma.us/content/cpa.asp and http://www.hopkinton.org/gov/cpc/index.htm.

The Next Step in the Budget Process:
After the Selectmen adopt the budget it will be given to the Appropriations Committee who will review the budget, hold a public hearing (tentatively April 7) and develop recommendations on the budget. Residents will vote on the budget at the annual Town Meeting, which begins Monday, May 3 at 7:00pm.

Budget in Review
On Thursday February 11, Town Manager Norman Khumalo presented a Town Budget Recommendation to the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Appropriations Committee. Under Khumalo’s $61 million proposal, the police department may have one less officer and the public library may have to close during Christmas week. For the schools to meet Khumalo’s budget, that would mean cutting their budget proposal roughly $170,000. It is not yet clear what the School Committee would cut to meet the new budget goal.

Khumalo’s overall budget raises spending 1.7 percent. Driving the increase is a projected eight percent spike in employee health insurance premiums, upgrades to computer hardware and programs for efficiency’s sake and money to cover the state’s now-missing share of the Quinn bill, which boosts police salaries after college degrees are earned and an increase to the Keefe Tech budget due to three more Hopkinton students attending Keefe Tech. It also accounts for previously negotiated raises and new contracts, because town police officers and firefighters are entering the final year of contracts providing 3 percent raises.