Town Manager’s Budget – Net Tax Impact of +2.5%

Seal of the Town of Hopkinton 1715

On February 25, the Town Manager presented his recommended FY15 budget to the Selectmen. The total recommended town operating budget (including a 4.91% increase for the schools) was a 4.8% increase. The Selectmen will deliberate on the budget and then either adopt or amend the Town Manager’s budget, and submit it to the Appropriation Committee by the March 15 deadline.

Tax Impact: Thanks to new growth in town the Town Manager’s recommended budget would only have a 2.5% net tax increase and would NOT require an override vote. However, the Selectmen may still amend the budget, so stayed tuned for updated info. Selectmen even suggested the possibility of an “under-ride” vote to eliminate part or all of our town’s excess levy capacity. At the end of the current Fiscal Year 2013-14, Hopkinton is projected to have $2,170,488 in excess levy capacity. See the Town Manager’s Recommended Budget PDF for more info.

DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR REFERENCE:

Upcoming SELECTMEN BUDGET MEETINGS:

Tuesday, March 4 at 6:30pm
@ Fire Station Training Room

Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30pm
@ Town Hall, Room 215

Superintendent’s Public Forums: FY15 Budget

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Superintendent Cathy MacLeod hopes Hopkinton residents will attend the public forum as an opportunity to ask any unanswered questions on the FY15 Budget and to gain greater clarification of the budget. Mr. Dumas, Director of Finance, will be joining her to hear concerns and answer questions.

Date: Wednesday, March 5th
Location: Middle School Lecture Hall
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Date: Tuesday, March 18th
Location: Middle School Lecture Hall
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Proposed Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map Amendments – Public Hearing 3/10

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The Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing on March 10 at 7:45 PM in the Town Hall on proposed changes to the town zoning bylaws and the zoning map. The following at the items to be discussed. See pdf file for full details.

  • Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – Among other things, it is proposed that these not be placed near schools or other places where children congregate.
  • Open Space Mixed Use Development (OSMUD) Overlay District – Proposed changes to the Legacy Farms OSMUD including the number of affordable housing units.
  • Downtown Business District lot area – Change minimum lot area to 7,000 square feet.
  • Downtown Business District/Residence A District boundary line – Proposed changes the zoning district of the some downtown parcels. See list and map in pdf.
  • Floodplain District Modifications
  • Repeal Subdivision Phasing bylaw
  • Proposed Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map Amendments 2/14/14 (PDF)

Modular Classrooms and 2014-2015 School Calendar

HPS SealThe School Committee approved the FY15 budget at their January 30 meeting which included a tuition-free full day kindergarten program.  A $350,000 placeholder was put on the town meeting warrant for temporary modular classrooms to help house the FDK program.  At the February 27 school committee meeting, Dr. Cathy MacLeod asked that the modulars be removed from the town warrant and the school committee voted in favor of removing the article.  MacLeod explained the modulars were put on the warrant as a placeholder while 3 different options were researched for housing the full day kindergarten program. The options included temporary modular classrooms, splitting students between Elmwood and Center School or housing the program within the Center School building.  After careful consideration of all 3 options and consultation with her administrative staff, Dr. MacLeod decided housing the program within Center School was the best options for the students, teachers and town.  Dr. MacLeod acknowledged there will be some space issues within the Center School but noted that this will not have an impact on class sizes or classroom space.  

The draft of the 2014-2015 school calendar was presented to the school committee last week.  The proposed calendar has the first day of school on Thursday, September 4.  Early release days will remain on Fridays.  No major changes were made to next year’s school calendar but Dr. MacLeod announced she is considering removing some of the religious holidays for future school calendars.  She would also like to see one school break after the Christmas holiday.  A possibility would be removing February vacation and moving April vacation to March.  This would require working with area school districts in order for this to work as it would impact sport schedules and have significant impact on many teachers’ families who live in the surrounding towns.

If you would like to give feedback on the draft calendar, please email your comments and questions to Dr MacLeod and the School Committee.

Hopkinton Public School’s 2014-2015 DRAFT Calendar

Town Election Update

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Many candidates have pulled nomination papers already for the upcoming Town Election, but some offices still have no candidates. To become a candidate a person must either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters by March 31; or a person may qualify by being the top vote getter in one of the town political party caucuses. The Democratic Caucus is Saturday, April 5 and the Republican Caucus is Friday, April 11.

OFFICES ON THE MAY 19 BALLOT

  • SELECTMEN, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • John Coutinho
  • BOARD OF ASSESSORS, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • John Palmer
  • BOARD OF HEALTH, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Jennifer Belesi
  • BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • June A Harris
    • Second Candidate Needed
  • CEMETERY COMMISSIONER, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Claire Wright
  • COMMISSIONER OF TRUST FUND, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Candidate Needed
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Warren E Johnson
  • PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • Two Candidates Needed
  • PLANNING BOARD, For 5 years, Vote for 1
    • Candidate Needed
  • SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • Frank Sivo
    • Kelly Knight

For more information, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 508-497-9710 or  geri@hopkintonma.gov. Click to read more on the Town Clerk’s website.

Candidate Endorsement Policy

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As we head into election season, Educate Hopkinton would like to remind our readers of our candidate endorsement policy.

The primary mission of Educate Hopkinton (eHop) is community education on funding and policy issues pertaining to the Town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts including the Hopkinton Public Schools. Hence, eHop will strive to provide voters with accurate and detailed information on candidates running for state and local office, with a focus on each candidate’s position on both town and school-related issues.

It is eHop policy not to endorse candidates for public office. eHop board members are at liberty, however, to endorse candidates independently.

When eHop collects information from candidates for voter education purposes, eHop may add editorial comments to clarify candidate claims or statements that eHop deems to be deceptive or misleading, or that require further explanation.

In addition, due to eHop policy not to endorse candidates for public office, any endorsements for specific candidates will be deleted from our Facebook page.

Read our full policies and guidelines…