Meet the Candidates Tonight at 7pm on HCAM

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The Hopkinton Women’s Club is holding its annual Meet the Candidates Night on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 PM in the HCAM studio. Residents are encouraged to attend and ask questions of those citizens running for office in the May 19 Town Election. Call in during the show at 508-435-7887 or email your questions in advance to live@hcam.tv.

The only contested race is for School Committee, so we are listing those candidates first, in alphabetical order as they appear on the ballot. Educate Hopkinton as an organization does not specifically endorse any of the candidates, click to read our policy for more info. There are also two ballot questions. Click here to view a Specimen Ballot.

Candidates & Questions on the May 19 Town Election

  • SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 2 – Contested Race
  • SELECTMEN, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • John M Coutinho, Republican
  • BOARD OF ASSESSORS, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • John L Palmer
  • BOARD OF HEALTH, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Jennifer Belesi, Republican
  • BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • June A Harris, Republican
    • Stanley D Pulnik
  • CEMETERY COMMISSIONER, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Claire B Wright, Republican
  • COMMISSIONER OF TRUST FUND, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Muriel E Kramer, Democrat
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY, For 5 years, Vote for 1
    • Warren E Johnson
  • PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • Timothy W Kilduff
    • Amy K Markovich
  • PLANNING BOARD, For 5 years, Vote for 1
    •  Francis J DeYoung, Republican

Ballot Questions

#1 Underride – YES or NO

  • “Shall the Town of Hopkinton be required to reduce the amount of real estate and personal property taxes to be assessed for the fiscal year beginning July first, two thousand and fourteen by an amount equal to $1,250,000?”

#2 Library Renovation and Expansion Funding – YES or NO

  • “Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the limitations imposed by Chapter 59, Section 21C of the Massachusetts General Laws (Proposition 2 1/2, so-called), the amounts required to pay for the bond issued for costs related to the renovation, restoration, expansion, construction and reconstruction of the Hopkinton Public Library?”

Watch “Know Your Vote” Tomorrow – Send Questions

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Our annual “Know Your Vote” pre-Town Meeting show will be airing live on HCAM tomorrow, Monday 4/28 at 7:00pm.  Please send in your questions regarding this year’s Town Meeting. Email them in advance to knowyourvote@educatehopkinton.com or call the studio at 508.435.7887 to ask your question live on the air between 7:00-8:00pm. Residents are invited to attend the forum in person (HCAM-TV Studios, 77 Main St, Lower Level, Hopkinton) or watch on TV (Verizon Channel 30, Comcast Channel 8, Streaming Live at www.hcam.tv).

Panelists available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles will be Selectmen Chair John Mosher, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Superintendent Dr Cathy MacLeod, School Committee Chair Nancy Burdick, Hopkinton Public Library Foundation Board Member Laura Barry, Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel and Town Moderator Dr Bruce Karlin. An invitation was also extended to the Appropriation Committee, but eHop has not yet had a response.

Photo Gallery of Town Meeting Articles

For your visual reference, here’s a photo gallery of select Town Meeting articles:

List of Articles for Town Meeting

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Educate Hopkinton will provide more details and links next weekend, prior to Town Meeting, but for now here are the key documents and the list of articles.

Documents:

List of Articles:

  1. Acceptance of Town Reports
  2. FY14 Supplement Appropriations
  3. FY14 Budget Transfers
  4. Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years
  5. Property Tax Exemption Increase
  6. Amend the Salary of an Elected Official
  7. FY15 Operating Budget
  8. Underride
  9. FY15 Revolving Funds
  10. Chapter 90 Highway Funds
  11. Transfer to Capital Expense Stabilization Fund
  12. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund
  13. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund
  14. Pay As You Go Capital Expenses
  15. Library Construction
  16. Sidewalk Construction & Rehabilitation Program
  17. Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming
  18. Main Street Fire Roof
  19. International Horton Ambulance
  20. Vactor Truck
  21. Evaluation Studies of School Roof Repairs
  22. School Safety and Security
  23. Board of Assessors Consultant
  24. Community Preservation Receommendations
  25. Farmer’s Market Wine Sampling on Town Common
  26. Downtown Business/Residence A District Boundary Modifications
  27. Downtown Business District Lot Area
  28. Industrial A and Industrial B Districts – frontage
  29. Floodplain District
  30. Repeal Subdivision Phasing Bylaw
  31. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
  32. Open Space Mixed Use Development (OSMUD) Overlay District – Hockey Rink
  33. Open Space Mixed Use Development (OSMUD) Overlay District – More dwelling units; senior housing development definition
  34. Neighborhood Overlay Mixed Use District
  35. Sidewalk Easement – East Main Street
  36. Gift of Land – Hunters Ridge Open Space
  37. Gift of Land – 294 Hayden Rowe Street
  38. Acceptance of Easement – Upper Charles Trail
  39. Acquisition of Property at 25 Ash Street
  40. Street Acceptances
  41. Scenic Road Designation – Chamberlain Street
  42. Commissioner of School Trust Funds

Budget Update and Appropriation Public Hearing 4/16

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The Appropriation Committee (AC) is holding its Public Hearing on the budget Wednesday, April 16th in Town Hall at 6:30PM in preparation for Annual Town Meeting.  At the April 2nd Appropriation Committee meeting, the AC did not support the FY15 budget with the Hopkinton Public School’s initiative for tuition free Full Day Kindergarten. Residents are invited to attend the Public Hearing to provide their input on the proposed AC budget recommendations.

– Town Manager’s Recommended FY15 Budget Model

– School Committee Budget Letter to Town Manager

Town Election Candidates to Date

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Many candidates turned in nomination papers by the March 31 deadline, and the Democrats nominated one new candidate at their caucus on April 5. We await the final list of candidates after the April 11 Republican caucus, but in the meantime here is the list of candidates to date. So far, the only contested race is for School Committee. In addition there are two ballot questions this year: the Underride and the Library.

Offices on the Ballot and Candidates to Date

  • 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
    • Stanley Pulnik
  • CEMETERY COMMISSIONER, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Claire Wright
  • COMMISSIONER OF TRUST FUND, For 3 years, Vote for 1
    • Muriel Kramer
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY, For 5 years, Vote for 1
    • Warren E Johnson
  • PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION, For 3 years, Vote for 2
    • Timothy Kilduff
    • Amy Markovich
  • PLANNING BOARD, For 5 years, Vote for 1
    •  Francis DeYoung
  • SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 2 – Contested Race

Ballot Questions

#1 Underride – YES or NO

  • “Shall the Town of Hopkinton be required to reduce the amount of real estate and personal property taxes to be assessed for the fiscal year beginning July first, two thousand and fourteen by an amount equal to $1,250,000?”

#2 Library Renovation and Expansion Funding – YES or NO

  • “Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the limitations imposed by Chapter 59, Section 21C of the Massachusetts General Laws (Proposition 2 1/2, so-called), the amounts required to pay for the bond issued for costs related to the renovation, restoration, expansion, construction and reconstruction of the Hopkinton Public Library?”

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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.

Town Meeting Warrant Finalized

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At last week’s meeting, the Board of Selectmen finalized the warrant (agenda) for annual Town Meeting coming up in May. Town Meeting begins Monday, May 5 at 7:00pm at the Middle School. The meeting typically adjourns at 11:00pm and is continued on consecutive evenings usually running for at least two nights. There are 42 articles on the warrant this year, we have highlighted a few key articles below, but you can Click Here to Read the Full Warrant.

  • Article #8 – Underride – This would reduce Hopkinton’s excess levy capacity (its ability to tax without an override) by $1,250,000. In recent years Hopkinton has not taxed to the full 2 1/2% increase allowed by state law and therefore has an excess levy capacity.
  • Article #14 – Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses
    • Pierce/Sabre Fit-out Rescue Equipment – Fire Dept. $112,149
    • Replacement of Two Front-Line Cruisers and One Mobile Data Terminal – Police Dept. $71,727
    • Two Building and Grounds Department Trucks – School Dept. $90,000
    • Hopkins School Ceiling Tile Replacement – School Dept. $203,000
    • Upgrade Middle School Auditorium Stage Components – School Dept. $32,000
    • Upgrade Fire Alarm System – Horns/Strobes – School Dept. $25,000
    • Joint IT Upgrades at the Center and Elmwood Schools – School Dept. $100,000
    • Hayden Rowe Drainage – DPW $80,000
    • Keefe Regional Technical School Roof $69,850
    • Read more about the Pay-As-You-Go articles…
  • Article #15 – Library Construction – $6,255,000
    • In March, Hopkinton moved up to #3 on the waiting list for a state Library Construction Grant. If Hopkinton residents approve funding for the renovation and expansion of our library at Town Meeting on May 5 and at the Town Election on May 19, then Hopkinton may proceed to signing a grant agreement with MBLC as soon as July. Once a grant agreement is signed, Hopkinton will get its first payment of the $4.5 million grant and the town may begin design refinement. The target date for opening of the renovated and expanded library is December 2016. Read more at the HPLF website.
  • Article #16 – Sidewalk Construction & Rehabilitation Program $1,519,000
    • Construction of 10,000 feet of new sidewalks on various streets over the next five years, including three different spots on Ash Street and sections of Wood, Elm and East and West Main streets.
  • Article #17 – Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming near the schools $400,000
  • Article #18 – Main Fire Station Roof $400,000
  • Article #19 – International Horton Ambulance $270,000
  • Article #20 – Vactor Truck – $395,000
  • Article #21 – Evaluation Studies for School Roof Repairs (Hopkins and High School) – $30,000
  • Article #22 – School Safety and Security – $152,400
  • Article #25 – Bylaw Change: Farmer’s Market Wine Sampling on Town Common
  • Article #32 – Zoning Bylaw Change: Open Space Mixed Use Development (OSMUD) Overlay District – Hockey Rink
  • Article #39 – Acquisition of Property at 25 Ash Street (abutting Center School property)
  • Article #41 – Scenic Road Designation – Chamberlain Street

Click Here to Read the Full Warrant

Article 16 - Sidewalk Constructionand Rehabilitation Program, $1,519,000
Article 16 – Sidewalk Constructionand Rehabilitation Program, $1,519,000 (click to enlarge)
Article 17 - Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming near the schools, $400,000
Article 17 – Hayden Rowe Traffic Calming near the schools, $400,000 (click to enlarge)

Annual “Know Your Vote” Show on HCAM

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In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, Educate Hopkinton will be hosting a “Know Your Vote” Question and Answer Forum on Monday, April 28 at 7:00-8:00 pm at HCAM-TV Studios, 77 Main St (Lower Level), Hopkinton. Residents are invited to attend the forum in person or watch on TV (Verizon Channel 30, Comcast Channel 8, Streaming Live at www.hcam.tv). Residents may submit questions in advance or during the show by email to knowyourvote@educatehopkinton.com or call the studio at 508.435.7887 to ask your question live on the air. Panelists available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles will be Selectmen Chair John Mosher, Superintendent Dr Cathy MacLeod, School Committee Chair Nancy Burdick, Hopkinton Public Library Foundation Board Member Laura Barry and more.