At their March 21 meeting, the School Committee voted to amend this year’s school calendar to include an Early Dismissal Day on Friday, March 29 (Good Friday). Five snow/hurricane cancellation days are built into the school calendar, but Hopkinton has had six cancellation days this year, so one day had to be made up. Dr Hiersche presented several options to the committee and recommended the Early Dismissal on March 29 as the best of the limited options available. This will allow the district to maintain the last day of school on Friday, June 28. Continue reading Make-up of Sixth Snow Day – Early Dismissal on Good Friday
After the May Town Election, the School Committee reorganized as they do every year. Nancy Burdick was elected Chair and Scott Aghababian was elected Vice Chair. Congratulations to them both from the Educate Hopkinton board! Contact info is below. Elmwood School has a new principal this year, David Ljungberg, who was the formerly the Assistant Principal for both Elmwood and Hopkins Schools. Continue reading School Committee Update and School Council Openings
Hopkinton Annual Town Meeting Day 1
Monday, May 7 at 7:00-11:00pm
Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium
There are 58 articles to vote on in the warrant this year. Town meeting will repeat the following evenings 7:00-11:00pm until all the articles are voted. We expect Town Meeting to last 2-3 evenings. A list of articles and our Town Meeting 101 is included below.
- Full List of Warrants and Motions, including dollar amounts
- 2011 Town Report
- Appropriations Committee Presentation
- School Committee Budget Booklet
- Planning Board Articles Descriptions
- Information and handouts for the other articles
Town Meeting 101
You do not need to bring anything to Town Meeting. However, many people find that bringing a notebook and pen or pencil is helpful to make notes during the discussions. No food or drink is allowed in the Middle School Auditorium. There is a drinking fountain outside the auditorium. Many people also find that something to occupy one’s hands is helpful. If you are a knitter, for example, bring a small project. There are plenty of padded stationary folding auditorium style chairs, which are reasonably comfortable. But remember you’ll be there for a long time, so wear comfortable clothes.
Town Meeting begins at 7:00pm in the Middle School Auditorium. Enter by Grove Street and please allow time to park and walk to the building. As you enter the Middle School, head to the left to the cafeteria to sign in. To actually vote in the auditorium, you must be a Hopkinton resident registered to vote and you must sign in at the voter table. Your name will be checked off and you’ll be given a piece of paper. Hold on to this piece of paper; you will need it when it is time for the votes to be counted! You’ll see a table of handouts and fact sheets regarding all the proposed article to be voted on from both the town boards and committees. There is some terrific information here that may answer many of your questions. Listening devices for the hearing impaired will be available, please ask when you check in.
You do not have to be present for the entire town meeting to vote, though the more that participate in whole, the more balanced the democratic process. A quorum of 100 people is required to open the meeting. There is no set time to check in. The meeting will be broadcast live via HCAM TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming live at www.hcam.tv), but you MUST be present to vote. You just need to check in prior to the vote, whenever you arrive. You only have to check in once, and you can come and go from the auditorium as you please. You can text (with phone switched to silent mode) from within the auditorium, although there is minimal cell coverage. Step outside to make a phone call.
The Board of Selectmen (Todd Cestari, Chair) presides over the meeting, which is facilitated by the Town Moderator (Dr. Bruce Karlin) and recorded by the Town Clerk (Ann M. Click). The format of the meeting itself follows Robert’s Rules of Order. Articles are presented, motions made, discussions ensue. Sometimes it can be a little confusing if an amendment comes up, so keep your ears open. Listen carefully — and you’ll learn a lot. There are 58 articles on the warrant (agenda) for Hopkinton’s Annual Town Meeting.
The committee or board presenting each article may make a brief presentation before each article. The Town Moderator, Dr. Karlin, will facilitate a question and answer period for registered residents. If you choose to ask a question or comment on an article, step up to one of the microphones located in the auditorium aisles. Wait for the moderator, to recognize you, then state your name and address, and keep your comments brief, civil, and to the point. The comment, question and answer period will end when either #1 the moderator sees that no one else is waiting at the microphone to speak or #2 a voter comes to the microphone, is recognized by the moderator, and says “I move the question” or “I call the question.” The motion to end debate must then be seconded and then adopted by a ⅔ vote.
As for the actual voting, most votes start as a voice vote. The moderator asks all in favor and all opposed. If the voice vote sounds close, it will go to a standing count. The moderator will ask all in favor to stand up. Now is the time to get out that piece of paper! Hold out your paper and remain standing until the counters for your section have indicated that your vote has been recorded.
Although you can leave at any time, we recommend you do NOT leave until the meeting is officially adjourned. Someone may ask for a recount, and if a large group has already left, the outcome could be different, especially if the original vote was close. If you have any other questions about Town Meeting, please ask!
LIST OF ARTICLES (Many articles have a link for more info.)
Article 1: Acceptance of Town Reports
FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2012
Article 2: FY 2012 Supplemental Appropriations
Article 3: FY 2012 Budget Transfer
Article 4: Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years
Article 5: Amend FY 2012 Building Permit Revolving Fund
FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2013
Article 6: Amend the Salary of an Elected Official (Town Clerk)
Article 7: FY 2013 Operating Budget $30,354,762.00
Article 8: FY 2013 Operating Budget – School Department $34,085,238.00
Article 9: FY 2013 Revolving Funds
Article 10: Chapter 90 Highway Funds
Article 11: Transfer to Capital Expense Stabilization Fund
Article 12: Transfer to General Stabilization Fund
Article 13: Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund
Article 14: Close Drainage Improvement Fund & Return Funds
Article 15: Cemetery Building Removal
Article 16: Acceptance As-Built Plans for Hearthstone Road and Carriage Hill Road
Article 17: Fire Personal Protective Equipment
Article 18: Fire Generator Station 2
Article 19: Property Tax Exemptions
Article 20: Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses $703,520.00
CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS
Article 21: Repair Drainage Improvements to Hayward Street $170,000.00
Article 22: Town Hall Basement Water Damage $100,000.00
Article 23: Parking Lot – Town Hall $50,000.00
Article 24: High School Track Renovation $278,500.00
Article 25: Lake Shore Drive Culvert $300,000.00
Article 26: ADAOC Phase VI $150,000.00
Article 27: Tender Truck Supplemental Appropriation $17,000.00
Article 28: Wood Street Pump Station Improvements $1,750,000
Article 29: Water Meter Upgrade to Radio Read $77,000
Article 30: Water Supply Study $90,000
Article 31: Water Vehicle $43,000
Article 32: Sewer Vehicle $43,000
Article 33: Sandy Beach Improvements $332,000
Article 34: Library – Replace Knob/Tube Electrical System/Envelope Repairs $50,000
Article 35: Loop Road Repair $96,025
Article 36: School and West Main Street Traffic Signal $540,000
Article 37: Pave Lumber Street $540,000
Article 38: School Buildings and Grounds Equipment – Tractor-Mower $64,000
Article 39: Undergrounding Utilities On Main Street $580,000
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS
Article 40: Community Preservation Recommendations $819,100
GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS
Article 41: Amendment to Alcoholic Beverage, Marihuana or Tetrahydrocannabinol and Tobacco Bylaw
Article 42: Amendment to Wetlands Protection Bylaw
Article 43: Unregistered Motor Vehicles Bylaw
Article 44: Secondhand Dealers Bylaw
ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS
Article 45: Site Plan Review Bylaw
Article 46: Health Services Facility
Article 47: Medical Office Use
Article 48: Continuing Care Retirement Community
Article 49: Restaurants in Industrial B District
Article 50: Retail Uses
Article 51: Zoning District of 91 Grove Street
Article 52: Off-Street Parking Bylaw
Article 53: Life Sciences
Article 54: Amend Zoning Map
LAND ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSITIONS
Article 55: Street Acceptances
Article 56: Acquisition of Property on West Main Street
Article 57: Package Licenses
Article 58: PerkinElmer TIF
Developing the Proposed FY 13 Budget was once again challenging due to the difficult economic environment. For FY13, we began the budget process with $423,000 less available offsets, compared with FY12. The School Committee, administration, and staff have worked hard to develop a responsible budget that maintains reasonable class sizes, protects curricular and extracurricular programs, continues current services, and continues progress on the Strategic Plan, with only modest increases in select school fees.
The school district’s proposed budget for FY 13 is $34,085,238 which represents an increase of $1,127,516 or 3.4% compared to last year`s budget. The budget will support a projected student enrollment of 3,390 students, which reflects a decrease of 55 students from the current fiscal year.
The proposed budget effectively allocates resources to improve student achievement and to further district progress towards the priorities in its Strategic Plan. As a result of payroll savings from teacher retirements, staff attrition, reorganization, and the efficient use of revolving account revenues, the district has been able to 1.9 additional FTE’s. Included in this number are 4.1 new teaching positions which are partially offset by a reduction of 2.2 support stafß The teaching positions allow us to maintain reasonable class sizes, provide interventions for general education students, and to meet the needs of our special education students.
The School Committee appreciates the collaborative efforts of the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, the Chief Financial Officer, the Appropriations Committee, and the Capital Improvements Committee. We have worked together to be more cost efficient, to generate revenues, and to judiciously use monies from the town, state aid, and revolving account balances.
As citizens, you have made a significant investment in your schools over the years that has translated into increased student success in the classroom, on stage, in athletics, and in academic competitions. The reputation of our schools and the town has been enhanced. We have always appreciated your support and will continue to do our best to justify it.
Please take the time to familiarize yourselves with the school district’s budget. We encourage your participation in the May 7, 2012 Annual Town Meeting and look forward to your continued support during these challenging times.
The Board of Selectmen will be meeting on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:00pm at Town Hall to discuss and vote on the proposed 2012-13 budget. The Town Manager presented his budget at their last meeting. According to HCAM News the proposed “total operating budget for FY2013 is $64,094,931 which represents an approximate two percent (2%) increase in the operating budget over Fiscal Year 2012. Click here to view the FY13 Town Budget Presentation Powerpoint and click here for the FY13 Budget Spreadsheet to be presented at the meeting on Wednesday. After the Selectmen vote on the budget Wednesday, it will go to the Appropriations Committee who will hold a public hearing (date TBA).
Articles for further reading:
Town Manager Presents Recommended Budget
by Michelle Murdock, HCAM News Director
Hopkinton debates spending plans
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
Recommended Town Budget Increases Taxes 1.6 Percent
By Sean O’Donnell, Hopkinton Patch
Hopkinton traffic light could cost half a million dollars
By Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1160495440/Hopkinton-traffic-light-could-cost-half-a-million-dollars
School Street Intersection Plan Estimated to Cost $530,000
By Sean O’Donnell, Hopkinton Patch
According to the Town Charter, the Town Manager must submit the proposed budget to the Selectmen by March 1 of every year. The next Selectmen’s meeting is Tuesday, February 28 and, although the agenda is not yet posted, we expect that the budget presentation will take place at this meeting. The Selectmen must either adopt or amend the Town Manager’s budget by March 15, so we expect they will do so at their meeting on Tuesday, March 13. The budget message for fiscal year 2012-13 was level funding on operational costs, except fixed cost increases and strategic initiatives. The police and dispatchers are under a 2-year wage freeze and the DPW has already negotiated a 0.5% increase for FY13. The fire department agreed to a wage freeze last year, but are still in negotiations for FY13.
The School Committee has requested $2.6 million in capital projects for Town Meeting 2012, including a new Center School Feasibility Study, repairs to the High School track and Loop Road, a new roof for Elmwood School, emergency strobe lights for all schools, a new mowing tractor and new windows for the oldest 1928 section of Center School. We do not yet know the full capital request from the town for next year, but you can view the town’s Ten Year Capital Expenditure Plan at http://hcam.tv/sites/default/files/i_cic_schedules_fy12.pdf.
Articles for further reading:
$8.2 Million in Preliminary Capital Expenditure Plan for FY2013
Hopkinton selectmen weigh tax, spending options by Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier
Hopkinton schools seek $2.6 million for projects, equipment by Michael Morton, Hopkinton Crier http://www.wickedlocal.com/hopkinton/news/x219669599/Hopkinton-schools-seek-2-6-million-for-projects-equipment
A huge “Thank You” to everyone who came to the School Committee Public Hearing and/or wrote to the School Committee with your thoughts on the 2012-13 budget. Your voices truly do make a difference! A few days after the public hearing the School Committee sent the following press release. The budget has now been submitted to the Town Manager and may still go through many changes before Town Meeting (May 7) as it is reviewed by the Town Manger, Selectmen and Appropriations Committee. Please continue to stay informed.
PRESS RELEASE – HOPKINTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE FY13 BUDGET
On January 28, 2012, the Hopkinton School Committee voted a budget of $34,085,238, which is an increase of $1,127,516, or 3.42%, over the FY12 budget.
The budget includes support for the following concerns highlighted by the community:
- 6 classrooms of Full Day Kindergarten and 4 sections of Half Day Kindergarten, each with a full time teaching assistant;
- Average class sizes of 20 students or less in all Kindergarten and 1st Grade class rooms;
- An additional classroom teacher in 4th grade and in 5th grade, resulting in average class sizes of 22 at each grade level;
- Reinstatement of the Middle School Drama Related Arts course;
- Funding for curriculum alignment to the new state mandated Common Core frameworks in Mathematics, including increased student and staff support as well as some textbooks;
- Support for Strategic Plan initiatives in foreign language (funded by the F-1 Visa program that allows foreign students to tuition into the district); and
- Needed maintenance at Center, Elmwood, Middle School, and High School, as well as the Special Education offices.
To support all of the items listed above, the School Committee:
- Reduced technology requests;
- Reduced funding for supplies;
- Increased athletic fees at the Middle School and High School from $125/sport to $150/sport;
- Implemented a $25 activity fee for Middle School and High School non-athletic extracurricular activities (one annual fee/student covers as many clubs as the student participates in);
- Increased Full Day Kindergarten tuition from $3,700 to $4,000; and
- Implemented a $100/student transportation fee to local daycare/afterschool program providers.
With this budget, the School Committee is able to protect the classroom experience provided to students, continue to work toward Strategic Plan initiatives, and be fiscally responsible to the community. There was a tremendous amount of feedback offered by the community throughout the budget process, and the School Committee would like to thank all who shared their comments and perspectives. Understanding what the community values and prioritizes helped guide the School Committee through difficult choices between many valued programs and initiatives, and the current economic challenges faced by residents. The School Committee would also like to thank the administrative staff for support in revising the budget to meet community desires.
Let’s Talk About School and Town Budgets, Center School, Legacy Farms and More
Sunday, February 12 @ 7:00 p.m.
Vineyard Church of Hopkinton, 84 South Street
Have you been following the school and town budget process? Do you know what might get cut and what might get added to the 2012-13 budget? Want to know what the next steps are in the process to finding a Center School solution? Did you hear about the Legacy Farms land available for municipal and recreational use? Join Educate Hopkinton in a casual setting to learn more about what’s been going on with these town issues. Guests include Selectman John Mosher, Center School Survey Analyst Paul Flaxman, Parks and Recreation Committee Chair, Ken Driscoll and School Committee Member Nancy Burdick. We want to hear from you on what school and town budget topics are of most interest to you this year. For planning purposes please Click to RSVP Online. Questions? Amy Ritterbusch firstname.lastname@example.org 508.625.1264