Category Archives: Library

A Blog Debate – Five Questions and Responses from the Four Board of Selectman Candidates

Educate Hopkinton posed the following five questions to our Selectman Candidates, covering school system funding (question #1), downtown revitalization (#2), Library expansion (#3), support for a “Green Community” (#4), and support for an override to fund a new elementary school (#5). We thank them for their responses and for their commitment to Hopkinton.

Todd S. Holbrook 508-435-3116, Republican Caucus Nominee
Benjamin L. Palleiko 617-548-1970, Republican Caucus Nominee
John M. Mosher
Joseph E. Nealon 508-435-2312

Here are their responses:

Question 1. The schools have lost a lot of ground over the last five years. Per pupil spending is 11.5% lower than the state average and lower than comparable districts; and class sizes have ballooned with the reduction of 34.7 staff members. When the Board of Selectmen set the budget message in the fall, should they ask the schools to cut costs, keep costs level, keep services level or increase costs in order to bring back some of the teaching positions and programs previously lost?

Todd Holbrook: Much depends on what happens with the larger economic picture over the coming months. Should we remain on course as coming out of the recession, which could mean an increase in (or at least leveling off of) state aid and a better job picture, then I would support increasing the school budget. I would welcome input from the School Committee and Appropriations Committee on whether to keep services level or increase funding to regain some lost ground. At the same time, we must be mindful of the increased strain that building a new school will put on town resources. And if the economy were to worsen (for example if the Greek crisis were to widen and cause a renewed recession), I would do my best to ensure at least level funding for the schools.

John Mosher: Bring back some of the lost teaching positions. Should they increase costs? That will likely happen to cover the increase in teaching positions but it can be offset somewhat by implementing energy saving measures. Some of these have already been proposed and can help add to the bottom line. The priority issue I keep hearing about is the number of teachers and I personally believe that the teacher student interaction is not only essential to teaching a child but also inspiring them. We all have teachers we remember that had a great influence on us.

Joe Nealon: I support our schools. I have four children currently attending the High School, Hopkins and Center School and continue to be amazed at the level of service, talent and commitment of our teachers and administrators. The school budgets are a priority to me and I can not see asking for a level budget without a loss of vital services. I will work with the Superintendant of the schools and the School Committee to make sure that we are continuing the level of service that has given us our reputation.

Ben Palleiko: As I have said all along, budgets for the past few years have been very tight and we need to begin to consider how to rebuild the level of services across town that have been in decline. That includes many departments, not just the schools. If elected, I would propose that the budget message that goes out in the fall would be along the lines of “responsible rebuilding”.
Rather than a top-down decision on overall budget size as has been the case for the past few years, I would recommend a bottoms-up approach where the Selectmen would ask each department to create a budget that begins to add back important elements that have been cut or eliminated in the past few years. That is the “rebuilding” part.
The “responsible” part refers to the fact that we must still keep close control over expenses and not create the expectation across departments that increased spending is assured in all cases. I would expect each person or group responsible for a budget to tie any proposed increased spending to their defined priorities (for the schools I expect that would be the strategic plan), rather than just recommend across-the-board increases or increases that aren’t tightly linked to improved or restored services. We don’t want to grow expenses simply because we can.
A final point is that the level at which we can pursue rebuilding will depend upon many factors that I can’t predict at this time, including the overall state of the economy and our future expectations on state aid. Budget holders may need to prioritize in cases where there are a number of unmet needs, but not all may be addressable at once. The Selectmen may also still need to adjust budgets to reflect areas of greatest need across departments. Rebuilding will likely be a several year process, not a one-shot set of increases. However, in most circumstances, I hope there will be much less need for the Selectmen to drive this process from the top down in the future.

Question 2. At Town Meeting, the Town voted by a 2/3 majority to support the $400,000 override for Redesigning Downtown Hopkinton, which could result in a $3-4 million state grant for Hopkinton. This override question will now go to Town Vote on the May 17 ballot. Do you support this initiative?

Todd Holbrook: Absolutely. A critical aspect of keeping Hopkinton’s budget balanced and taxes in check must be the attraction of new business to our community, in the right areas. A revitalized downtown district would help attract the types of businesses we need to generate additional revenue without overly burdening our schools and school budget.

John Mosher: Yes. We are gaining a significant increase in the value of each dollar we spend through the state assistance. Some of the $400,000 cost will be offset by current maintenance costs to repair what we have (this makes it an even better choice for Hopkinton). When this was presented it was stated that similar projects have brought 40+ jobs to the area that was revitalized.

Joe Nealon: I do. When was the last time you and your children walked the sidewalks of our downtown? I do so a number of times a week and I am frustrated at the dilapidated look of our town center. I want to see commercial growth in downtown and the sidewalks full of people walking, shopping and enjoying our town.
The $400,000.00 is the first step in obtaining the state grant and giving our town a face lift. Build it and they will come; maybe. Do nothing and they won’t come; certainly.
I would encourage everyone to vote in favor of the override.

Ben Palleiko: Yes. I have continually said that I favor projects and services that increase our quality of life in town, and the project to enhance downtown is clearly one of them. I also hope that a more attractive downtown would help bring additional businesses to that area, which would be a further benefit.
The state requires this expense be incurred in order to be eligible for the grant. The proponents of this article have represented that the grant is highly likely to be awarded following this project. As Selectman, I would do whatever I can to help the town obtain this grant.

Question 3. The Town will be seeking a state grant for expansion of the Library. Do you support an expanded library, and would you be in favor of the Town contributing 25% of the cost of the project in order to receive a state grant?

Todd Holbrook: Yes. Like other aspects of downtown revitalization, having a welcoming library within walking distance of downtown will assist in attracting new business while maintaining the town character which brought and keeps us all here. I am therefore in favor of the town participating in reasonable funding for an expanded library. I am also in favor of seeking private grants to assist with this cost in ways to minimize the burden on taxpayers.

John Mosher: Yes. Our community is clearly interested in promoting education. This culture of learning should be accessible to the entire community regardless of age or income. A library is a critical part of a vibrant town. This is another opportunity where the dollars the town spends are significantly supplemented by state aid, and, donations.

Joe Nealon: I do support the expansion of the library and in doing so also support the commitment to fund 25% of the construction costs in order to receive the grant money. Town meeting approved the transfer of the library property to the Town for just that purpose. As a user of the library I know that it has exhausted its life cycle. Hopkinton needs a new library to meet our needs.

Ben Palleiko: I have vigorously supported the Library and their expansion goals since my time on the Appropriation Committee from 2003-2007. The library is one of the few resources in town that can truly serve all the different age groups, and so it must be supported.
As I understand it, the town contributing 25% of the cost is a requirement to receive the grant. I consider this an important investment for the town to make. I would also help to whatever extent I can as the Library seeks to raise another 25% in private funding.

Question 4. Do you support Hopkinton’s application to become a “Green Community”? To receive this designation Hopkinton must meet five criteria and, once met, would become eligible for a portion of the annual $10 million state grant to energy conscious communities in the state.

Todd Holbrook: Yes. Earlier I did not support the Stretch Code solely on the basis of timing: While we are in, or just starting to come out of, the worst recession since the Great Depression, I question the need to impose little-understood costs on our current residents and detract from efforts to attract new business due to increased development costs. No one – including myself – could argue with the need to conserve resources and cut reliance on foreign energy. Now the people have spoken and adopted the Stretch Code, and I accept that decision. The remaining two prongs necessary to become a “Green Community,” adopting a policy for energy-efficient town vehicles and setting an energy conservation policy for town usages, are much more readily achievable and should impose minimal if any costs. Having passed the largest hurdle, we should move forward rapidly on these last two criteria and apply for grants to offset the costs we will incur under the Stretch Code. Additionally, upon receiving the “Green Community” designation, we should aggressively market Hopkinton with that designation to the types of low-impact businesses which would seek that designation and would benefit from our location.

John Mosher: Yes. This goes hand in hand with a town where open space, the environment, and education are important to the community. This is a program that supplements environmentally responsible programs with further savings. It also allows town government to demonstrate a commitment to the environment while reducing operating costs.

Joe Nealon: I voted no on the stretch code at town meeting not because I oppose a greener community, in fact I support it, but from a business standpoint we have put our town at a disadvantage to attracting new building.
If a company is looking for a community in which to build its new office building it has many options along 495. Each town has similar attributes and amenities. What a business owner is looking at is the bottom line. By requiring builders to now meet the 2012 code, their cost of construction rises considerably in Hopkinton as opposed to Westborough, Milford or Marlborough.

Ben Palleiko: The vote at town meeting makes it clear that Hopkinton is in favor of being more environmentally conscious, and so I would support reasonable efforts to achieve “Green Community” status. Based upon information provided at town meeting, it seems that Hopkinton is quite advanced in meeting the criteria to be eligible to apply for the grant. The materials state that the two major items remaining are: to establish the energy benchmark and reduction plan; and to purchase only fuel efficient vehicles.
However, I would want to spend at least as much effort on trying to use this status to attract commercial development to town as on applying for the grants. We need to develop a comprehensive plan for bringing appropriate commercial growth to town that emphasizes the town’s many positive attributes, including this status when it is achieved. The key issue from my perspective is to use this status to generate increased revenues, whether from grants or appropriate development.

5. The Elementary Building Committee is in full swing and on target to build a new school soon. They hope to bring a preferred option for the renovation or replacement of the Center School to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) at their July 2010 meeting. Will you support an override to build a new elementary school to replace Center School?

Todd Holbrook: To answer this question requires clarification. If intended to ask if I support replacement rather than renovation, I would want to hear the Building Committee’s recommendations first. Proper renovations would require work during the school term, so logistics would be a problem facing renovations, but the central location of the present school is a good one. For these and many other reasons replacement versus renovation is a complex question which deserves consideration of the significant efforts being invested by the Building Committee. If instead the question is asking whether I would support an override for either replacement or renovation, the answer is easier: The largest expenditure of any town like Hopkinton must be for local education. If an override is necessary to fund a school needed for our children, I would support that override.

John Mosher: Yes. This is speculation but I am assuming that if it is the recommendation of the MSBA, the Center School Feasibility Study, and the School Committee, that the demand, population data, and finances support the need. It is my understanding that there are several different scenarios (possibly nine?) that are under review. Detailed studies have been completed that show an increase in the school age population (contrary to studies from several years ago). There would be significant state aid as well. This would also be a wonderful opportunity for Hopkinton to have a building to educate our children in that is energy efficient and healthy! LEED’s ( rated buildings show higher productivity and health for workplace occupants, I would think the same would be true of children. We are all aware of the health problems some children incur in specific buildings, or other distractions (such as the overly warm temps at Center School). We need to keep in mind that a building can be more than just a space or a number.

Joe Nealon: Maybe……. Again I would be negligent to give you an answer. I have not seen the plan or the proposed costs. I can tell you I would support a renovation and potential expansion of Center School. We have a beautiful building in a central location. Before we undertake the expense of building an entirely new school on the outskirts of town (imagine the bus ride) I would explore the cost of renovating Center School.
I would need to look at all of the options available to the town in order to make an educated decision as to what would be best for our town.

Ben Palleiko: There is no question that the town needs to do something regarding Center School. I expect that I will support whatever recommendation is made by the Elementary Building Committee and I also expect that we will pay for this building the same way as we paid for all the others. However, in both cases I will certainly do the work to confirm that the recommendation makes sense and the payment mechanism remains the best option for the town and the taxpayers.

Town Meeting Day 2 Unofficial Results – Meeting Adjourned at 10:48 p.m. – Warrant Complete

For more details on each article read the 2010 Annual Town Meeting Hand Warrant at

Article 36: Delete Ch. 107 and Sec. 61-11- PASSED unanimous

Article 37: Personnel Bylaws – PASSED 67 for – 49 against

Article 38: Adopt Stretch Energy Code – PASSED 120 for – 43 against

Article 39: Off Street Parking Bylaw: Bylaw-Parking Requirements for Restaurants, Downtown Business District and Issuance of Special Permits for Reduced Parking – PASSED unanimous

Article 40: Site Plan Review: Limit Renewable Energy Site Plan Review To Six (6) months – PASSED unanimous

Article 41: Zoning Map: Rezone 89 Hayden Rowe from Residence B to Business – PASSED unanimous

Article 42: Amend Floodplain district per new FEMA Maps – PASSED unanimous

Article 43: Definition of Historic Structure and Allow Flexibility for Preservation – PASSED unanimous

Article 44: Amend Industrial A District to Allow Restaurant by Right – PASSED clear 2/3 majority

Article 45: Zoning Map: Rezone 0, 50, 58, 60, 64, 66, 68 and 70 West Main Street From Residential B to Business Rural – PASSED 123 for – 40 against

Article 46: Article 1, Sec. 210-4: Design Continue Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – PASSED unanimous

Article 47: Article XVIII, Sec. 210-124B (1) Parking Requirements for Continuing Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – PASSED unanimous

Article 48: Transfer of Real Property, Sell or Dispose of Real Property at 84 West Main Street – PASSED unanimous

Article 49: Authorize a Lease of Town Property at 98 Hayden Rowe – PASSED unanimous

Article 50: Transfer Ownership of Public Library from Library Trustees to Town – PASSED unanimous

Article 51: Authorize Board of Selectmen to Seek Authority to Apply for Grants for the Expansion and Construction of the Public Library – PASSED unanimous

Article 52: Change in CPA Surcharge – NO ACTION unanimous

Article 53: Amend Town Charter to Provide for an Appointed Town Clerk – PASSED clear majority

Article 54: Abolish the Board of Public Works – PASSED unanimous

Article 55: Acceptance of Strong Chief Statute – PASSED unanimous

Article 56: Accept M.G. L. c 32B, § 18: Medicare Enrollment for Retires – NO ACTION clear majority

Article 57: Street Acceptance (Breakneck Hill Rd and Glen Rd only) – PASSED clear 2/3 majority

10:48pm Motion to Adjourn to Annual Town Election – PASSED unanimous

Annual Town Election – Monday, May 17 @ 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Middle School, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton MA 01748

Town Meeting Begins Tomorrow at 7:00pm – Includes 57 Articles to be Voted

Annual Town Meeting
Begins Monday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. (continues on consecutive evenings until complete)
Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton MA 01748
(Also broadcast on HCAM-TV, Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30)

Town Meeting 101
Did you move to Hopkinton because of the great school system and the small-town feel? Do you want to ensure that Hopkinton remains a town that you want to call home? Then please attend Town Meeting. Town Meeting is a crucial decision-making event for our town. The town’s committees and staff have worked through budgets, recommendations, etc. It is now up to Hopkinton’s citizens to voice our opinions and determine the direction of our town by voting on the articles presented at Town Meeting.
Key articles include the Town Budget, the School Budget, repair of the High School Loop Road, the potential reduction of our Community Preservation fund contribution, and design enhancements for the downtown area (see below for more details). In total, there are 57 articles to be voted on. Most of these will be decided at Town Meeting. Only two of the articles (#18 Downtown Design and #27 Elmwood Boiler) require a passing vote both Town Meeting and Town Election (May 17). There are many hot button issues that will only be voted on at Town Meeting. Often, key articles are passed or defeated by a few votes. Your attendance matters.

Some Key Articles on the Warrant this Year:

#18 Downtown Design for Traffic, Roadway and Streetscape – DPW (Also on the ballot 5/17)
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, borrow or otherwise provide a sum or sums of money for the design of traffic, roadway and streetscape enhancements in the downtown area of the Town; and, to meet such appropriation, authorize the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow said sum in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 7 (5, 6), of the Massachusetts General Laws, or any other enabling authority; and, further, to authorize the Town to apply for any grants or loans available for the purposes of this article; said sum to be spent under the direction of the Director of the Department of Public Works.
[Approximately $400,000 to be borrowed; recommended by the Appropriations Committee]
For more info:
Visions of Hopkinton: Steps toward Downtown Revitalization
Prepared For the Downtown Revitalization Committee, Winter 2010
by Gareth Crosby, Lily Jacobson, and Kristin Thomas • Conway School of Landscape Design

#27 Repair, Maintenance, Renovation, and Improvement of the Elmwood Elementary School Boiler and Heating System – School Committee (Also on the ballot 5/17)
This article involves replacing the boiler at Elmwood School. Fortunately when the boiler was replaced at Center School, the project came in under budget. There is money remaining in the Center School account that should cover the cost of the Elmwood boiler replacement. However Town Meeting approval is needed to transfer these funds to the Elmwood Project. In addition, there will be a question on the town election ballot, that requires a yes vote to transfer the money. Again, this will not increase taxes; this is merely a transfer of funds.
[Approximately $145,000 to be transferred; Recommended by the Appropriations Committee; Also recommended by the Capital Improvements Committee]

#28 Design, Repair, Maintenance, Renovation, Improvement of the High School Loop Road – School Committee
This article has been placed on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for several years, although the School Committee has pulled it before the town meetings were held. This article is to cover the costs to repair the High School loop road. The road bed has deteriorated in several spots, resulting in rutting in the roads. Over the years it, it has been getting worse. There have been recent accidents at that spot in the road, posing safety concerns as well. There is also a newly identified section of road, along the CAA property, that is also getting rutted. The loop road is on school property and is not owned by the town, so the schools must provide the money to repair it. The DPW has assessed it and agrees that it is in urgent need of repair. The School Committee is therefore asking for funding to repair it. The good news is that construction and supply costs have gone down as a result of the economy, and the costs are much less than were projected several years ago. The School Committee will be asking for $130,000 to repair the road.
[Approximately $130,000 to be borrowed; Recommended by the Appropriations Committee; Also recommended by the Capital Improvements Committee]

#29 Community Preservation Committee Recommendations – Community Preservation
(See also article #52 Change in CPA Surcharge)
[Approximately $1,428,250 to be used from available CPA funds]

#35 Amend Sec. 170‐1: Authority of Board of Selectmen, Recycling [Trash Barrel Limit] – Petition

This article is a citizen’s petition in response to the Selectmen recently reducing each household’s weekly trash barrel limit from 4 barrels to 2 barrels. If passed this article would change the Hopkinton General Law to:
“…Such rules and regulations may require the separation of designated recyclable material or materials from other solid wastes, may specify the point at which the ownership of such designated recyclables shall vest in the town, may prohibit removal without authorization by the
Board of Selectmen or its designee of such designated recyclable has vested in the town, and may establish fines for violation of such rules and regulations, provided that such fine shall not exceed $50 for each violation. Notwithstanding, the Board of Selectmen and its designee, if any, shall have no authority to limit the number of trash barrels holding non‐recyclables that shall be picked up by the town’s waste contractor on a weekly basis to fewer than four 39‐gallon barrels per household.
Background Information: According to Town Manager, Norman Khumalo, the proposal to reduce the number of weekly barrels per household from 4 to 2 had projected the following savings: $10,000 contractual, $15-25K in disposal fees and a minimum of $16,000 in recycling income. Based on the above the FY 11 budget built in the following changes: the town reduced the Harvey contract (Acct 90 Rubbish Collection) from $453,000 to $443,000 ($10,000 in savings). The town also reduced Acct 1074 Rubbish Disposal by $37,116.52 based on FY 10 performance and anticipated improved recycling. According to the Town Website, as of April 1 households wishing to put out more than 2 barrels of trash per week, must purchase additional bags at Colella’s or Hopkinton Lumber. The cost of the bags is $1.25 each, and are sold in packages of five ($6.25). Sales tax does not apply.

#38 Adopt Stretch Energy Code – Board of Selectmen/Sustainable Green Committee
Adopting the “Stretch Code” is one of the five criteria that Hopkinton must meet in order to receive a “Green Community” Designation under the Green Communities Act of 2008. Towns designated as Green Communities are eligible for a grant up to $1,000,000 annually from a $10,000,000 fund that is replenished annually from the Regional Gas Initiative. That means this fund is not dependent upon the state budget.
The ‘stretch code’ is an optional appendix to the Massachusetts building energy code that allows cities and towns to choose a more energy-efficient option. This ‘stretch code’ option increases the energy efficiency code requirements in any municipality that adopts it, for all new residential and many new commercial buildings, as well as for those residential additions and renovations that would normally trigger building code requirements. This code will be MA state building code standard in 2012. By being early adopters Hopkinton can access the grant program. If it does not pass we must wait another year and get in line.
In addition to allowing municipalities to take meaningful action on energy use and climate change, the adoption of the more stringent and more performance based ‘stretch’ energy code is anticipated to result in significant cost savings for local residents and businesses, and increase design and construction firm competitiveness in the growing green building marketplace. The Stretch Code is expected to result in a 20% reduction in energy costs with a 2-3 year payback. It applies to new construction homes over 3000 sq feet, commercial over 5000 sq feet and substantial renovation to existing homes that are over 3000 and commercial over 5000. Initial costs over the 2006 code are significantly offset by rebates and initiatives.
For more information:
Stretch Code FAQ
October 2009 – New England Planning Newsletter
Summary of the Massachusetts Building Code Appendix 120.AA, ‘Stretch’ Energy Code
Massachusetts Stretch Code Modeling and Cash Flow Analysis – April 2010

#46 Article 1, Sec. 210‐4: Design Continue Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – Petition
This article is a citizen’s petition related to the Golden Pond Assisted Living Residence.

#47 Article XVIII, Sec. 210‐124B (1) Parking Requirements for Continuing Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – Petition
This article is a citizen’s petition related to the Golden Pond Assisted Living Residence.

#50 Transfer Ownership of Public Library from Library Trustees to Town – Board of Selectmen
Did you know that the Hopkinton Public Library is privately owned but publicly funded? This article will transfer ownership of the library to the town. Our library was created by private citizens in 1895 and has been managed by a seven-member Board of Trustees ever since. In 1955, the Town of Hopkinton began paying for the operating expenses, including staff salaries, utilities and insurance. Today the Town pays for about 80% of our Library’s entire budget. However, the library building is still owned by the Board of Library Trustees. The Trustees pay only for the maintenence of the Library building. In FY 2009, this expense was about $16,000, or just 3% of the total budget of the Library. Transferring the ownership of the building to the town will streamline management of the library, allow the library to utilize the buying power of the town, and make it easier for the library to apply for state grants. To pass Article 50, and make the library a town-owned building, a 2/3 vote is needed.

#51 Authorize Board of Selectmen to Seek Authority to Apply for Grants for the Expansion and Construction of the Public Library – Board of Selectmen
This article authorizes the Board of Selectmen to apply for, accept and expend any state, federal or other grants that may be available to defray all or part of the cost to design, construct and equip a new or expanded library building.

#52 Change in CPA Surcharge – Town Manager

(See also article #29 CPA Projects for 2010)
This article would change the surcharge on the taxes assessed annually on real property in the Town from 2% to 1.1%; provided, however, that this vote shall not take effect until the voters at the May 2010 Annual Town Election vote to change the surcharge on the taxes assessed annually on real property in the Town from 2% to 1.1%.
Background Information: Under the provisions of the Community Preservation Act (CPA), Hopkinton established a Community Preservation Committee in 2001. The Community Preservation Committee shall make recommendations to Town Meeting for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space; for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources; for the acquisition creation, and preservation of land for recreational use; for the creation, preservation, and support of community housing; and for rehabilitation or restoration of such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use and community housing that is acquired or created using Community Preservation Committee funds. The following projects were funded by CPA funds in Hopkinton from 2002-2009:

ADA Compliance – CAA building $50,000.00
ADA Compliance – Library $10,000.00
ADA Compliance – Town Hall $13,000.00
Athletic fields – Fruit Street $1,000,000.00
CAA barn restoration $200,000.00
Cemetery (Evergreen) – replace/restore sign $1,000.00
Cemetery fence – historical preservation $20,000.00
East Hopkinton Master Plan $200,000.00
EMC house, Hayward St. – affordable house $100,000.00
Fruit Street – land acquisition $2,000,000.00
Historic building survey update $5,000.00
Historic district signage $22,500.00
Historical preservation & restoration of records – Library $15,000.00
Historical preservation & restoration of records – Town Clerk $40,000.00
Historical Society building, Hayden Rowe St. – historical preservation, renovation $250,000.00
Hopkinton Center Trail – create multi-use trail $35,000.00
Lake Maspenock dam – historical preservation $10,000.00
Mayhew Court – 12 unit affordable housing development $450,000.00
McFarland-Sanger House, 146 Lumber St. – historical preservation $45,000.00
Old railroad depot – move to town land, renovate/historic preservation $18,000.00
Reed Park – restoration $30,000.00
Reed Park – tennis courts $150,000.00
Sandy Beach – benches $5,000.00
Sandy Beach – kiosk $3,500.00
South Mill St dam – historic restoration/preservation $91,000.00
Spring Street – open space land acquisition $97,000.00
Stewardship of town owned land $5,000.00
Stone arch bridge, Cedar St. – restore/preserve $5,000.00
Town Common – old fountain restoration $20,000.00
Town Hall – drainage/foundation work $49,000.00
Town Hall – landscaping & drainage $10,000.00
Whitehall conservation area – land acquisition, demolition of house, construction of trails and parking area $1,826,000.00
Whitehall gatehouse – restoration $40,000.00
Winter Street – open space land acquisition $300,000.00

For More Information:
The following budget documents are available on the Hopkinton town and school websites.
PDF 2009 Town Report
PDF Fiscal year 2011 Proposed Budget
PDF Annual Town Meeting Warrant May 3, 2010
PDF Ballot – Annual Town Election May 17, 2010
PDF School Committee’s Final FY 11 Budget Booklet
Video State of the Schools Forum

Meet the Candidates Night Sponsored by the Hopkinton Women’s Club

Thursday, May 6, 7:00 p.m.

HCAM Studios, 77 Main St, Hopkinton MA 01748
Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30

Open Forum on the Hopkinton Public Library, Meet the Middle School Principal Candidates and Election Deadlines this Week

Open Forum on Future of the Hopkinton Public Library
Monday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hopkinton Library

Did you know that the Hopkinton Public Library is funded by the Town of Hopkinton but is privately owned? Under this arrangement, the trustees currently fund all building expenses, but the Town pays for salaries, utilities and books.

The Hopkinton Library Board of Trustees want to hear from you! To kick off National Library Week, the Trustees will hold a public forum on April 12, 2010 to give a brief overview of the unique ownership structure of the library and the objectives of the recently proposed transfer of ownership to the town – which will be voted at the May town meeting. The overview will be followed by a question and answer session. So please come and meet the Trustees at 7:00 pm at the library for this informative event.

Meet the Hopkinton Middle School Principal Candidates
Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium

UPDATE: The Appropriations Committee Public Hearing on the FY11 Budget has been rescheduled for April 21 or 22. Details to come. The Following documents have recently been posted to the Hopkinton town website:
PDF 2009 Town Report
PDF Fiscal year 2011 Proposed Budget
PDF Annual Town Meeting Warrant May 3, 2010

REMINDER: Last Day to File Nomination Papers – Monday, April 12
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 ( for more details.

REMINDER: Last Day to Register to Vote – Tuesday, April 13
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 ( for more details and be sure to remind friends that have just moved to town and may not yet be registered.

Joint Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Appropriations Committee Meeting rescheduled for Thurs Feb 11 at 7:00 pm

Hopkinton Board of Selectmen Meeting, Tuesday February 9th, 2010 :
The Town Manager was unable to come to last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting due to a sudden illness. Because of this the Board had to postpone the budget discussion portion of the meeting. This joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Appropriations Committee has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room (Room 211) Town Hall. The public is welcome to attend and the meeting will also be televised on HCAM-TV (Comcast channel 8/Verizon channel 30).

In addition, the Town Manager’s reports to the Board of Selectmen regarding a Permanent Building Committee and the Hopkinton Public Library will be continued to another date (TBA).

The Next Step in the Budget Process
By March 15, the Board of Selectmen will either adopt or amend the Town Manager’s budget, and submit to the Appropriation Committee.

Budget Season Continues: HS, MS and Athletics Updates, New Trash Limit, School Committee Session Tonight

The Hopkinton town and school budget season continues. We have updates from the January 12 Board of Selectmen meeting, as well as updates from the January 7 School Committee meeting regarding the high school, middle school and school athletics department budgets. The School Committee has meetings on January 14, 21, and 28 to discuss the other departmental budgets.

Notes from the January 12 Board of Selectmen Meeting

  • The Board of Selectmen voted to implement a two barrel trash limit per household effective March 1, 2010. This is a decrease from the current four barrel limit and is expected to save the town money.
  • The Board voted to lift the hiring freeze with respect to replacing the Facilities Director and rename the position to Town Engineer/Facilities Coordinator.
  • The Board voted to lift the hiring freeze to replace a police dispatcher due to a resignation.
  • The state has certified Free Cash in the following amounts:  $595,592 (General Fund), $500,648 (sewer Enterprise Fund), $643,557 (Water Enterprise).
  • The Town Meeting Warrant will open on Friday Jan 15th & close on Thursday March 4th at 4:30 pm.
  • Annual Town meeting will begin Monday, May 3 2010.
  • Richard Flannery will start as new Hopkinton Police Chief on February 19 at 4 pm, pending contract negotiations.
  • Town Manager relayed the opinion from Town Counsel that it appears there are no impediments to the Library Trustees’ transfer of the library to the town. The Trustees & the Town must work out details before the transfer can occur.  In addition, with the goal of exploring an expanded library & filing a grant application with the state, the town manager expects to recommend that the BOS appoint a building committee.  Town Manager will make recommendations regarding a building committee at the next BOS meeting.

Notes from the January 7 School Committee Working Session
The High School, Middle School and Athletics Departments all presented two budget scenarios. One called the “Superintendent’s Budget” and one called the (2.65%) Budget.
High School Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, High School Principal Alyson Geary has requested 1 new teacher to address increased enrollment next year of 20 students. She also requested a regular education instructional aide to staff the high school tutoring center, which is currently used by 37 students. She also requested a halftime library assistant to restore the position eliminated in last year’s budget. The library is used after school by approximately 100 kids and they would like for it to be able to stay open later.
  • In Ms Geary’s (2.65%) budget version the high school would go without the new teacher. They would also lose one science teacher and one guidance counselor. They would also deduct $10,000 from the budget for extracurricular clubs and activities.

Middle School Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, Middle School Principal Dr. William Lynch has requested $3000 for extracurricular clubs and activities. A decrease in Grade 6 enrollment is projected, so in this budget the Middle School will reduce staff by one grade 6 teacher and one related arts teacher. 
  • In Dr. Lynch’s (2.65%) budget the Middle School will reduce staff by two grade 6 and two related arts teachers, which leads to a projected increases in class size to 25 in grade 6 and an average related arts class size of 25. In this budget the Middle School will cut $4000 for extracurricular classes, thereby reducing the number of clubs and activities available to students.

Athletics Budget:

  • In the “Superintendent’s Budget”, Athletic Director Eric Karjel will eliminate four freshman teams: boys soccer, girls soccer, baseball and softball.
  • In Mr Karjel’s (2.65%) budget the Athletics department will also cut the middle school wrestling team in addition to the four freshman teams lost in the Superintendent’s Budget, and institute a $300 surcharge for hockey.
  • To keep all teams, the Athletics Department needs approximately $35,000 more. Fees could be raised $25 per team to cover this amount. Hopkinton High School charges families a $125 fee per sport per student. Average sports fees in other towns are about $174 per sport.

Upcoming School Committee Budget Working Sessions:

  • TONIGHT: Thurs Jan 14 at 7:30pm – Working Session to discuss Special Education, Buildings and Grounds, Central Office, and Technology Budgets.
  • Thurs Jan 21 at 7:30pm – Regular Meeting and Working Session to discuss Elementary School Budgets.
  • Thurs Jan 28 at 7:00pm – Public Hearing on the 2010-11 Budget and Working Session

Please note the public hearing and budget “working session” portions of all the meetings above are NOT televised, but are open to the public. The meetings are held in the Middle School Library.
Massachusetts Special Senate Election
Friday, January 15: Last day to vote by absentee ballot, see the Massachusetts Elections Divisions website for more information or contact the Hopkinton Town Clerk at 508-497-9710 or
Tuesday, January 19: Special State Election  – Polls are open 7:00am – 8:00pm. All Hopkinton precincts vote at Hopkinton Middle School, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton MA 01748.

Library Construction Grant and December Special Town Meeting Warrant

Here are the latest updates from Educate Hopkinton:

Library Construction Grant
The Hopkinton Library may be eligible for a state library construction grant for a larger and more accessible facility. If the Town receives a grant award, the state would pay for up to 50% of the costs of either refurbishing or building a new library. The town would pay for 25% of the costs, with the remainder would come from private donations. Read more at:

Special Town Meeting
Monday, December 14 @ Middle School Auditorium
The warrant contains seven articles:

  1. Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Adjustments – Town Manager
  2. Phase VI Sewer Project – Department of Public Works
  3. Senior Center Parking Expansion – Council on Aging
  4. Amend Industrial B District and Definitions– Planning Board
  5. Amend Subdivision Phasing Bylaw– Planning Board
  6. Amend Scenic Roads General Bylaw – Planning Board
  7. Amend Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Bylaw – Planning Board

Click on the link to read the full warrant:

School Committee
The agenda for the November 19 School Committee Meeting is now posted. Agenda items include a report from the Elementary Building Committee, the Wellness Policy and the FY11 Budget. Read more: