Category Archives: Town Meeting 2016

Town Meeting 101

Town Meeting Banner 2016 IMG_9913

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 hcam.tv/live), 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 (Ben Palleiko, Chair) presides over the meeting, which is facilitated by the Town Moderator (Dr. Bruce Karlin) and recorded by the Town Clerk (Brenda McCann). 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 52 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!

4th Annual “Know Your Vote” 4/25 at 6:30pm on HCAM

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In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, eHop (educate • engage • empower | Hopkinton) will be hosting its 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” live interactive call-in show on Monday, April 25 at 6:30-8:00 pm on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming Live at hcam.tv/live). This is your chance to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting. Submit your questions in advance to knowyourvote@eHop01748.org or or ask your questions during the show by calling the studio at 508-625-1640 by using the hashtag #ehop on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You may also attend in person at HCAM Studios, 77 Main St, Lower Level.

Panelists from various town committees will be available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles. Panelists include: Town Moderator Bruce Karlin, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Superintendent of Schools Cathy MacLeod, Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko, School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino and Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel. Continue reading 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” 4/25 at 6:30pm on HCAM

List of Articles for Town Meeting 2016

Town Meeting May 2, 2016

eHop 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.

REPORTS:

  1. Acceptance of Town Reports

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2016:

  1. FY 2016 Supplemental Appropriations
  2. FY 2016 Budget Transfers
  3. Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2017:

  1. Property Tax Exemption Increase
  2. Personal Property Tax Bill Threshold
  3. Set the Salary of Elected Officials
  4. Fiscal 2017 Operating Budget $70,846,691, which is a +3% Tax Impact (net of new growth)
  5. FY 2017 Revolving Funds
  6. Chapter 90 Highway Funds
  7. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund
  8. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund $612,647

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:

  1. Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses
    • Highway F-350 Pickup $60,000
    • Fire Apparatus/Vehicles $46,394
    • IT Equipment Replacement $100,000
    • Replacement of Police Cruisers $74,000
    • Systemwide School Security Upgrades (FY17 Upgrade intrusion alarm systems at Elmwood and High School) $100,000
    • Hopkins School Boiler Replacement (Replace boiler #2 at Hopkins – town received insurance proceeds $42,088 in FY16) $55,000
    • Middle School Water Heater Replacement (Replace water heater installed in 1996) $33,000
    • High School Athletic Center Scoreboard Replacement $25,000
    • Systemwide School Technology Upgrades (FY17 New student information system & wiring upgrades) $100,000
    • Replacement of Tractor $81,000
    • Middle School and High School Bleacher Upgrades and Repairs $85,000
  2. Weed Control at Lake Maspenock $60,000
  3. Sidewalk Master Plan Phase II
  4. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle and Equipment
  5. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle
  6. Transfer Funds to Reequip/Reconfigure Fire Vehicle and Equipment
  7. Purchase of Dump Truck $200,000
  8. Grove Street Water Tank Replacement $1,530,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  9. Water Main Replacement – Hayden Rowe Street $260,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  10. Water Source of Supply $1,000,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  11. Biological Filtration Wells #4 & #5 $50,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  12. Middle School Auditorium Upgrades (Install air conditioning, repaint stage floor, replace curtains, stage rigging, control console, & light board) $167,000
  13. School Bus Parking Lot (Construct gravel parking lot for buses at the proposed new elementary school – results in estimated annual positive imnpact of $111K ) $320,000
  14. School Building & Grounds Storage Facility – Design & Feasibility $25,000
  15. Artificial Turf Field with Lights – Design & Feasibility $100,000
  16. Signage for Historical Sites
  17. Transfer Funds for New Capital Projects
  18. Cemetery Roadway Opening

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS:

  1. Community Preservation Recommendations – CPC Project Narratives:
    1. $20,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to preserve Town records
    2. $2,500 from funds reserved for Open Space for Boundary Markers/Medallions to be acquired and installed on Town owned parcels
    3. $50,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to improve the public trail and create a dog park on 192 Hayden Rowe Street (Hughes Property)
    4. $50,000 from funds reserved for Open Space to acquire approximately 6 acres of land located at 0 East Main Street and shown as parcel U12-23-0 on the Assessors Map
    5. $60,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the McFarland Sanger House
    6. $75,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the Rte 85 Stone Bridge
    7. $25,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to construct a recreational path from Rte 85 to the Stone Bridge
    8. $10,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install fencing around the Claflin Fountain
    9. $50,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install protective netting at the Fruit Street Athletic Complex
    10. $20,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install a boat dock at Sandy Beach

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Amend Open Space Mixed Use Development Overlay District Site Plan Review and OSLPD Bylaws draft 2-2-16
  2. Amend Garden Apartments in Residential Districts and Village Housing in Residential Districts Bylaws Garden Apartments and Village Housing bylaws draft 2-2-16
  3. Repeal Senior Housing Development Bylaw Senior Housing Development Bylaw draft 2-2-16
  4. Amend Site Plan Review and Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development Bylaws
  5. Amend Sign Bylaw Sign Bylaw draft 2-2-16Document depicting proposed changes to Sign Bylaw 2-2-16
  6. Amend Hotel Overlay District Hotel Overlay District draft 2-2-16
  7. Elmwood Park Business District Elmwood Park Business District draft 2-2-16Proposed Elmwood Park Business District Map
  8. Dog Day Care Dog Day Care Facilities draft 2-2-16
  9. Animal Shelters Animal Shelters draft 2-2-16

GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. Repeal Sex Offender Residency Requirement

LAND ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSITIONS:

  1. Acquisition of Easement – 91 West Main Street
  2. Acquisition of Easement – Leonard Street
  3. Gift of Land – Connelly Hill Estates
  4. Gift of land – Hilltop Road
  5. Gift of land – Legacy Farms Recreation Parcel
  6. Street Acceptance
    • Connelly Hill Road, from Smith Road to Bowker Road
    • Valleywood Road, from Erika Drive to dead end
    • Carol Ann Drive, from West Elm Street to dead end
    • Kerry Lane, from Eastview Road to dead end
    • Nancy Lane, from Teresa Road to dead end
  7. Street Discontinuance
    • Frankland Road from its intersection with East Main Street to its intersection with Legacy Farms Road
  8. Disposition of Property

ADMINISTRATIVE:

  1. Solar Tax Agreements
  2. Town Clerk
  3. Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton

eHop’s 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” on HCAM 4/25

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In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, eHop (educate • engage • empower | Hopkinton) will be hosting its 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” live interactive call-in show on Monday, April 25 at 6:30-8:00 pm on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming Live at hcam.tv/live). This is your chance to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting. Submit your questions in advance to knowyourvote@eHop01748.org or on facebook.com/eHop01748 or ask your questions during the show by using the hashtag #ehop, calling the studio at 508-625-1640 to ask your question live on the air, or attending in person at HCAM, 77 Main St, Lower Level.

Panelists from various town committees will be available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles. Panelists include: Town Moderator Bruce Karlin, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Superintendent of Schools Cathy MacLeod, Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko, School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino and Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel.

Important Info:

Annual Town Meeting begins Monday, May 2 at 7:00pm in the Middle School Auditorium. It generally stops at 11:00pm and is continued on consecutive evenings until the full warrant is voted. Town Meeting typically lasts 2-4 nights. There are 52 articles on the warrant this year, see the link below for more information.

Selectmen to Vote on Budget 3/15/16

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At the March 1 Board of Selectmen Meeting the Town Manager presented FY17 Town Budget Comprehensive Budget and Financing Plan, after feedback from the Selectmen it has been revised for the next Selectmen’s meeting. Per the Town Charter the Board of Selectmen must either adopt or amend Town Manager’s budget, and submit to the Appropriation Committee by March 15. There have been some news articles about the budget discussions at the 3/1 and 3/8 Selectmen’s meetings.

Board of Selectmen Meeting
Tuesday, March 15 at 6:45pm, Town Hall Room 215
Televised Live on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8 / Verizon 30 / Streaming at hcam.tv)
Public comment period at 6:45pm at the beginning of the meeting.

Zoning Bylaw & Map Changes – Public Hearing 2/22

Elmwood-Park-Proposed-Changes-Map-2016

In advance of Town Meeting, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the zoning bylaw and/or zoning map on Mon Feb 22 @ 7:30pm (Snow Date 2/23) at Town Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend. Questions? Contact the Land Use Department at 508-497-9745.

  1. Adopt provisions pertaining to dog day care facilities, including a definition of the use, a new bylaw that includes the requirement for a special permit, regulations on minimum lot area, maximum number of dogs, hours of operation, odor and noise control, and parking.
    Dog Day Care Facilities draft 2-2-16
  2. Adopt provisions pertaining to animal shelters, including a definition of the use, a parking requirement, and a new bylaw which requires a special permit for the use and contains regulations pertaining to items such as minimum lot area, noise, odor and screening requirements.
    Animal Shelters draft 2-2-16
  3. Modify the Hotel Overlay District to reduce the amount of meeting room/function space required, change the reference to restaurants, and to change “health club” to “fitness center”.
    Hotel Overlay District draft 2-2-16
  4. Adopt a new Elmwood Park Business District (EPBD), a new definition of “licensed medical care facility for inpatient and outpatient services”, change the zoning district of about 54 acres from Industrial B District to EPBD, remove the area from the Hotel Overlay District, modify the Sign bylaw to reference the EPBD, and reference the EPBD in the list of zoning districts…
    Elmwood Park Business District draft 2-2-16
    Proposed Elmwood Park Business District Map
  5. Sign Bylaw including the removal of references to sign content, adoption of new definitions, and general revisions to regulations including temporary signs, sign lighting, size and number.
    Sign Bylaw draft 2-2-16
    Document depicting proposed changes to Sign Bylaw 2-2-16
  6. Modify the Garden Apartments in Residential Districts Bylaw, including changes to the references to open space and historic buildings and structures. Adopt a new special permit criterion which references the statutory goal to provide 10% of the housing stock as affordable housing.
    Garden Apartments and Village Housing bylaws draft 2-2-16
  7. Modify the Village Housing in Residential Districts Bylaw, including changes to the references to open space and historic buildings and structures. Adopt a new special permit criterion which references the statutory goal to provide 10% of the housing stock as affordable housing. Adopt a site plan approval criterion which requires a host community agreement.
    Garden Apartments and Village Housing bylaws draft 2-2-16
  8. Senior Housing Development – Repeal Article XVIA
    Senior Housing Development Bylaw draft 2-2-16
  9. Amend Site Plan Review and Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development Bylaws to references § 210-117.2, lots with historic structures.
    Site Plan Review and OSLPD Bylaws draft 2-2-16