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Showing posts from 2017

Special Town Meeting (STM) 2017-3 *

Back in Cary Hall tonight to continue with STM 2017-3.
Warrant is HERE.
Motions for STM-3 Articles 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,13,HERE.
Motions for STM-3 Articles 2,5(revised),10,12, HERE.
Report of the Appropriation Committee (AC), HERE.
Report of the Capital Expenditures Committee (CEC), HERE.
October 16, 2017 Votes of Town Meeting Members (TMM), HERE.
My post for the previous night (STM-2, Monday, October 16) HERE.

Madam Moderator (MM) indicated previously that we'll begin with the following Articles:
Article 2: Amend Zoning Bylaw -- 45-55-65 Hayden AvenueArticle 12: Appropriate Community Preservation Act ProjectsArticle 8: Appropriate Design Funds for Visitors Center Time permitting: Articles 3 & 4 -- Amend General Bylaws -- Recreational Marijuana Facilities Prohibited & Amend Zoning Bylaw -- Recreational Marijuana Moratorium Time permitting: any other unfinished STM 2017-3 Articles. Holding Monday, October 30 for a possible 3rd night, if needed.
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Madam Moderator (MM) has called…

Special Town Meeting (STM)

Edited to correct some typos and formatting issues.

We're in the Isaac Harris Cary Memorial Building (Cary Hall), 1605 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington 02420.

Madam Moderator has just called the meeting to order.

7:30 PM

Warrant for STM-2 and STM-3 is HERE.
Motions HERE.
Report of the Appropriation Committee (AC), HERE.
Report of the Capital Expenditures Committee (CEC), HERE.

Carl Valente, Town Manager introducing new staff; presents his report: 2016-2018 Capital Plan Approved and Potential Exempt Debt Projects (~$71M). Have since decided to remove Fire Station "swing space" and Pelham Road property purchases from the debt exclusion referendum (voting in December, TBA).

Reports of the CEC and AC presented and placed on file.
First up, Articles for STM-2, in the order printed in the Warrant:
Article 2: Appropriate for Hastings School Construction (Funds requested: $63,059,418)Report of the School Committee presented and placed on file.School Committee (SC) unanimously recommendin…

Yes - let's build the Arts

While the Globe's editorial focused, primarily, on the arts as an economic driver(Let's build Massachusetts by building the arts), the arts are a component of a basic education. However, since the dawn of the "standards-based era", their focus of study has eroded in many schools; it doesn't help that the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework hasn't been updated since first implemented in 1999.

An arts education can help students develop a variety of skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as to help foster creative thinking. Further, the arts provide a way for students to communicate and collaborate across language, cultural, and other boundaries, and can increase their global knowledge. We should support efforts that:
support, expand, and improve children's access to quality arts and cultural programs;support, expand, and improve arts literacy for all students;support, expand, and improve opportunities to use arts education to expa…

A late post on the Fair Share Amendment

As one of the ten original signers of the petition submitted in 2015 to Attorney General Maura Healey for approval as a ballot initiative in 2018, I was proud to see the amendment passed at the second Constitutional Convention in June. If we want to be a prosperous, innovative Commonwealth, then we must invest. (Even our Republican governor has proposed modest reforms to update our tax system.)

Right now, the best income tax proposal on the table is the Fair Share Amendment. Once voters pass this initiative in November 2018, revenues from the tax (generated by a 4% tax on individuals earning over one million dollars beginning January 2019) would be used only for public education, public colleges and universities, the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, and public transportation.

I was first to support this initiative because it is aligned with my value for fairness, in that it calls on those with the greatest ability to pay their fair share of tax. I firmly believe that this …

Opioids: Despite progress in Massachusetts, crisis continues to take lives and hurt families

Across the country, opioid addiction is now taking more young lives than the HIV epidemic did at its peak. Nearly 2 million people in the United States suffer from an addiction to prescription opioids, and about 17,000 people die each year from overdosing on these medications. Massachusetts is one of the hardest hit states, with more than 11,000 deaths between 2000 and 2015.

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) released new data showing that the number of opioid deaths across the Commonwealth topped out at 2,069 in 2016. That's about 6 deaths a day due to opioids.

Not one of the communities in the 4th Middlesex District has escaped the epidemic. In fact, some of the communities here have been especially hard hit. In 2015, there were 30 deaths in our five communities. The new data from DPH show 41 deaths in 2016. Behind each one of those numbers is a person representing the loss of a friend, neighbor, or loved one.

And, it's a crisis that has affected …

Better representation. It's time.

Senator Ken Donnelly was good and kind. His heart and skill as a legislator were matched by his passion and dedication as a public servant on behalf of the People of the 4th Middlesex and beyond. His legacy lives forever in our hearts and in the lives he changed. His genuine interactions with people inspired me in my own public service, and to find an office and run for it.

A Special Election has been called to fill this important seat. I enthusiastically announce my candidacy because I want to provide the best representation to the people of the communities across this district.
Today, people want to be more engaged. But they often don’t understand how the system should work for them. It can be difficult to navigate a complicated established structure to even reach the level where conversations can begin.
We need people in state government who have come up from the ranks, who know what it means to truly represent constituents – at the level of your elementary school or town meeting, …

ATM Continues: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Back in Battin Hall for the sixth night of 2017 Annual Town Meeting.
Articles, Reports, and Presentations to Date
Live-blogging to begin once we're in session.

7:30 PM
Madam Moderator has called the Meeting to Order.
Updating as we go.
Brief recess for Town Manager announcements
Pat Goddard, Director of Public Facilities to retire this summer - this is his last Town Meeting. Town Manager and Superintendent taking a moment to celebrate and thank Pat for his 10 years of service. Many School and Town staff here.
Standing ovation from Town Meeting for Pat.

Meeting back in order
Motion to take up Articles 37 + 12
VOICE VOTE - MOTION is ADOPTED

Article 37 - Amend General Bylaws - TreesTo see if the Town will vote to amend the Tree Bylaw to provide incentives to preserve large trees and to replant large shade tree species, or act in any other manner in relation theretoi. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Tree Committee)
Description: Because of the time invested iin its growt…

2017 Annual Town Meeting Continues Tonight, Monday, April 3

We're in Battin Hall in the Cary Memorial Building
1605 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
Articles, Reports, and Presentations to Date
Live-blogging to commence once we are in session.

7:30 PM
Madam Moderator has gavelled us in and we're in session.
Updating as we go.
Tribute to Senator Ken Donnelly of Arlington, who passed away yesterday due to complications from brain cancer. Moment of silence.
Checking electronic voting devices.

Article 19 - Getting to Net ZeroTo see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate a sum of money necessary to hire consultants to provide advice and analysis to the Getting to Net Zero Task Force and Town staff, determine whether the money shall be provided by the tax levy, by transfer from available funds or by any combination of these methods, or to act in any other manner in relation thereto. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Sustainable Lexington Committee)

Funds Requested: $40,000 Description: The Getting to Net Zero Task Force …

2017 Annual Town Meeting, 7:15 PM

About to get underway. Live blogging, updating as we go.

Town Moderator calls Town Meeting to order; into immediate recess for Diversity Award Presentation.

7:15 PM LPS Diversity Award Presentation
Superintendent Mary Czajkowski announces Tammy Darling, a social studies teacher at LHS as this year's award recipient. Among other things and good work, Tammy revived the "Race and Gender" course this year.
We will remain in recess for a few minutes.
Tonight's Town Meeting (TM) Agenda was prepared by the Town Moderator, in consultation with staff, boards and committees, article sponsors.
This post is not an official record of the Annual Town Meeting proceedings; it is offered as information to interested persons by a member of Town Meeting.
And we're back in session.
Testing our electronic voting devices.

Article 2 - Capital Expenditures Committee Report: Receive the report of the CEC.
Unanimous - the report is received and placed on file.
Jill Hai, CEC Chair, speaks to the r…