LIVE BLOG: October Special Town Meeting 2012 - Day 4
Town Meeting voted to support the schools, the veterans and library services over the CFO's recommendation; Framingham Schools will get $996,825 not a mutual recommendation of $600,000 out of additional $1.7 million in state aid.
Special Town Meeting resumes tonight at 7:30 or when a quorum is reached.
On the agenda is appropriating $1.7 million in state aid to departments.
There are proposals to give $14,000 to the library to extend hours on Sundays and to give about $30,000 to the veterans department for a additional half-time position.
Framingham Patch will be live blogging.
7:38 p.m. Announcements being made to Town Meeting members. Access Framingham Open House. Fountain Street Open Studios
Moderator - only handout on the back table is from the Framingham Public Schools
New Town Meeting member - Precinct 4 - Rozanna Sanchez -- replacing Scott Estes wno is now on the Fincom
7:43 p.m. Finance committee has been filled - moderator
7:45 p.m. Article 14 -- Motion made by CFO Mary Ellen Kelley
Stabilization fund - $606,000 and Framingham Public Schools - $600,000
Town Manager Bob Halpin speaking -- list of unmet needs from school department and discussions with supt and business manager -- felt that the $600,00 met the highest tier of priorities.
$320,000 for the lexington street garage
$81,000 for hoops & Hopework
Halpin - have some concerns residential values may be coming back in faster rate than commercial rates ... because we are at the maximums hift - reducing the levy is the principal tool we have ...placing the money in stabilization - and exceeding that goal this year -- give us some flexibility...
great deal concern -- chapter 70 -- wonder if that will be the same circucstance next year and if state aid will be less in a non election year - nextyear.
Revenue adjustment -- $1.734 million ina dditional state aid.
CFO -- we have appropriate some of it
Demolition garage - article 9
COLA for municipal employees for 2 years -- article 8
this article 14-- $600,000 for schools and 2/3rd vote $606,000 to stabilization fund.
Why add to stabilization fund? CFO -- frees up the rooms & meals tax
5% goal his year -- add $207,000 - to get to exactly 5% - CFO
7:53 p.m. Committee reports
Dan Lampl - chair of the fincom speaking -- spent a considerable amount of tiem discussing thsi recommendation of the Halpin .... members fely we should fully fund the stabilization at $210,000 as opposed to overfunding it at $607,000 -- use remaining $410,000 for the tax levy ...
Oct 23 fincom vote 7-0-0 favorable action to accept recommendation with amendment - reduce proposed stabilization fund to $210,000 .. reduce amount of taxation to be raised ... $410,000 - prior to the passing of artcile 10 --- if Town Meeting approves this -- it is up to the board of Selectmen and not Town Meeting to decide how to use this on the tax rate commercial and residential or give all the money to the commercial taxpayers ...committee felt greater value if all went to the commercial tax payers ...recommendation to reduce the tax levy ...consistent with resolution in May at Town Meeting...
MOTION -- amend article 14 -- reduce stabilization from 607,000 to $210,000 in to stabilization
Ways & Means committee report - Chair Audrey Hall speaking 7:58 p.m.
met and discussed this article many times ... Hall
Only able to vote on this article, becuase received additional chapter 70 fund from the state = Hall
Article 5 - new contract for firefighters -- reduce overtime shifts -- ways & means aked to be quantified - saved $35,000 in OT this fiscal year .. department budget be adjusted accordingly ... fire department be cut by the amount saved in reagrds to new contract agreement ...
Met with school supt and school dept. on a couple of occassions -- Hall
This money is coming from the town from chapter 70 funding - is the vehicle the state funds education -- year after year and meeting after meeting we all stand up and talk about the rising cost of education -- need to get eleected officials and lcoally and fight for more funding for education and give Framingham funding we need - trying to educate the population in town ...Hall
This is not a one time gift - this is a correction -- Hall
Education needs more funding in Framingham -- committee concerned that only $600,000 going to the scjool out of $1.7 million. typically we have a formular that is 60% education and 40% town ..$600,000 is not 60% .. shared concerns with School Committee and Supt. Met with chair of School Committee and Town Manager -- working collaboratively with the town -- important to have the collaborative relationship ...moving forward with agreement of $600,000 ..our committee respectively disagrees ...Hall
Last Thursday - divided - $1 million go to Fiscal Year 13 budget -- 6-5 close vote.
Two motions to make --- Hall
First fire department budget
second education funding --Give $1 million to schools out of the $1.7 chapter 70 funds.
CFO speaking -- articles for demolition to library and 1% non union COla nd hoops & Homework --had appropriation language in it -- already appropriated money out of the $1.7 million
School Committee chair David Miles speaking -- we wouldn't be here tonight without the efforts from our state legislature ... document on the back table ...
talking points for Article 14 --
We are a level 3 school district -- district giving a level designation, based on lowest designation. We do have level 2 and level 1 schools, too - Miles.
Lot has been made about MCAS scores -- they have been going down ...started last year - $500,000 to do some rebuilding ..list of needs on the handout ...address instruction -- helping teachers in the clasroom raising achievement thus raising MCAS scores.
Total value is for $2.2 Million - will not ask for that tonight - Miles
#1 is for $900,000 -- we ar enot asking for that either.
Every $ amount voted on wil be spent wisely -- we need school librarians, assistant principals, more professional dveelopment, teachers left without sufficient guidance ...every dollar we get will be spent wisely ...
$600,000 was agreed upon .. Oct 15 -- School Committee voted 7-0 to recommend $600,000.
8:12 p.m. Dick Weeder - standing committee on education -- vice chair speaking
For many years state has underfunded Framingham in regards to education
Committee felt very important to point out that the additional funds from the state were additional chapter 70 educational funds ...
current proposal of $600,000 -- is only about 20% for the school budget
This will result in state intention to fund edcuation will be underminded ...
Committee on education -- oct 23 - voted - $1 added to Framingham Public Schools - Committee noted -- result -- will give the schools only 36% of Chapter 70 funds. -- vote 12-0--0
MOTION -- is similar to Ways & means motion -- so we won't make an additional motion
8:16 p.m. Town Meeting members wishing to speak
Cox -- TMM14 -- first year Town Meeting -- ask for support for veterans ...
I am an Iraqi comat veterans -- serve and support veterans as a clinical social worker .. last annual Town Meeting - approved the money for 1.5 person for Veterans department. after speaking to town officials found out .5 position was not filled.
College stuents are eleigible for money at breaks and summer time -- FSU and Mass Bay -- veterans relief supported through the town .. the person who give the relief is a town employee .. during off season -- veterans not eligible for GI bill -- veterans wil be in dire staits .. ask each city or twon live in and ask for relief .. current staffing not adequate to meet that .. met with FSU veterans officer -- numerous veterans at FSU .. need to be pro-active to support our cobat veterans ... how can we do this .. your approval of a small amount - to fund a .5 employee ...veterans official is an advocate for the veterans -- give them resources - not just for college veterans but after all veterans .. town hall named after veterans ... appropriation of $16,500.
8:22 p.m. CFO speaking -- clarifying statements by previous speaker increase in chapter 70 aid and schools have not read none of it .. ...
$1.5 million went to OPEc funding of which 62% is for scool employees - $960,000 attributable to the school department .. in case of chapter 7 aid -- we are actually voting to maintain the tax rate ... CFO
$396,000 left after other approriations -- CFO and give $210,000 to stabilization
$81,000 for hoops & homework -- already approved thus lowers money available in the $1.7 million ... CFO
Maurren Dunne speaking -- concern -- lots of numbers for positions and salaries and not positions and total costs being mentioned --- be it the resolve and financial article which results in addition to personnel - must allocate -- adding costs of personal benefits - ie health benefits .. i don't want to hear in the spring we have a shortfall in the health benefits line item as we din't factor it in when we appropriate ...
We need to have true costs -- Dunne
MOTION -- will of Town Meeting any financial article - must allocate a portion of added personnel benefits, ie health benefits.
Moderator - this will be a complicated article to vote on ...
Lloyd Kaye -- $7,000 to support the salary for library staff to open main branch from 1 to 5 p.m. This is a change from the letter to the editor of $14,000
Halpin speaking -- only $16,500 and $7,000 --only 2 items -- if we had a list of 10-15 -- would this be the way to do things ...make a plea -- that we not uneline our budget .. small seemingly innocent budget additional - that they should go through the process...
Town Meeting members speaking -- Harold Geller -- very concerns - special town meeting and not the annual town meeting - and it is a feeding frezy -- small amounts -- without going through the real process ... $7,000 at the library is not a lot of more money - library should have more libraries on Sunday -- there should be more data to support that .. in existing budget re-allocate the funds -- and then plan to annual town meeting ... we have not heard from the library -- that the $7,000 is what is needed...
Veterans -- also a small amount -- town paying for veterans service s-- ask CFo for veterans services, salaries and programs.
Town Meeting 131 member present ***
CFO speaking - pay $325,000 for benefits for veterans .. change referenced by Cox -- could exposure of another $300,000 - it would double the paperwork -- the position recommended -- restoring the half position we have had before .. that is an entry level position ... simply be an administartive assistant .. want to think about - we will see the changes that could happen -- benefit eligible veterans .. anticipated another program would od the same thinga nd it has not materialized or do we watch this and see if it doubles and then add $325,000 to the budget .. may require add a full-time administrative assistant .. we need to think about this strategically. We need to really think about how to staff that department ...
Point of order - Joel Winett - order of motions and amendments and what the vote is ...
Moderator -- 2/3rd vote needed for stabilization -- amendent is a majority vote
8:43 p.m. Kathy Vassar speaking - TMM1 -- rise to speak to the fincom motion to reduce the money to stabilization fund .. I don't feel like I can support that motion ... if money applied to commercial -- large commercial would receive the bulk of this ... consistent undervaluing of large commercial properties .. which would appear to get the bulk of the funds -- the homewoners were slammed last year with large increases in their property taxes.
Larry S. - TMM4 - speaking -- call attention to a previous matter -- analysis of assessing assumptions ...
long line of veterans served by one person ...
Richard Paul - TMM 7 -- comments & questions -- intent to vote for ways & means motion to improve the public schools - owe it to our children .. generational responsibility ... and we owe it to the property owners .. anyone moving to a community looks at the quality of public education .. that's where hey want to live and raise a family .. improve education willl increase our property values...
Bill McCarthy - TMM 10 speaking -- lots of things have changed .. based on what I saw from background info .. I was support of fincom as I thought it would benefit the homewoners but now only help the commercial property owners -- defeat purpose .. now not in favor of FInCOM ... after some motions and comments made -- Town Manager and CFO both got up and made comments on motions ... heard from chair of the School Committee - theya re happy with $600,000 -- we are usually at odds with them -- they are nota sking for the million -- we should let them have the $600,000.
More than $600,000 is going towards education -- $81,000 is for Hoops & Homework and that will support educational purposes after school and probally stretch anything spent on library is educational too -- although spending $320,00 to tear garage down.
I recommend we take the motion from the CFO - McCarthy ...
8:55 p.m. Herb Chasan - TMM4 - speaking -- rise to support the ways & means - Framingham has been shortchanged by the state $10 million over the past 5 years ... what that means 100 staff have been laid off ... so we cut $1.7 million this year ... message from the state let's start the rebuilding - a little bit - hadly $10 million .. school superintendnet made alist up -- $2.2 million to make changes -- obviously can't do that - strongly support the $1 milion and $77,000 for the schools ... enrollment is going up ...
all this still leaves stabilization 99% fully funded -- and in great shape ...Chasan
Please vote for the ways & means motion and the standing education motion- Chasan
Peter Pleshaw - TMM11 -- speaking -- sat home after the first day and put a motion together in reference for article 14 -- not going to put the motion forward --- I don't know if ways & means motion is correct but I'd like to give you my thoughts ... ....when a young couple goes around looking for a house ... they will ask the realtor -- how are the schools??
9:02 p.m. Dan Lampl -- correct -- fincom -- recommendation - $396,000 would reduce the levy - tax levy -- selectmen decide where the money can go -- all go to the commercial - or can be split between residential and commercial ...
Ken High - TMM12 -- my real estate investment is affected by the quality of the schools .. this is educational support ... this money is allocated for the extress use of education .. only give $600,000 underminds our schools .. seveal schools at level 3 status .. we need to acknowlede the unfulfilled nees at the schools - new supt. has identified $899,000 critical and $550,000 as significnat needs ...it is not like the money isn't there .. it is -- allocate 60% to the schools - supt can adress the critical needs ...stabilization is undoubtably important -- every single day the schools are unfunded we are missing opportunities ... we need to use the immediate money ...
Kevin Crotty - TMM7 speaking -- I'm in support of two previous speakers - $7,000for the library - that is not to hard to come by ...likely be someone get more hours
$16,500 for the veterans -- kids brother idied in the 70s - was a marine -- I support this motion -- in 2006 - whenmy father died - he was a navy - south pacific -- USS Missouri -- I hope you vote favorably on these two small amendments.
9:12 p.m. Bob Bolles - TMM6 - speaking - we have to learn to live within our means -- many years the schools have said they are short - our taxes are going through the roof ...I'm getting taxed out of my house ... we have to learn to live within our means -- take care of the stabilization fund...
Don Taggert - TMM5 -- speaking -- Pleae support the motion by ways & means committee
Caraline Levy -- Move the question ... 2/3rd vote needed -- hand vote - passed
9:18 p.m. - motion to split the vote --hand vote - passed
Order of voting -- resolution after voting
Moderator giving the motions order first --
Amendment - $35,000 out of the fire OT budget and put back in general fund - vote first
second vote -- ways & means amendment - $996,825 to schools
that would leave $210,000 in stabilization fund
third vote -- amendment - $16,500 to veterans
fourth vote - amendment $7,000 to library - Kaye proposal
Two point of orders ...requested - Steve Friedman and Herb Chasan
Friedman - TMM9 -- can we use the electronic devices -- we paid enough for them...
Point of information -- Dick Weader.... he did not speak\
Point of order -- Michelle Brosnihan - precinct 10 --
MODERATOR --- neew orde rof voting as fincom motion was left out ...
Mel Warshaw -- I have a problem with the $81,000 coming off the $1.7 million
Moderator - ways & means amendment the motion based on the CFO
Point of order -- Chasan & Amy Weader made -- not recognized by moderator
Moderator -- new voting order ... of all the motions ....
Chasan -- ways & means voted a dollar amount of money $1.077 825 -- voted that amount - I don't understand how that is different ... $81,000 would come out of the stabilization - leave 99 percent ...
Joel Winettt - TMM precinct 7 - I thought we voted to cover stabilization later after everything else... what is the finance committee's motion and when will it be taken ..
Dan Lampl - $600,000 for the school and $210,000 for the stabilizationa nd the rest to reduce the tax levy - speaking -9:31 p.m.
Point of order - Amy Weader - TMM4 - speaking --
9:33 p.m. moderator asking for a ruling town counsel ...
First vote -- First department OT
Second vote - ways & means -- amended motion by Hall
third vote - vets
fourth vote - library
Point of order - William Osborne -- TMM 6 - motion to adjourn...
I feel like things are being shoven down our throats ...
Moderator - not accepting the motion -
9:37 p.m. EDITOR's note -- they have spent 20 minutes deciding the order of the vote and points of order/information. (perhaps they should have taken a break to sort it all out.)
9:38 p.m. Vote on fire department OT - move $35,000 out of budget to general fund...
Electronic voting -- 89-37-4 -- IT PASSED - $35,000 now available in general fund.
9:40 p.m. Ways & committee vote - $996,825 to the Schools
electronic voting -- majority vote needed - 84-46-2 - PASSED
9:42 p.m. $16,500 vote for the veterans - majority needed
electronic voting -- 89-32-11 - PASSED
9:44 p.m. Library vote - $7,000 -- majority vote needed
electronic voting -- 65- 56-11 - PASSED
9:46 p.m. now a vote for the stabilization still needs to take place ...
9:48 p.m. - $221,500 left passed on the CFO to spend
Vote -- $210,000 in fincom stabilization fund ..
numerous questions about what Town Meeting is needed vote ...
moderator interpretation vote $210,000 or no money for stabilization...
9:55 p.m. VOTE - electronic on stabilization - 120-5-2 PASSED - $210,000
slide for main motion ...
point -- Dennis Paulsen -- confused -- to where the other money goes?
Town Manager Halpin -- it will reduce the levy ...
Now a vote on the total amount adjusments ....
10:02 p.m. majority vote -- electronic voting -- 102-20-1 PASSED
Stabilizaton vote - 2/3rd majority needed - $210,000 - 116-3-0 PASSED
Reolution vote by Dunne -- hand vote passed ...10:06 p.m.
Article #16 -- Joel Winett -- TMM7 -- making town meeting effective and efficient --- handling the budget issues -- getting more information ahead of time -- having the motions clearly defined...
bylaws allow presentation to be 10 minutes
Town Meeting ruled committee -- change to 5 minutes -- motivation to fit what they have to say and to say if effectively .. tonight every speaker spoke for 5 minutes
bylaws change ...
other towns have a bylaw to speak for 3 minutes ...
rules committee ask to approve this change ...
Town meeting can agre for more than 5 minutes with a 2/3 rd vote of TM - Winett ... make TM more effective...
Mel Washaw - TMM7 -- last year, annual Town Meeting - had a bylaw regarding sex offender bylaw -- very complicated -- complicated legal issues involving -- I tried to keep it under 10 minutes - but too many legal issues ..5 minutes is ridiculous
Kross -- speaking -- highly supportthe rules committee proposal
Wlliam LeBarge speaking -- TMM16 - 10:15 p.m. -- I don't see aproblem with what we have right now -- I don't see an abuse of it ... urge this to be voted down...
MOVE the question -- 2/3rd vote needed -- hand vote - passed
10:16 p.m. vote on main motion by Winett - reduce time to 5 minutes
moderator guess passes via hand vote ...
now taking an electronic vote on the matter --
10:18 p.m. -- 63-40-2 PASSED
Article #19 -- Motion Kevin Crotty TMM7
Editor's note: about 7-9 Town Meeting members leaving and turning in electronic voting devices .. total present tonight that checked in were 134 ...
amend zoning bylaws -- #19 -- neigborhood cluster development.
Jay Grande -- Planning Board Director speaking --working collaboratively on this ..consensus document .. what we are sorely lacking is alternative zoning district for residential ...
purpose and intent -- affordable housing bylaw in place, edited version of the bylaw, to be eligible for a project can alter the land ..
Grande going over the density formula ...
10:30 p.m. Committee reports --planning & zoning committee
support bylaws -- 6-3-2 recommendations
Zoning bylaw -- 2/3rd vote need
Christine Long -- vice chair -- two public hearings -- 5-0 in favor
Bajakian TMM11 -- speaking - there is a target area for his bylaw -- clark's hill in TMM14 -- another thing in thepublic hearings -- interesting - went to the first ... 5 people in the public presense - 3 were memebers of the standing committee planninga nd zoning and only one lived south of route 9 --
Audrey Hall - speaking -- TMM3 -- questions?? - board of selectmen position on this? sponsors - zoningmap - where in town - geograhically now be able to build these cluster zones ... so which neigborhoods are R1 and R2 ...?? Does say properties erved by water and serve - municipalities is there an exclusion?
Chair board of selectmen speaking - no position on article
Grande -- trying to call up the map -- R2 district small area of town -- we are looking at areas zoned R1 or G and change to r2 ...
derby street and danforth village is R1 ...example -- Grande
Marist house property is R3 - not effected by this property ...
Jeff Cox - TMM14 speaking -- move to refer this back to sponsor -- reason -- many left TownMeeting at this point - this may have a major impact on my neighborhood .. with so many not present at Town Meeting ...
with standing committee not clear agreement and no selectmen vote -- worried - at such a late hour -- approve such an important article not in best interest.
Joe Rizoli - TMM14 -- agree with the previous speaker -- This shouldbemore researched by the town of Framingham ... really look at constitutionality of agenda 21 ... land rights ... really really worries me ...wish this could go back to sponsor .. terrible for the town...
10:45 p.m. Grande -- this is very similiar to other bylaws in the commonwealth .. require a super permit .. there is no mandate or mandatory requirment to take advantage of this bylaw -- just an option -- conventional or the neighborhood cluster development -- choice of the applicant .. covnetional is by right ... under neighborhood cluster planning board as wide discretion ... conservative bylaw -- very protective of the town --looked at for over two years ...changes response to those participating at the hearing .. not substantive changes -- clarifying language ..change graphs ...
10:49 p.m. Winett ... TMM7 -- motion made by Town Meeting member -- background material -- move to change background to attached ...
handout materials ..
Richard Paul - TMM7 -- question .. needs definition of townhouse .. don't know what that means ...
Grande -- two levels, bedrooms ypically on top level -- two floors -- single family home -- attached to other townhouses -- through bylaws limit that to no more han 3 maybe 4 ...
10:52 p.m. Carol Cassiman - TMM3 -- generally in favor of cluster developments .. but in the presentation couple of things concerned about -- very unique neighborhoods in our town -- and private roads ...utilities and roads taken care by the homeowner, need an association with dues ... very expensive - private road -- where does that leave school buses and safety equipment .. do they pass over private roads ...???
10:55 p.m. Grande -- planning board does havethe option to allow those roads to be public; typically maintained by the homeowners via a trust --
I don't vote I am appointed an official ... Grande
Moderator confused by the handouts/documents -- asking for clarification
10:57 p.m. Caraline Levy - TMM12 - speaking - question in some instances the owners have an ANR .. without an planning approves -- have you covered yourself with this? (ANR -- approval not required)
Greande -- this would be a neighborhood cluster by special permit ... hope to have interest in this market -- utilized in great success to neighborhing towns ...
Crotty - move the question -- 2/3rd vote needed -- hand - passed
10:59 p.m. vote on Cox motion back to sponsor ... hand vote - FAILED
winett motion -- wording change -- PASSED
Paul's motion- typographical change - PASSED
11 p.m. VOTE on main motion -- electronic vote -- 2/3rd vote ...
Osborn -- questions the quorum ... moderator doesn't accept
11:02 p.m. electronic vote -- 2/3rd vote needed
51-20-9 -- meets the 2/3rd vote and passes (80 Town Meeting members voted)
11:03 p.m. Article #20 -- Crottty motion - vote to amend general bylaws -
bylaw amended at the prior town meeting -- Valerie Mulvey speaking
VOTE -- hand vote -- PASSED
Motion to adjourn - resolve warrant -- 11:06 p.m.