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LIVE BLOG: Framingham Town Meeting - Night 9

Framingham Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey said Town Meeting member Jim Pillsbury from Precinct 6 has filed a reconsideration motion with her office for the Education budget, article 19 of Framingham Town Meeting.

Framingham Town Meeting members made their way through articles 19 to 24 Wednesday night. 

Night 9 of Town Meeting is scheduled to begin tonight, May 13 at 7:30 in Nevins Hall inside the Memorial Building or when a quorum is reached.  Town Meeting will begin discussion on Article 25 of a 40+ article warrant.

FYI -- Framingham Town Clerk Valerie Mulvey said Town Meeting member Jim Pillsbury from Precinct 6 has filed a reconsideration motion with her office for the Education budget, article 19 of Framingham Town Meeting. 

Framingham Patch will be live blogging tonight.
Editor's Note: Please excuse typos as I am typing as people are speaking and will fix after the session ends.

****

7:40 p.m. There is a quorum

7:42 p.m. Moderator speaking - 

New chairs -- standing committee

Harold Geller - new cahir of Ways & Means
Kevin Gaitlin - new chair pf public safety
all other are the same.

***

Electronic test question -- do you know why the flag at half mast?
38-45-8
VOTE

*****
Point of information -- Ted Anthony - Why?

TMM14 - Jeff Cox speaking - Peace Officer Memorial Day.

****
7:47 p.m. Town Meeting member filed for reconsideration of the school budget It was published in the local paper.

Town Clerk -- presented the moderator with the reconsideration motion

7:50 p.m.  Jim Pillsbury - TMM6 -- move to reconsider the entire article 19 - education operating budget -- specifically about the school channel

Moderator -- cut him off.

Jim Pillsbury - there were people who had their hands up -- and I was going to propose a non-binding resolution -- I want 4 minutes of your time - present reasonable argument over the school channel - not looking to cut the budget - introduce a non-binding resolution. I fully support the school budget.

Moderator -- you have made you point.

Moderator -- this is a motion normally I would not accept but I will accept it tonight

Moderator - going over the ground rules -- debate for or against reconsideration - duration of either speech not more than 3 minutes. Speak a second time not more than 1 minute

Discussion

TMM7 -- Joel Winett - chair of the rules committee - Concerned with the process. Reconsideration - TMM rarely support. This particular call -- sponsor wanted to make a resolution -- hard to find a place for the resolution to be made. I recommend and urge you to support the reconsideration.

Moderator - 2/3rd vote needed

Amy Weader - TMM4 -- question about process if reconsideration pass - if a reconsideration passes - is the only thing we are able to discuss the proposed resolution or is the entire line item open?

Moderator -- the entire line item will be open for discussion

Point of order -- Rich Paul - TMM7 -- does the motion of reconsideration - require a second?

Moderator -no

7:57 p.m.

Kathy Vasser - TMM1 - question -- does this have potential to open up discussion for all items in 19 or just education?

Moderator - just education

Norma Shulman -- TMM5 - strongly support the motion to reconsider for the purpose stated. If there was important information that was not brought to our attention. This motion merits that.

Sean Donovan - TMM2 - rise on a point of information - if finish budget process on the pink sheet - do we open a line - do we negate a specific vote?

Moderator - understand resolution will not change the budget item

8 p.m. Winett request the use of electronic voting

Jake Bajakian --point of information - non-town meeting members not allowed in Town Meeting area.

Moderator -- require a 2/3rd vote -- electronic vote.

55-46- 9 -- The motion to reconsider failed.

***
8:03 p.m.
Article 25 -- Resolution for Fossil Fuel Divestment -- citizen petition

Moderator - 10 minute presentation by sponsor
Kenneth -Weiss - Framingham resident - precinct 4 speaking

Fossil fuel is determinetal to the earth
multiple extreme events
showing slides reservoirs down in California
Hurricane Sandy cost taxpayers about $50 Million

Fossil fuels companies shape our energy policy
What can we do about climate change?
Convert economy to energy
selling fossil fuel stocks and invest in other stocks
divestment is not new and not scary
Fossil fuels are a risky investment - they are profitable but have been underperforming in the few years.

Point of Order -- Gloria Gellar - TMM2 -- you should not be taking photos on the floor?

Moderator -- You can not take photos
Speaker's mother was taking photos - she was told to stop.

Weiss speaking again -- 

Showing several slides of communities that have divested from fossil fuels

Massachusetts has a Bill S1225 to diverst from fossil fuels.
Concord and Sudbury recently divested.

State treasurer, who oversees the investments, supports this move.

Will not cost Framingham any money.
Are we doing everything we can?

Divestment effective -- brings discussion, alerts everyone to climate change, signals to legislatures need drastic change.

Closing statement -- divest & reinvest
I can't predict markets -- investments are about the future -- there is no future with fossil fuels.
we are already losing - we are on a trajectory to lose even more
I come to you as you are my elected officials.

8:15 p.m.
Committee reports
Herb Chasan - standing committee on community services - speaking
met with Mr. Weiss on May 7th - discussion on why the article coming up? Answers we came up with - it sends a message we want drastic change. 80% of known fossil fuels must remain untapped and in the ground, sea level is rising. Short term gains may mean lonng term loses. Other town surrounding us - like Sudbury - have passe dthis resolution
6-0-0 in favor

Audrey Hall - chair of ways & means speaking -- committee met with sponsor on April 24th -- motion made to take no position -- motion failed.
Motion to support article 7-4-1
April 28 - met with the CFO -- explained none of the town's stablization invested in fossil fuels-- but Framingham invested in the state's pension funds. sponsor does not want to pull out of PRIT -- Bill S1255 has not been heard. 
Overall the committee quite divided --5-9-0 not to support the article.

8:19 p.m. Town Meeting discussion

Karl Rookey -- speaking -- read through this article carefully. I do believe in the science of global warming - think we have to do something - stand to amend this article -- more approriate employees decide on retirement funds. New Motion made.

William LaBarge - TMM16 speaking -- I rise to support the resolution and respectively rise to oppose the amendment.

Gerry Bloomfield - TMM1 - speaking - not sufficent alternative energy source

Point of order - william labarge -- someone's phone is ringing. Moderator make them turn it off.

Bloomfield -- I thought I was in trouble there...

Maybe consider all try to get people to my prius here.

Norma Shulman -- I rise to support this motion and to oppose the amendment. This is a message - that needs to be delivered in a firm way and not in a whisper. Firmly believe Framingham Town Meeting should make this statement.

Shulman now talking about the safe haven law ...

We should pass this article unamended

8:27 p.m.
TMM6 - speaking - urge you to support this article without an amendment

Harold Geller - TMM2 -- Respect the sponsor -- very concerned about global warning - I'm against this article - don't believe it will be effective - could have a significant cost impact on the town.

Do not buy their products. We are now a green community.
we are reducing our energy consumption - buying lessing fossil fuels.

I believe we are doing a number of things to help the environment.

8:31 p.m.

Dennis Paulsen -- TMM17 -- speaking -- Lot of the disasters that happened - Google Jersey Shore -- it has been wiped out once every 11 years -- truth of the matter -- have to use common sense - have to consider where we built. Many of the world cities were built near oceans - that will be effected by climate change.

Judith Grove -- TMM15 -- speaking - rise instrong support of this article. I believe Massachusetts will get out of these funds. Fossil fuels is not a friend of the Massachusetts economy. We need to become self-sufficient. We have one of themost robust green economies.

80,000 clean jobs - up 25% in last two years in Massachusetts
article quotes - state's clean energy sector is the envy of the world
we have the scientists and the universities here - this is terrific for our economy
I spoke to Steve Grossman -- he is all for it (he oversees the pension fund)

Bob Sneider -- Tmm11 - speaking -- this kind of material - this kind of issue - has no business in Framingham Town Meeting. No body here is a professor . I'm not going to tell you if I am for or against Town Meeting.

Community service committee has an opinion - this is not the kind of stuff.

Point of order -- Lloyd Kaye 

Bob Sneider -- told him to sit down ..

Kaye speaking -- nothing more to add. This is outrageous.

Moderator - Mr. Kaye please sit down.

Sneider - ignoring the moderator and the point of order and still speaking.

Point of Order -- Rosemary Jibari - TMM18 -- question for a speaking to denograte a Town Meeting committee.

Sneider - I stated a position of fact.

Moderator - I think you have said enough.

8:42 p.m.

Michael Cannon - TMM9 - I can see there are no strong feeling on this issue in the room.

Cannon - Not going to debate the science ... Intent is positive.
2 concerns -- opens up a can of worms - or invest in food companies - or hotel companies because you can watch a dirty movie in your room?

We have a fiduciary responsibility not to interfer in the retirees fund.
Rise in opposition of article 25.

8:44 p.m.

Susan Massad - TMM5 -rise in support. This is just one step. 
Don't support dibaraging remarks of another committee.

Motion to move the question by Phil Ottivanni -
15 people still wish to speak.
Question not moved - hand vote.


TMM - wants an opinion from the CFO on how this affects the Town

Ask PRIT to divest? Rather than divest ourselves/ Are we talking just about stocks? or mutual funds and bonds too?

What percent of our holdings are we talking about?

CFO - Kelley speaking -- my interpretation on this -- talked to Prit fund managers -- we can not divest ourselves from PRIT -- this presentation is in support of Senate 1255 -- which would divest all state holdings.

It is relatively small.
PRIT officer during hearing on S1255 -- at some point we are not doing this in a vacuum. There have been movement to divest in Northern Ireland, Sudan, South Africa ... next thing could be divestment for companies that do business .. at some point yourself out of investment options

at one point do we lose the investment for social issues.
These things do not always work ...
Economic sanctions don't often work
need to get ourselves off fossil fuels - consumption is the key


8:52 p.m.
Ken High - TMM12 -- speaking -- social studies - teach them to be bold and take a stand.
climate does change over years .. a million more years more we could be again. I don't care about a million years now - I do care things have dramatically changed over the last 50 years.
Don't believe the scientists? look at the news.

Tom Grove - TMM15 - I speak as a member of the retirement PRIT -- I do my own investment. - I support in favor of this.

Richard - TMM11 - speaking -- thanks Mr. Weiss for his civic mindness. But I can not support this article. Global warming is not the same as apatheid. I'm not a scientist. If you go to acadia national park -- there was a plaque put there by national park service -- 12,000 years ago - cadillac mountain was under ice.
mankind is burning fossil fuels for a little over 200 years --now talking about China and India. All we will do will subsidize other countries. There is not one company that has not existed solely due to government subsidies. Noble idea - but pie in the sky.


9:01 p.m.
Bill McCarthy - motion to move the question
2/3rd vote needed - hand vote -- PASSED

4 people still wanted to speak.

First vote is on Rookey Amendment --non-binding resolution.
Request for an electronic vote

Point of order - Bob Berman - vote was not recorder.
Person next to him said his vote didn't register either

VOTE -- 28-81-11 - motion failed.

***
Electronic vote on article 25 -- 
77-38-5 - It pased
****
Town Meeting members clapping
***

9:07 p.m. Moderator - asked to clarification issues around electronic voting

Point of personal privledge -- Ann Jaffries -- Level of lack of courtesy in this body needs to be addressed
You tone has been rough to the citizen who did not know she was not allowed in the floor.

A previous speaker did make negative remarks about a committee and was shouting over another Town Meeting member.
Another member was sarcastic over Mr. Weiss's mother.

Moderator -- I heard the TMM say he did not have the expertise to address the issue. I am doing my best to be civil and my best to make sure everyone else is civil.

***

9:11 p.m. 
ARTICLE 26 -- Kevin Crotty - TMM7 - making the motion - 

Moderator giving Planning Board 10 minutes for a presentation.

Amanda Loomis speaking - Planning Board administrator speaking -- 

Talking about population growth - 1847-2014 
1847 concentration downtown, Saxonville and near Town Common
Development in 2014 -- along route 9 tech park and Nobscot

agriculture lands -- in green owned by state of Mass or Town of Framingham. Land in red -- agriculture
Purple area -- under a preservation restriction

Purpose -- protect and promote active farms
neghborhood centers with access to open spaces

70% of the farm must stay as active farm - minimum
vegetative buffer around the entire buildable parcel.

In practice -- take 70% of the 100 acres and put under APR.
66.6 not buildinable and 28.5 acres could be building
10 % would need to be open space -- anything touching farm would need 100 feet buffer -- open space needs 75 foot buffer

280 acres not under APR in Framingham
Create a neighborhood setting
puts 70% of active farm in preserved in perptity

9:21 p.m
Committee Reports
Standing committee on planning & zoning -- chair speaking -- there has been a lot of give and take == end results - everyone came together and support 9-0-0

Motion to amend the amendment -- would like to add 2 words.
add the words "and wells" - after septic systems.
I believe everyone would be in support - including the Planning Board

Moderator - need motion on writing

Loomis -- And Wells is fine

Committee Reports -- Chairman of the agriculture committee -- Tom Hanson -- Met March 27 -- voted unanimously 5-0- to support this - feel it would be a favorable tool in the future -- preserve farms in Framingham

Stephanie Mercandetti -- chair of Planning Board speaking -- hold public hearings -- April 3 and 17 -- 5-0-0 in favor

truly collaborative and cooperative effort among the different boards in town.

9:26 p.m.
Nicola Cataldo for the Conservation Commission -- voted unanimously to support this with amendment language -- to comply with Massachusetts wetlands and town wetlands.
Conversation should review the bugger and wetlands ... 
Add Vernal pools ...

9:28 p.m. Town Meeting member discussion

Kathy Vassar - TMM1 speaking -- I rise to support this article and to support both amendments, in particular to adding wells.

This bylaws has been under discussion for well over 2 years.

Gloria Geller - TMM2 - speaking -- I have questions
Does this prevent the farmer from selling more land in the future?
There is one farm receiving money from the state. Is all of their land forbidden from partciipating?

Loomis -- planning administrator speaking --70% in pertuity, If already under an APR it can not be developed.

9:31 p.m.
Gellar -- what if the 70% ois bot viable for the farmer? What if farmer can not support it?

Loomis -- speaking -- it become conservation land - undeveloped forever.

Yeal Steinelz - TMM11 -- can we hear what the drawbacks are to the farmers??

Loomis speaking -- only drawback - less land

Folo up question - if we don't pass it - they can sell 100% of the land?

Loomis speaking -- conventional subdivision only option, if not passed, for he farm.

Tom Grove - TMM15 - speaking -- I beg your indulgence -- in favor of this -- 34 years ago moved here from Virginia from the blue ridge mountains.

when I started exploring Framingham on my bike - one I tried was Grove Street - Framingham had a view worth stopping for ... I sought that place frequently to enjoy the earth.

That experience gradually became loss - as McMansions began cropping up.

9:35 p.m.  Modeator - town counsel issue with motion - committee chair who made motion happy with change.

Peter Pleshaw -- TMM11 -- speaking --have questions
entire active farm should be placed under APR -- APR held by the town of Framingham or a non-profit land trust.

Are we doing this change in the laws -- for a specific party? We only have 3-4 farms.

Loomis - speaking -- Planning Board administrator speaking -- agriculture lands - already taxed as a farm - no change in tax rate --

Ned Price - Tmm17 - speaking -- keep in mind this article and the next article - are overlay zoning. If it does not pass - the owner can do what it wants. If this passes, this is options. - 

9:40 p.m.

Audrey Hall - TMM3 -- concern about overlay zoning --
concern giving example, about Saxonville PUD -- received a ZBA variance over # of aprtments

Will the ZBA be able to grant variances?

Barbara Saint Andre - Town Counsel -- speaking - there is a provision in this article and the next article -- section 5E - variance limitation -- if a variance is granted -- land no longer eligible for a special permit.

No variance granted in the future.
There is a limitation

Hall - folo up question -- is this a new provision? not used in the past? That is the kind of protection I would like to see so what Town Meeting votes is what stays.

Mercandetti - chair of planning board speaking -- we are examining this.

Jeff Cox - TMM14 - speaking -- today we have an opportunity - enthusiastically support this and article 27. Important to ask ourselves why we are doing this? We want to preserve agriculture and open space here in Framingham. This process was carefully vetted with people in agricultural committee, standing committees, interested members of the community and the Planning Board.

How proud I am today - that we are standing for our farmers in Framingham. For those who have a real committment to the land.
I hope you will support this.

Nicola Cataldo -- TMM2 -- previous speaker asked a question that has remained unanswered.
Speaker implied that there are 3 farms in the audience

Loomis -- This bylaw not written with any farm in mind. Purpose is to save agricultural land in Framingham. 

Betty Muto -- move the question
2 people still wish to speak
2/3rd vote needed -- hand vote -- passed

9;48 p.m.

Point of order - Nicola Cataldo -- amendments to vote on?

Two amendments - moderator explained

amendment #1 - Shoal -- "and wells" motion
Hand vote - passed

Amendment #2 from Conservation commission
handout with red changes 0 on back of table
majority vote

Point of order -- Joel Winett - question about handout

9:50 p.m.
Hand vote -- - passed - about 5 in opposition

Main motion -- Article 26
2/3rd vote
Electronic vote.
9:51 p.m.

99-3-4 - PASSED

****
9:53 p.m.
Point of order -- Karl Rookey -- speaking for the government study committee -- Committee believe this was an issue.

Two actions on behalf of the government study committee 
Article 43 and 44 be taken after article 26 and 27
so planning & zoning is considered together.

Take resolution -- will of town meeting -- all planning and zoning article be discussed after all budgetary articles.

Joe Winett - committee report -- comment on the motion
Rules Committee -- met on May 13th -- 

first motion move articles 43-44 forward -- not spoke to chair of the planning board -- no action 6-0-0 

Moderator - discuss the resolution at another time.

Loomis -- speaking -- we are ready to present 43 and 44 at this time.

Steven Shoal -- TMM2 -- chair of standing committee on planning & zoning speaking -- did discuss these issues a number of time -- standing committee very supportive to bring 43 and 44 forward.
Prefer to have zoning earlier at Town Meeting.

Recommend - motion to bring forward 
Can't into article 27 right now -- likely motion to adjourn.

Hall - ways & Means -- strongly support bringing those articles forward. Zoning articles are so critical -- have a huge impact on this town. Ris eto support motion

Cox -- move the question
hand vote -- vote -- passed says moderator.

10 p.m.

Motion by Rookey -- move articles 43 & 44 after article 27.
hand vote -- unanimous passed.

Rookey speaking -- offer resolution - will of town meeting all planning & zoning articles be immediately discussed after all; budgetary issues.

Moderator asks for motion in writing.

Joel Winett - TMM& - chair of rules committee speaking. This would be for  April 2015 -- making decisions which articles are important and which are not important.
This could have been considered at the fall Town Meeting
Rules committee not support motion 6-0-0

Kevin Crotty - TMM7 speaking -- I think all articles have merit and all articles are important  regardless of order in warrant.

Moderator - non binding resolutiion

Cox - move the question
hand vote - passed

Resolution vote -- electronic vote moderator wants
hand vote -- resolution passes

COX -- motion to adjourn 10:04 p.m.
Town Meeting continues next Tuesday




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