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LIVE BLOG: Framingham Town Meeting 2012 - Day 12

Framingham Town Meeting will continue discussion on the operating budget for fiscal year 2013 tonight. Framingham Parch will be live blogging.

Framingham Town Meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30, or when a quorum is reached.

will be live blogging, using our Cover it Live platform. Feel free to interact with us.

To see the live blog, please click on the arrow in the grey box.

NOTE: If you are using the mobile version, you must go and click on desktop version to see the grey box.

You can comment while we are live blogging. You may also ask questions, but keep in mind I may not be able to answer right away as I am listening and typing.

Town Meeting members will be discussing, debating, and voting on line items from the municipal and school operating budgets - Article 34, again tonight!

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Below is the Cover it Live transcript ...

Note: Please excuse typos as I am in the back of the hall trying to hear the conversation and typing quickly....

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Thursday May 17, 2012

7:34 It is after 7:30 p.m. and there are not enough Town Meeting members for a quorum Thursday May 17, 2012 7:34  7:42 Still waiting for a quorum ... Thursday May 17, 2012 7:42  7:44 Moderator is calling for Town Meeting members to take their seats Thursday May 17, 2012 7:44  7:46 Interim Town Manager Valerie Mulvey -- a Town Meeting member received incomplete background materials for the Tuesday Special Town Meeting ..there are copies in the back of the room - issue with the printer with precincts 13 & 14. Thursday May 17, 2012 7:46  7:48 Moderator going over the e-voting rules.
Do not share your voting device with someone else...
That is a strong no-no-no-no ...
There was an allegation that someone was voting with their device and someone else's device. Thursday May 17, 2012 7:48  7:48 Asking Town Meeting members to point out if someone is using 2 devices... Thursday May 17, 2012 7:48  7:49 Moderator iinviting those who can't see in the back to sit up front ..
EdItor's Note: that does not apply to the general public Thursday May 17, 2012 7:49  7:50 Moderator -- CFO is missing at the moment.
Moderator says he will read the lines until she returns
Town Meeting members can still say pass.

Thursday May 17, 2012 7:50  7:51 e-voting question - TEST - will you go to the beach this weekend?
Thursday May 17, 2012 7:51  7:51 Editor's Note - There are less than 95 Town Meeting members present at the moment! Thursday May 17, 2012 7:51  7:53 yes - 25
no - 47
abstain - 23
Test question results Thursday May 17, 2012 7:53  7:53 Moderator calls meeting to order Thursday May 17, 2012 7:53  7:54 Point of Information -- Richard Barewitz - TMM17 -- would like to know if town counsel can give a ruling on if someone is using someone else's electronic voting device? Thursday May 17, 2012 7:54  7:55 Heather White -- town counsel's office - not sure if that is a crime if you use someone else's electronic voting device. Thursday May 17, 2012 7:55  7:56 ARTICLE 34
Stabilization Fund -- $2.236 million
several passes made
Thursday May 17, 2012 7:56  7:58 Dan Lampyl - vice chair of the finance committee speaking
average tax bill went up 11% in FY12
finance committee - recognize need to have a balance approach
discussed 4 scenarios - 2.5% 1.5% 1.0% and 0%
originally suggested fincom - 1%
what is still achievable is a tax levy greater than 1% but less than 1.5%
Town Meeting can accomplish this by pointing only $1.8 million into the stablization instead of the CFO's $2.236 million Thursday May 17, 2012 7:58  7:59 Fincom motion only put $1.8 million in stabilization fund
CFO recommendation is to place $2.236 milion Thursday May 17, 2012 7:59  7:59 6-0-0 on May 9th vote by Fincom Thursday May 17, 2012 7:59  8:03 Committee reports
Ways & means chair Audrey Hall speaking
Town Meeting members earlier at Town Meeting - I gave a report that ways & means had voted to keep the tax levy at 0% 6-6 - it failed.
Have to give you some background from a resident in precinct 3 -- came to ways & means and sent a letter that said in the past 2 years property taxes on small cape went from $4100 to $5000 or increased 22% or 11% annually.
This is symbolic of what our constituents are saying...
Theya re asking us not to continue to allowing increases in the coming year.

Here is one last chance to consider this ... to make a change to the budget before we close it.
Show residents of Framingham that Town Meeting is listening...

Thursday May 17, 2012 8:03  8:04 Town Meeting votes the budget ...
Levy and re-evaluation does play a part
If Town Meeting wants to respond to taxpayers -- this is the last place to do it.

Ask you and urge you to think about the recommendation of fincom
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:04  8:05 Town Meeting members who passed - can speak...
Town Meeting member Steve Orr - precinct 1 -- ask for opinion by the CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 8:05  8:08 New Town Meeting member Precinct 4 speaking Thursday May 17, 2012 8:08  8:09 CFO speaking -- stabilization fund -- in blue book $1.8 million recommended but in the motion tonight it is $2.236 million - when the house budget came out - and we were granted more aid - we added more money to the stabilization fund. Thursday May 17, 2012 8:09  8:11 CFO is making her case for the need for the extra money to go in the find for a "rainy day" as opposed to spending less to help the taxpayers...as per the fincom motion Thursday May 17, 2012 8:11  8:12 If drop down to $1.8 million it means we need to put $1.25 million in 2014 - CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 8:12  8:14 Brad - TMM12 -- there is no way we can predict what the state budget will be next year ... question? - what is the impact of funding the stablization fund on thebond rating and what we pay on debt?

CFO -- speaking - does have a positive impact on the bond rating ... short and long-term notes .. does keep our bond rating up ... it will have to be a lot less than what it is now to bring our bonding rating down... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:14  8:15 difference between $1.8 and $2.2 million will not have any difference in the bond rating -- CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 8:15  8:15 $1.8 million would be enough to hold our bond rating - CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 8:15  8:16 Herb Chasan --TMM4 speaking -- the point is fiscal responsibility ... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:16  8:17 Let's not be short-sighted .. let's think about the whole town.
let's not think about me-me-me
a strong town - a strong stabilization - keeps our property values high
urge strong support for the CFO's recommendation of $2.2 Thursday May 17, 2012 8:17  8:19 Maureen Dunne - while we are doing well -- currently the stabilization fund is underfunded .. we either pay it this year or we pay it next year ...
doing a rough caculation .. would save only $15 per household ... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:19  8:21 Bill McCarthy - TMM10 -- speaking - but this is a symbolic move ...
as a gesture to the taxpayers taking this $400,000+ off the CFo's recommended amount -- it is the thing to do ..
This is an opportunity for us to cut the budget
recommend to go with the fincom budget
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:21  8:23 Bob Berman - TMM4 -- There are very few opportunities where we can have an impact on the taxpayers without affecting the operating budget ...
at a minimum we would hope we would cut the stabilization somewhat
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:23  8:23 Motion to move the question'4 TMM still wanted to speak
2.3rd vote needed
hand vote - PASSED Thursday May 17, 2012 8:23  8:24 Jeff Cox --question the moderator decision.
More than 7 people stood to question it
so now an electronic vote to decide if question should be moves...
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:24  8:27 2/3rd vote needed to move the question
yes - 70
no - 39
abstain - 4
question is not moved ...discussion will continue Thursday May 17, 2012 8:27  8:28 Steve Orr - TMM1 speaking -- most of us in this room all knows more than the average taxpayer... we attend meetings ... in the end we have to make up our own minds .. we are here to represent our constituents ... but we are here to do the right thing .. this will not benefit our taxpayers but giving them a bright shiny nickle...
I strongly recommend we put the full amount into the stablization fund Thursday May 17, 2012 8:28  8:29 Renee Faubert -- TMM14 - speaking -- question?
what is the difference and funding the stablization next year or 2 years from now?
What is the average amount put in for the last 3 years?
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:29  8:30 CFO speaking -- before I got here and my first two years as CFO we put nothing in.
Last couple of years $800,000 to this amount which is the highest ... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:30  8:31 right now we have $8.8 million in ... adding the $1.8 million would bring us to $10.6 million - CFO another $400,000 would be about $11 million
what is the risk of doing now, FY 13, FY14 or Fy15 -- there is fiscal uncertainity ..CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 8:31  8:34 Richard Barwitz - TMM17 -- it won't matter to me if my tax bill is $3800 or $3785 ...
I think the safety of our community is much more important... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:34  8:36 Gerry Bloomfield -- resident speaking -- spent more time (discussing) on the stabilization fund than on the school budget which was $96.6 million ...
Moderator - we are talking about stabilization - not the school budget

everyone is minimizing what has happened to the taxpayers - they got a 5-year tax increase in one year .. have not heard any trends or impact for next year for the single family homeowner ...

state gives it and state takes it away -- this is an election year -- so we get money - and next year likely we won't ...
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:36  8:38 no one asked any question about level 3 schools ..
people amazed that no one .. I can't believe you are not speaking to the people in town -- we are like in a daze .. like to see more steadfastness .. get the feeling people just want to get out of here .. and then get a tax bill and ...everyone will then say the money is ... where is the contigency???

Moderator -- cut him off -- confine remarks to the stabilization fund...
take the money out of the stablization fund and give it back to the single family homeowners ... Thursday May 17, 2012 8:38  8:39 Editor's Note: Should be Jerry not Gerry Thursday May 17, 2012 8:39  8:40 I don't hear an negativity from my street or my neighborhood
we should fully fund the stabilization fund.
Editor's Note: sorry missed the speaker's name and precinct Thursday May 17, 2012 8:40  8:41 Cross - your vote is not just for the stablization fund as your own savings account - there are many people in town who don't have a savings account
encourage you to support the CFo's recommendatiom Thursday May 17, 2012 8:41  8:42 Gloria Geller -- proposes to move the question
2/3rd vote needed
2 TMM still wanted to speak
hand vote - passed
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:42  8:42 Vote - e-voting
stablization vote -- CFO motion to reduce to $1.8 million
majority vote needed Thursday May 17, 2012 8:42  8:43 Issue with the electronic voting ...
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:43  8:47 trying again ,,, Voting on fincom motion to amend the stablilization fund to $1.8 million from $2.2million
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:47  8:49 yes - 40
no - 77
abstain - 1
FAILED Thursday May 17, 2012 8:49  8:53 Motion to place $2.236 million in the stabilization fund as recommended by the CFO
e-voting

yes - 101
no - 16
abstain - 1


Editor's Note: precinct 16 has 2 members voting tonight, precinct 15 has 3 and precinct 18 just 4. Thursday May 17, 2012 8:53  8:54 Point of order - Steve Friedman - TMM9 -- can we do something at the fall meeting that they work right ...
Moderator - I am not happy with the way things are going .. it will be in my report to the vendor .. system will be looked at closer for future use.. Thursday May 17, 2012 8:54  8:55 Reserve Fund - $400,000 - still article 34
There was a couple of passes
Gloria Geller - TMM2 -- can explain what it is used for?
Is it an appropriate place to cut/
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:55  8:55 CFO - reserve fund -- emergency expenditures that come up in the operating budget Thursday May 17, 2012 8:55  8:59 Editor's Note: I apologize I needed a break ...
CFO is still talking about the reserve fund...
Thursday May 17, 2012 8:59  9:00 Tom - TMM12 -- who makes the money to come out of the reserve fund? Thursday May 17, 2012 9:00  9:01 Betty Funk - chair of fincom -- fincom makes the decision on how those resources are spent based on the recommendation of the CFO
Emergency is debated before a dime is spent ... Thursday May 17, 2012 9:01  9:01 VOTE on reserve fund line item - $400,000
e-voting
Thursday May 17, 2012 9:01  9:03 yes - 110
no - 4
abstain - 5
PASSED Thursday May 17, 2012 9:03  9:04 Snow & Ice - $1.5 million recommendation for FY13
no passes
e-voting
Thursday May 17, 2012 9:04  9:05 There was an issue with one vote - incorrectly recorded..
Thursday May 17, 2012 9:05  9:07 yes - 112
no - 3
abstain - 2
PASSED Thursday May 17, 2012 9:07  9:10 CFO - Motion -- $219.369 million budget for FY13

Point of information - Bill McCarthy - TMM10 -- capital budget and legal budget number we re not included?

CFO - says the number is correct..
legal fund voted in article 19
Thursday May 17, 2012 9:10  9:12 Vote - electronic - majority vote needed
yes - 108
no - 7
abstain - 4
PASSED

Break and then on to article 35 ... Thursday May 17, 2012 9:12  9:27 Moderator calling Town Meeting members back to their seats. Thursday May 17, 2012 9:27  9:28 Article 35 -- FY13 Water Enterprise Fund - $16 million - CFO motion Thursday May 17, 2012 9:28  9:28 CFO presentation Thursday May 17, 2012 9:28  9:29 Presenattion for article 35 and 36 -- water is $16 and sewer is $20 million Thursday May 17, 2012 9:29  9:30 MWRA assessments is 43% of the budget -- $7 million
debt service - $3.8 million - 22% of the budget Thursday May 17, 2012 9:30  9:32 Sewer - MWRA assessment is 49%
debt service is 25% of the buget Thursday May 17, 2012 9:32  9:32 what does this change do to the water and sewer rates? - CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 9:32  9:32 Rate is based on usage ... CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 9:32  9:33 average the usage over 4 years ... Thursday May 17, 2012 9:33  9:34 Tier 1 increase 8.5%
Tier 5 - 8.8% increase Thursday May 17, 2012 9:34  9:34 elderly rate is 25% less Thursday May 17, 2012 9:34  9:35 what does that do for the average user -- 156 units average user
see $101 increase in your annual bill at 6.1%
CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 9:35  9:45 when compare Framingham with other communities -- we are still in the lower third - CFO Thursday May 17, 2012 9:45  9:47 Betty Funk -- finance committee chair - favorable
Dennis Paulsen - vice chair of the standing committee public works speaking Thursday May 17, 2012 9:47  9:47 Birch wells - vitally important to the town -- backup emergency water supply Thursday May 17, 2012 9:47  9:48 Hopefully finished in thenext 18 months

DPW working on water infratration and sewer lines ...public works has been very aggressive .. after discussing 5-01 in favor Thursday May 17, 2012 9:48  9:50 Town Meeting member speaking
Jim Rizoli - TMM14 speaking - no problem with water bill - gone from $9 to $150 - it is what it is .. question on water in general - MWRA ... water is flourided here in Massachusetts ... since we are paying to put this poison in our water -- any way we can do something about flouride in our water - it is really serious - it is poison -- says on toothpaste do not ingest .. Thursday May 17, 2012 9:50  9:51 Deputy director of public works speaking -- highly regulated -- want to consider reduce or eliminate flouride - contact state legislatures. Thursday May 17, 2012 9:51  9:52 Vote on Article 35
electronic voting
$16 million on water enterprise operating fund
majority vote needed Thursday May 17, 2012 9:52  9:55 yes - 101
no - 3
abstain - 1
PASSED Thursday May 17, 2012 9:55  9:56 Article 36 -- sewer $20 million Thursday May 17, 2012 9:56  9:56 [Comment From JR JR : ] If you think Flouride is bad look what might be coming. Thursday May 17, 2012 9:56 JR 9:57 Dennis Paulsen - vice chair standing committee public works -- 5-0-1 approved Thursday May 17, 2012 9:57  9:57 Vote on article 36 - $20 million on sewer
electronic voting
majority vote needed
Thursday May 17, 2012 9:57  9:58 [Comment From JR JR : ] If you think Fluoride is bad check out where it may be going Thursday May 17, 2012 9:58 JR 10:00 yes - 95
no - 1
abstain - 2
PASSED

Editor's note - on the last vote - no one was here in Precinct 13 to vote and only one in precinct 15. In Precinct 16 only 2 and in Precinct 18 - 3.
Thursday May 17, 2012 10:00  10:00 Motion to adjourn
took two hand votes but it passed
Town Meeting will resume Tuesday night
Thursday May 17, 2012 10:00  10:29 On Tuesday night, Town Meeting members will start with the Special Town Meeting article and if there is time, move back to the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Meeting will starts at 7:30 p.m. on May 22 or when a quorum is reached
Jim Rizoli May 18, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Here is a good link to the topic I was speaking about at TM. I think we should do something about it at some point in time. The more you know about it the better informed you will be. Sad to see we are paying good money to be poisoned! http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/FluorideSpecialReport_ToxicWaters.pdf Jim@ccfiile.com
Joe Rizoli May 18, 2012 at 05:09 AM
This was the link for what may be coming next to be put in our water supply: http://www.naturalnews.com/032669_lithium_water_supply.html As to the article Jim posted, I agree with most of it but for the European link and Germany segment of the article I would read this: http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2011/oct/06/critics-water-fluoridation/truth-about-fluoride-doesnt-include-nazi-myth/ I would highly recommend an article written by a Paul Maher M,D in his book called "The One Hundred Year Diet, How to protect yourself from the engineered destruction of you health" pp 64-71 I scanned those 8 pages if any want to read the article. If anyone wants that article you can also go to: http://www.thedotconnector.org/mag/ It's the Spring 2012 issue. I discussed some of the points in another Patch discussion about our water a week ago: http://framingham.patch.com/blog_posts/a-watery-tale My partial comments: http://framingham.patch.com/blog_posts/a-watery-tale "In 1964 Sodium fluoride was registered with the FDA as a fungicide and wood preservative for utility poles, lumber, timber, post, and all exterior wood exposed to moisture." ( Dr Paul Maher ) The 100 Year Diet. Sodium Fluoride is also a by-product of Uranium mining and the phosphate fertilizer industry. Now you know how to connect the dots. Joe Rizoli
Jim Rizoli May 19, 2012 at 04:04 AM
We're paying for water that is poisoning people....NICE! I'm not done with this one. http://ccfiile.com/Fluoride.html Jim@ccfiile.com

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