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LIVE BLOG: October Special Town Meeting 2012 - Day 2

Special Town Meeting, day 2 is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m. Framingham Patch will be live blogging.

Special Town Meeting, day 2 is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Framingham Patch will be live blogging.

***

Quorum reached at 7:44 p.m.

7:48 p.m. Moderator calling meeting to order

Two new handouts on the back table

There is a survey for Town Meeting members tonight ...

***

Person from Arlington here to review how Framingham uses the electronic voting ... moderator

TEST question -- is it going to snow tonight?? 1-yes, 2-no, 3-abstain

Results -- 30-48-15

Point of order -- Steve Orr -- his vote did not register.

Kevin Crotty - motion -- TMM7 -- article 15 -- Master Plan -- hear report from the Planning Board

7:55 p.m. Moderator -- hear the report and then dispose of the article.

Jay Grande -- speaking ... two speakers at 20 minutes each...

Planning Board chair Tom Mahoney speaking first on Master Plan

completion of the 2012 master plan -- taken several years

phase 1 -- inventory and anaysis published in 2008

phase 2 - goals & policies and land use maps and implement strategies

final document is about 400 pages in length -- process completed with significant contributions from citizens, officials and planning board.

* Improve the quality of life

* Zoning protection for residential neighborhoods

* Improve access to open spaces

* Link higher education with workforce

Town Meeting has required the Planning Board to report annually on the process of the master plan

"This is an exciting time for our community" -- Mahoney

We have a major part in this MetroWest Region and the state economy - Mahoney

Consulting Team -- Ken Buchman (sp?) speaking- lives in Falmouth

Master Plan - Part 2 --

part 1 is a snapshot, part 2 is the actual movie script -- goals and actions.

Contents of the plan are master land implementation, new approaches for zoning,

Chapter 2 is a vision for Framingham

lays out the expectations,  provides a planning process, discuss opportunties to change a land use before going to zoning; over next few months Planning board will identify areas of planning concerns ...

Chapter 3 is the goals and policies -- list does not llook like any other town - as YOU are not like any other town.

specifc area policies for areas of town like Saxonville, Nobscot, golden triangle, etc

Implementation stategies -- community character, etc

Chapter 4 -- master plan actions - start comprehensive revision to zoning, create new overlya districts, balance development with open space.

Chapter 5 - townwide transportation and eco-dev plan

Chapter 6 - new approaches to zoning and land use management...

** Town's character needs upgrading and business owners should help with this.

quick summary - 400 pages in the plan.

ARTICLE COMPLETED

8:11 p.m. -- Kevin Crotty - TMM7 - motion article 17

Article 17 - foreclosure/registration bylaw

Town Manager Bob Halpin speaking

Police Chief Steve Carl speaking -- why code enforcement
Improve quality of life in the community, prevent problems,

4 principals of code enforcement (I'll upload a slide on it after Town Meeting)

Success will be measured in the short-term, long term by the absence of violations

Tools of code enforcement -- selectman, DA's office, district court justices, landlords and property owners

proactive field assessments

Michael Tosino -- deputy building commission - speaking - pivoltal first staep in controling nusisances town-wie. foreclosed property - challenges for building department

occupants still in dwelling and not maintaining it.

once occupant moves out - deteroiration continues and property not secured -- some grups start illegal dumping on the property ...

go through maze of foreclosure attoreies, courts and banks...

proposed registration and maintenance will be an early indicator -- banks would have to go through the program

Town Manager Bob Halpin speaking -- register properties under foreclosure -- want a property manager to be in touch with us each month ... require registration with building commissioner with 30 days of the foreclosure. ..

regulates the maintenance and security of the buildings ... vacant building must be secure - repair broken windows,

190 foreclosure properties in Framingham -- down from 400 ...

$300 fine per day for violation

Supported by police, fire, DPW etc

8:23 p.m. Fincom report -- none

ways & means  report - Audrey Hall - TMM3 - chair of ways & means -- met Oct. 11 discuss this article -- felt this article was a way to preserve the integrity of neighborhoods and hold banks and fianncial institutions responsible ...

result -- 10-0-2 favorable action

Government study committee -- Brian LeFort -- speaking -- 6-0-0 voted to support this article.

Kathy McCarthy -- TMM10 - chair of public safety standing committee -- met Oct. 10 -- review - discussion of enforcement and appeals process .. possibility of a future revolving fund -- support in principal only -- vote 8-0-0

Oct. 16 met again -- support in principal, article 17 is not yet ready for approval -- refer back to sponsor -- resubmitted with refinements no later than spring 2013 annual town meeting 7-1-0 --Refer back to sponsor.

TM member to speak --

Kevin Crotty - TMM7  - Rise to support the main motion ...quite a bit of work on it - excellent bylaw to have on the books - tweak in the future - start with it now.

Kathy Vassar - TMM1 - rise to support it - I don't think we can wait -- # of properties - problem that hits every neighborhood ... decrease the value of surrounding properties and neighborhoods - urge you to support this.

Renee Faubert - TMM14 - question - in theory I support this concept - how the enforcement will be paid for and where will the money go for violations??

Town Manager Halpin speaking -- building commissioner enforcing it, task force modelled after Boston, Worctesr, etc  -- looking at particular neighborhoods -- problem properties -- fairly targeted - task force approach --

current time penalty or a fine -- revenue go to the general fund ...

William LeBarge - TMM16 - question -- property not foreclosed - yet blighted - stop work order on it?? South Street -- what would article do to address property like that.

Deputy building commissioner speaking -- registration for foreclosure properties only ... for a property likeyou mentioned used health, nusisance etc

George Lewis - TMM18 - speaking -- (chair of precinct) in favor of this -- property example in my neighborhood - lack of enforcement - as a result - property further deteriorated - once sold $550,000 in 2000 sold a year in half ago for $125,000 .. property such bad state .. growing chance of fire, front door unlocked -- can not afford not to have enforcement for these ...

send the right message - don't pursue this bylaw -- then pay for it with a lawsuit, fire, injury, etc .. I hope you will approve this.

Bill McCarthy - TMM10 -- confused by the regisytration part of it -- not sure I am against it -- it is the bank or the mortgage company that has to register ... almost no banks are homegrown mortagge -- out of state bank typically holds the mortgage .. question -- once foreclosure goes through .. is a way town notify thebank or the motgage holder???

is there a mechanism that we can notify them about the bylaw - to try to enforce .. fine someone $300 a day -- if hey don't know thebylaw exists??

Deputy bulding commissioner speaking -- Police chief, officer riley and myself sat down with the City of Lowell ad out plan is modelled with them -- direct link to registry of deeds .. key is the petition for foreclosure ... documents has name of bank,a nd attorney name on it -- track it that way.

8:40 p.m. Move the question - one opposed - passed

Motion to refer back to sponsor -- hand vote -- not referred back.

Vote --- motion to support aticle 17 -- passed - hand vote passed #17

*** 8:42 p.m.

article 18 - motion - Crotty TMM7 - 

Special Town Meeting, day 2 is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Framingham Patch will be live blogging.

***

Quorum reached at 7:44 p.m.

7:48 p.m. Moderator calling meeting to order

Two new handouts on the back table

There is a survey for Town Meeting members tonight ...

***

Person from Arlington here to review how Framingham uses the electronic voting ... moderator

TEST question -- is it going to snow tonight?? 1-yes, 2-no, 3-abstain

Results -- 30-48-15

Point of order -- Steve Orr -- his vote did not register.

Kevin Crotty - motion -- TMM7 -- article 15 -- Master Plan -- hear report from the Planning Board

7:55 p.m. Moderator -- hear the report and then dispose of the article.

Jay Grande -- speaking ... two speakers at 20 minutes each...

Planning Board chair Tom Mahoney speaking first on Master Plan

completion of the 2012 master plan -- taken several years

phase 1 -- inventory and anaysis published in 2008

phase 2 - goals & policies and land use maps and implement strategies

final document is about 400 pages in length -- process completed with significant contributions from citizens, officials and planning board.

* Improve the quality of life

* Zoning protection for residential neighborhoods

* Improve access to open spaces

* Link higher education with workforce

Town Meeting has required the Planning Board to report annually on the process of the master plan

"This is an exciting time for our community" -- Mahoney

We have a major part in this MetroWest Region and the state economy - Mahoney

Consulting Team -- Ken Buchman (sp?) speaking- lives in Falmouth

Master Plan - Part 2 --

part 1 is a snapshot, part 2 is the actual movie script -- goals and actions.

Contents of the plan are master land implementation, new approaches for zoning,

Chapter 2 is a vision for Framingham

lays out the expectations,  provides a planning process, discuss opportunties to change a land use before going to zoning; over next few months Planning board will identify areas of planning concerns ...

Chapter 3 is the goals and policies -- list does not llook like any other town - as YOU are not like any other town.

specifc area policies for areas of town like Saxonville, Nobscot, golden triangle, etc

Implementation stategies -- community character, etc

Chapter 4 -- master plan actions - start comprehensive revision to zoning, create new overlya districts, balance development with open space.

Chapter 5 - townwide transportation and eco-dev plan

Chapter 6 - new approaches to zoning and land use management...

** Town's character needs upgrading and business owners should help with this.

quick summary - 400 pages in the plan.

ARTICLE COMPLETED

8:11 p.m. -- Kevin Crotty - TMM7 -

Point of order -- Amy Weider -- have we taken this article off the table???

VOTE passed - via hand - to take off table

Motion - #18 -- Municipal lien act -- special act -- revised motion made tonight

PRESENTATION -- Bob Halpin speaking -- sponsor of this article is Selectmen

consistently refuses to maintain property - place a lien -- cambridge, Boston Worcester & Lowell - all have this policy .... intention to target problem properties. - Halpin

Chief Carl speaking -- cross functional code enforcement atsk force, foreclosure registration bylaw, muncipal code violations, receivership as last resort.

code enforcement task force -- unified goal oriented process - working together as one team, rather than sperate entities...

Charge fees & fines for code enforcement violation - put teeth behind the code enforcement efforts ...

Deputy Building Commission speaking -- helpful to building department -- dealing with elements - fines levied and legal process can take months .. times called out at night for a fire and can'tget a hold of the owner .. and police have tostay there becuase building could collapse .. this proposed article -- could lien the property ...

Town Manager Halpin speaking -- allow unpaid charged fine or fee added to property tax bill .. subject to lien like property tax ..  get the attention for he bank down in Florida ...

committee reports - 8:52 p.m.

Ways & means chair Hall speaking - discussed at great length at meeting on Oct. 11 - this article affects all homes and not just foreclosure homes ... committee had many concerns with moving forward this point ... concerns about the size of the liens .. how lien placed in error would be corrected .. procudure and deadline to eliminate the lien ...committee wanted to see alist of fines beforehand -- with a public hearing ... provide opportunity for public input ... required more work and refinement 11-0-1 to refer back to sponsor....

change in motion -- create the list via Town Meeting - reconsider original vote 0-12-0 -- refer back to committee vote stands ... Hall motion move back to sponsor.

Government study committee - Brain Lefort speaking -- lack of background committee a concern -- clarification from selectmen - general support for concept -- 6-0-0 motion to refer back to sponsor.

Kathy McCathy -- public safety standing committee speaking - met Oct. 10 lengthy and thorough discussion- lots of questions & concerns -- fees and fgines on non-profit entities ... this bylaw entails petition legislature .. committee agreed that clarification ...motion to support article 18 -- favorable 8-0-0 - to support article 18.

TM member discussion - 8:58 p.m.

Ned Price - TMM17 speaking -- I want to support the bill -- technical objections -- want to know the sentence .. begins with provided futher means???

Barbara St. Andre - town counsel speaking ... this is a petition to the general court asking them to create a special act ... it wil take some time ...

Kevin Gaitlin - TMM1 - rise in support - puts teeth into actions by the commissioner ... urge you to vote yes

Lloyd Kaye - TMM10 speaking -- work for a bank ... I can't vote for this as written or as changed ... specifically any fee, charge  or fine ... repeated a number of time ... doesn't say the amount -- and that could be for $5 ... oes on public record and effects your credit report by 100 points or maybe a few points ... until that is fixed I cannot support this is any way or form ... not for Town Meeting to set the fee schedule .. suggestion would be for any fee charge or fine not lessthan $1,000 -- my suggestion ..

Shelly - TMM3 - I understand the purpose - concerned residents -- town unfriendly -- have questions -- can't vote for this without more details ..

questions -- idea tied to foreclosed properties and not all properties - ationale why so general and pply to all properties ... mor elikely to vote for just  foreclosed properties

how many days go by before lien put on? how many warnings? people do miss this things in the mail?

Deputy building commissioner speaking -- most of these are town wide not just for foreclosures - for habitual offfenders and not just foreclosures .. spend many hours and trips to these properties ... this comes down to the last resort .. send out a warning wait 7-10 days - $25 per day fine, still no action, then $100 a day fine, wait another 7-10 days, then $300 per day .. lot of interaction ... this is our last resort to comply

Orr - TMM1 speaking -- we have some number of years ago -- just taking pictures of all the blight in town -- posted on the web -- gave the building commissioner office to look at -- water street tree growing through the roof ... this type of stuff is all over town -- give the building commissioner teeth to do his job .. our property values are all riding on the condition of our town .. control over property -- getting the attention of people in charge ...

Dennis Paulsen -- speaking -- in case of owner passed away - and property in probate?

St. Andre speaking -- town is not going to use unless last resort ... probate court will have contact info ...not intention to use for these properties ...

Ken - TMM12 - speaking ... not written that way -- could append it to by law not minor but serious ...

Town Manager Bob Halpin speaking -- that could be possible ..

Steve Friedman - move the question -- 2/3rd vote needed - hand - YES PASSED

9:15 p.m. two motions on floor.

Ways & means refer back vote -- hand vote is close -- electronic vote needed

VOTE -- article not refered back -- 55-55-2

9:15 p.m. VOTE to support article 18 -- hand vote ...not sure so electronic vote

HAND VOTE now at 9:25 p.m. as electronic voting not working ...

Passes 69-43 opposed

BREAK 9:28 p.m.

9:43 p.m. -- Article #9 - Kevin Crotty speaking - Lexington St. Garage demolition - $935,000

Presentation - Town Manager Bob Halpin speaking ...

Lexington St. Garage just over 30 years old ... serious deterioration ... safest and best course of action for thetown is to demolish the building - Halpin

de-icings alt -- work its way down through the exapsnion joints -- former library director arrived with concrete that had fallen in June ...operating in just ground level of garage...

salt corodes .. concrete falling from expansion joints

repair work in 2008 .. $45,000 in garage

surface condition to upper level of garage ...

problems and facing -- low clearance of 64 inches -- significant limitations on - no handicapp accessible van in .. can't get snowplow on to the third level ... Halpin

Desman Report 2012 -- uncover unseen consitions below the surface if we tried to rehab - Halpin explained.

proposal - $320,000 to demolish - $615,00 construct 63 surface parking spaces. Demolition is not eligible to bonding ..bonding the remaing $615,000

Chair of the library building committee Sam speaking .... will now have 6 handicapp spaces, and all van accessible

will create a reading area ... willstart demolition as soon as possible ...

9:52 p.m. Committee reports

FInCom report - Fincom chair Dan Lampl - 7-1-0- support - $615,000 for 63 parking spaces seemed high to us ..

ways & means committee Hall chair -- architect already hired to do handicapped ramp, will do this project - thus some cost saving s.. current library only requires 51 -- overall the project does seem costly at $14,000 per parking space. ...engineers has serios structural problems - puts town and users at risk. .. overall downtown parking problems ... this project needs attention now ... 11-1-1 vote in favor.

McCarthy -- capital budget committee report -- complex issue -- 3 options illustrated and no vote makes it 4 options ...

worst option - vote against entire roject - terible option. second and third floor closed permanently never to be reopened again. too dangerous to use. not suprisingly the lower level woul dneed to be closed and library level would be left with no parking ..

next worst option ... spent $1.6 million -r ehab the entire garage .. engineer report was not very encouraging - so many problems there ...

third option - $320,000 demolition and replace $2.6 million garage .. new library option shoud not be considered until other downtown issues resolved.

this motion on the floor it is the only choice that makes sense - $615,000 sounds like a lot of money and it is a lot of money -- it is what the going rate is .. not a project anyone wants but one we have to...

when all there levels open -- 117 spots ...new lot only has 63 .. all employees and volunters (30-35 ars ) no longer park on site .. st. stephen's church across the street parking

last 2 years repair on garage - appropriation of $145,000 -- not all was spent - $50,000 was not spent  7-0-0 in favor of proposal -- no interest in the other 3 options.

Standing committee on eductaion - Melanie Goddard chair speaking -- pevious speakers have covered all of concerns ... key point ..concern was potential would that lot have going forward if Danforth leased by MassBay or Charter school or some one else... vote favorable action 10-0-0

10:03 p.m. Town Meeting members to speak ...

TMM #11 speaking --

Mel Warshaw speaking -- part of the new lot will be used by the boys & girls club -- but this is not a mumunicipal lot we are building -- lot for the library -- can we commit to allow the boys & girls club to use part of the lot - counsel question???

St. Andrew - petrini & Associates - no committement as of yet with the boys & girls club ...

Jim Rizoli - TMM14 speaking -- I'm all for it -- we have no choice -- recommendation suggested to ways & means meeting .. grab that park and make it for parking ... take that whole area anc cut street out and can;t go down the street .. make the whole freaking thing one parking lot ... take the whole area .. and maki it parking .. one huge parking lot -- good 50 parking spaces .. people use to jyst as cut through .. you need parking there .. 63 parking spaces there is not going to cut it .. toomuch traffic in that area...

Kevin Crotty TMM7 speaking -- this library garage has been kicked around for a while .. if we don't do anything about the town could face a lawsuit ... talk about expensive - excessive money per parking spot ... underneath the arking lot you needs a drainage system ...

MOVE the question motion made - 2/3rd vote needed- 2 wanted to speak

question moved --via hand vote

bonding portion -- 2/3rd vote needed

In favor of article 9 -- vote yes -- demolition and reconstruct surface parking lot

electronic vote -- 94-2-1 - PASSED

10:13 p.m. MOTION TO ADJOURN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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