WVN #69: TOWN MEETING TONIGHT
- Wayland Voters Network
January 27, 2005
Dear Wayland Voter,
The 53% turnout in Tuesday's override election was remarkable. It
was especially inspiring to see so many elderly voters undeterred by
the snow. WVN readers saw voters with wheelchairs, walkers and canes
assisted by family members, friends and strangers. It was said that
one man showed up very soon after heart surgery. Another, who uses a
wheelchair, could have voted absentee but decided not to because, as
he said, "I just wanted to be there."
TOWN MEETING THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 7:45 P.M., HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOUSE
Free transportation to and from the high school is available for
seniors. Call JFK Transportation Thursday morning to arrange a pick-
up time, 508-653-4500.
There will be only two venues, instead of three as originally
planned. Additional seating will be provided in the Field House. If
necessary, the Commons will also be used.
There will be 20 handicapped parking spaces in the high school lot.
Officers will direct drivers to satellite parking lots once the high
school lot is full. School buses will shuttle people from satellite
parking to the Field House.
The moderator intends to begin at 7:45 p.m., and conclude town
meeting in one night.
Many readers have asked what will happen at town meeting now that the
override has been defeated. We will outline some possibilities,
though town meeting is unpredictable. We encourage you to attend
(unless the weather and other conditions put you at risk in that
case, stay home and stay warm!). Only those who attend can make the
decisions. In addition, town meeting presents a unique opportunity
to address your fellow residents and elected officials, within the
scope of the article under discussion.
Article 1 is the first order of business. It seeks $4.2 million to
fund the high school design fees.
Many voters have asked: What is the relationship between Article 1
and Tuesday's tax override election?
The override ballot question sought voters' permission to exceed the
tax increase limits of Proposition 2 ½ in order to borrow the money
to design the proposed new high school. But only town meeting can
actually appropriate the funds. That's what Article 1 is about.
Approval of BOTH the override and the appropriation would be required
in order to borrow the money to design the new school.
Now that the override has been defeated, the School Committee has
several options, including but not limited to the following:
-- Ask Town Meeting to "pass over" Article 1. If the motion to pass
over is approved (majority vote), then the article would be disposed
of without any action being taken by this town meeting. Like any
article that is passed over, it could be re-submitted in any form for
a future town meeting. If the motion to pass over fails, then the
article would be presented, discussed, acted upon and disposed of.
-- Reduce the amount requested so that borrowing it would not exceed
Prop 2 ½ limits or it could be taken from free cash, e.g., seek
approval for money for septage testing.
-- Ask town meeting to appropriate the $4.2 million, contingent upon
voter approval of a tax override ballot question in the future (2/3
The School Committee has said that it intends to ask town meeting to
pass over Article 1.
Article 2 is the next order of business. It seeks to freeze further
spending on design and project management services for the high
school project until the new Massachusetts School Building Authority
has completed a statewide needs survey and issued its final standards
for school project funding applications; and the Finance Committee
has analyzed the town's financial position and determined what the
town can afford to spend on the high school project.
Article 2 is expected to generate considerable discussion. The
outcome is impossible to predict.
It is also not known whether any motions will be voted on by secret
ballot. In order to have a secret ballot, someone must first make a
motion for a secret ballot and that motion must be approved by a
Town meeting takes on a life of its own, depending on who attends.
We urge you to do so.
Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to your
friends and neighbors in Wayland. If they want to receive their own
copy, they can send an email to waylandvoters@... and they will
be signed up for the listserv. Or, they can sign themselves up by
sending a blank email to:
email@example.com. Click reply and send
after receiving an e-mail confirming the subscription. If you know
anyone who'd rather receive information from WVN by regular mail
please email their name and address to waylandvoters@....
Margo Melnicove, WVN Chair