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WVN # 76: FY06 School Budget on the Way

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  • waylandvoters
    Wayland Voters Network March 11, 2005 ANNOUNCEMENTS A conversation and public discussion about the use and potential sale of town owned property will take
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11 7:31 AM
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      Wayland Voters Network
      March 11, 2005

      ANNOUNCEMENTS
      "A conversation and public discussion" about the use and
      potential sale of town owned property will take place on Saturday
      March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 in the large hearing room of the Town
      Building. All boards, committees, commissions, and employees
      and the public are invited to participate.

      The Town Clerk is sponsoring a seminar on Campaign Finance
      Law on March 16 at 7PM in the Large Hearing Room at the Town
      Building. It will be conducted by the state Office of Campaign and
      Political Finance. All candidates, Ballot Question Committee
      members, Political Action Committee members, and everyone
      else are invited.

      This report on the March 7 meeting of the School Committee
      was written by WVN subscriber Tom Sciacca:

      School Committee March 7, 2005: More Sports, New Budget,
      New Labs

      The School Committee unanimously voted to approve the
      second new sports team this year. This one is a Cooperative
      Girls Hockey Team to be run jointly with Weston (participation is
      about 50-50 with Weston) with about 50 girls playing. Unlike the
      last one, this activity will be self-funding. School Superintendent
      Gary Burton supported the proposal. He mentioned the
      possibility that yet another new sport could siphon students
      away from the large number of activities already offered, but his
      support is in keeping with his comment at an earlier meeting
      that "The extracurricular program is as vital to what we do as
      reading, writing, and arithmetic."

      The Committee did its final review as a group of the Budget
      Booklet which will go to the printer this week, to get to voters two
      weeks before the budget hearing scheduled for April 11 (7:30 in
      Middle School auditorium). Burton told the group that "we will
      produce for you shortly a list of items to be removed from the
      budget if the override fails." This list will not, however, be
      included in the budget booklet for fear of running afoul of
      campaign finance laws prohibiting advocacy of a ballot question
      (the override). The booklet will include a section touting the
      schools' excellence and reputation. "It is pure propaganda", said
      Burton.

      Burton also reported on his progress in planning to deal with the
      widely recognized inadequacy of the science labs at the high
      school, unless and until a more comprehensive high school
      renovation is completed. He is considering either renovating
      three small spaces into two 800 square foot labs or acquiring
      two (more desirable) modular labs. He wrote Building
      Commissioner Dan Bennett requesting clarification of the
      permitting and regulatory requirements for each approach.
      Bennett's response made him nervous. Bennett termed the
      possible renovations as "minor in nature" (not structural) and not
      triggering any major reviews, but still recommended that the
      Board of Health, Plumbing and Gas Inspector and the Fire
      Department be consulted. Modular units, however, "may require
      an additional level of review and approval" from the Zoning
      Board, Planning Board, and Conservation Commission
      depending on size, placement, and location. Because the goal is
      to have the labs in operation by this September lengthy
      regulatory processes will be unacceptable. Burton will follow up
      to further understand the details of such requirements.

      A lawsuit is becoming more likely to resolve the HVAC problems
      remaining at the Middle School resulting from the renovation.
      While the problematic boilers have not failed this season, they
      are being run only on "low fire" for fear that operating them on
      "high fire", which would allow use of night setbacks, would
      cause failure. It is unclear whether the problems, seen last year,
      are a result of design or installation problems (or even, though
      unlikely, manufacturing defects in the boilers themselves).

      Chair Lori Frieling reported that High School Building Committee
      chair Lea Anderson and member Dianne Bladon are working on
      a survey (to understand the vote on the High School proposal)
      with the help of another Wayland resident experienced in such
      matters. The goal is to distribute the survey after Annual Town
      Meeting. A joint meeting with the SC and the HSBC was
      tentatively scheduled for April 4 to discuss the survey.


      Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to
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      and send after receiving an e-mail confirming the subscription.

      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove, Chair
      Michael Short, Treasurer
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