52 Warrant Articles Up For Vote At Town Meeting
The Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee have begun to provide recommendations for the articles.
When the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee hold a joint meeting on Monday night at the Town of Easton Offices, both boards will be in agreement on at least 11 issues.
With Town Meeting scheduled for May 21, the boards have begun to vote on whether or not they will recommend the 52 warrant articles up for vote.
So far, the Finance Committee has recommended all 25 warrant articles for which it has voted. 11 of those 25 articles were also voted on and recommended by the Selectmen.
The first eight articles were unanimously recommended by both the Finance Committee and the Selectmen. Those include Article 1 Acceptance of Annual Reports, Article 2 Re-Authorization of Revolving Funds, Article 3 Elected Officials' Compensation, Articles 4-7 which Rescind Previously Authorized Debt, and Article 8 Appropriation and Authorization to Expend Chapter 90 Funds.
Both Selectmen and Finance Committee members also unanimously agreed to recommend Article 14 Appropriation of Funds for Sexual Assault and Survivor and Prevention Services, Article 15 Fund Sick Leave Buyback Requests As Required By Collective Bargaining, and Article 33 Appropriate Funds For Acturial Valuation.
While the Selectmen haven't voted to recommend (or not recommend) more than 11 articles so far, the Finance Committee recommended an additional 14, however not all were unanimous votes by committee members.
By a vote of 4-2, the Finance Committee recommended Article 25 CPA Funding - Easton's Children's Museum.
The newest Finance Committee member Bob Mielde had reservations Wednesday night about recommending $38,587 worth of funding for a building that didn't belong to the Town.
"A lot of [Easton's] buildings need work," he said. "This is a private entity."
Committee Chair Carol Nestler pointed to the historic nature of the building and also that CPA funding in the past has gone to privately owned buildings such as Unity Church.
"There are several things the CPA does," she said. "Generally, it's about the historic nature of the building."
Both Mielde and Dave Mills voted against recommending the article.
The Committee was also split in its decision to recommend Article 42 Funding For Master Plan. The article appropriates $50,000 for the preparation of a Town-Wide Master Plan. The money is half of the final cost. The other half will be up for vote at next year's Town Meeting.
The money would largely cover the cost of the services provided by a planning consulting firm hired to assist the Planning Department in developing the plan, which hasn't been updated since 1971.
Mielde opposed the article, saying that the development of the plan should be conducted Easton's Planning Department.
Additionally, the Finance Committee unanimously recommended Article 9 Authorization of Revolving Fund For Field Maintenance, Article 10 Authorization of Revolving Fund For Board of Health Vaccinations, Article 26 CPA Funding - Town Offices, Article 28 CPA Funding For Governor Ames Estate, Article 29 Funding For Revaluation, Article 35 Right to Farm Bylaw, Article 37 Amend Zoning Map, Article 46 Street Acceptances, Article 47 Zoning Amendment; Farmer's Market, Article 48 Zoning Amendment- Signs, Article 50 Zoning Amendment; Home Occupation, and Article 51 Zoning Amendment; Administrative Updates.
Because Article 34 Amend Smoking By-Law didn't have any financial component, the Finance Committee agreed not to take a position on the article.
The remaining articles will be discussed by both boards at their meetings this month. In addition to next Monday, the Selectmen will meet on May 21 prior to Town Meeting. The Finance Committee meets on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
For a full view of the most up-to-date Town Meeting Warrant, click on the attached .pdf.