Friday, January 22, 1999
Selectmen plan Town Meetings
After considering for weeks how to schedule a Town Meeting that would meet the deadlines faced by the Gleason Library building subcommittee and still give other town boards and committees time to prepare, the selectmen finally gave up and decided to plan for two meetings. While the selectmen outlined their wishes, it is the role of the moderator to set the dates and he has not yet reviewed the proposed schedule.
The selectmen would like to hold a Special Town Meeting on April 5 to address the library building project and enable the subcommittee to access funds in time for the spring building crunch, with a Special Town Election to follow on April 13.
On May 4, the selectmen plan to call the Annual Town Meeting to address the FY00 budget and any Warrant articles. The Annual Town Election would follow on May 11.
Boards need more time
In the discussion on January 12, chair Vivian Chaput supported pushing the Annual Town Meeting later to give boards and committees sufficient time to prepare. She contended it would be impossible for them to get all of the information together by early April.
Fellow selectman Michael Fitzgerald stressed that if the Special and Annual Town Meetings were split between different nights, town officials should be prepared to forecast the entire budget to voters at the earlier meeting. Voters will want to see the whole financial picture before making a decision, he said. Fitzgerald also expressed concern that voters may not be willing to come out for two Town Meetings and elections just one month apart.
After learning of several budget increases within departments the board oversees, selectman John Ballantine agreed that delaying the Annual Town Meeting would give the FinCom more time to address above-guideline requests. The planning board is also expected to present several bylaw changes to voters, and will need time to prepare them and hear residents' concerns.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito