Friday, April 2, 1999
What's not on the Warrant
As the hours tick away at the May Town Meeting, voters can take consolation in the fact that the selectmen have so far gone through seven drafts of the Warrant to pare it down to a mere 36 articles (at last count). The following articles did not make the cut:
· An article to fund consultation and planning for expansion of the program and facilities at the Carlisle Public Schools. According to superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson, this article would not have required the expenditure of any money but would have raised awareness that a new school will be needed in the near future to accommodate the anticipated increase in enrollment. Selectmen concluded that the school administration did not need town approval to form a committee to start investigating the need for a new school.
· An article to acquire the White property in the town center for the purpose of future expansion of the Gleason Library and for other purposes associated with the library. Selectman Doug Stevenson reported that the White family had accepted an offer on the property. Library trustee Rosalie Johnson stated that the library still had some interest in acquiring a strip of the property for additional parking and presented engineering drawings for different proposals. When first approached, however, the buyers were not interested in selling a portion of the lot. Selectmen instructed Johnson to continue discussions with the broker to determine how realistic chances are of buying the desired acreage before reinstating an article to the Warrant. Selectman Michael Fitzgerald questioned in any event, "Where do we get the money?"
· An article to spend up to $21,000 for the demolition of the farmhouse on the Greenough property located at 500 Maple Street. Both the conservation commission, which administers the property, and the finance committee recommended that the Greenough property be leased in exchange for renovation of the house rather than demolished.
· An article to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds $500,000 to replenish the conservation fund. This fund is used to pay for preliminary work on potential conservation property, and to help write conservation restrictions. ConsCom member Christine Bopardikar reported that there is only $4,000 in the fund now. Given the other land acquisition initiatives on the Warrant, the selectmen concluded that this was not the right time to add more money to the conservation fund. Moreover, selectmen saw no funding source for this proposal.
· An article to restrict the hours of permitted building activities in residential areas and to prohibit such activities on Sundays and holidays. "This bylaw costs nothing. It is a question of civility," said proponent Christine Rice of Hutchins Road. Building inspector Bob Koning informed the selectmen that he was not in favor of this restriction because there is already a state statute about not disturbing the peace which the police enforce at their discretion. Selectman Michael Fitzgerald felt that "permitted building activities" was too broad and would include a homeowner hammering nails late on a Saturday afternoon. Chaput felt that the proposal was over-regulatory because, in her experience, annoying behavior could be stopped just by a phone call. The selectmen suggested that Rice pursue her concerns with the bylaw review committee.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito