Friday, April 30, 1999
Town Meeting to convene on Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday
While the Annual Town Meeting is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Corey Auditorium, voters might be wise to plan for a continuance on Wednesday, May 5, considering the hefty 36 articles on the Warrant. What already appears confusing to some voters is that each of the three tiers on the pyramid override ballot question is composed of numerous requests within the operating budget (Article 4) and other separate Warrant articles. On May 18, voters will face the three-tiered operating override question for operating expenses as well as four additional funding questions for the conservation fund, fire truck, Wang-Coombs purchase and school building repairs, providing they're approved at Town Meeting.
For the last few years, voters have been generous, and once again numerous articles will determine how deep into their pockets residents are willing to reach. The most likely attention-grabbers at what is likely to be an action-packed Town Meeting are as follows.
The Wang-Coombs land purchase, Article14, is likely to draw the largest crowd. In addition, in place of the municipal land committee's multi-million proposal, there is a request for $100,000 for the conservation fund to put toward future acquisitions.
Another big ticket item that voters will be facing is the fire department's request for a pumper truck.
Both the regional high school and elementary school have funding requests beyond the guideline this year. The Carlisle School is trying to manage enrollment, attend to campus maintenance and diminish the dependence on outside sources of funding, such as grants and fees. As a result, they have requests for funds in Article 4 in level 1, 2 and 3 of the override as well as funds for long-term capital projects and a debt exclusion for building improvements. Similarly, CCHS, faced with more students and increased demand for special education services, is requesting funds beyond the guideline.
Beyond the articles which affect the pocketbook, some of the proposed bylaw changes are likely to draw some discussion. The permitted use for a bank on a residential lot, the possiblity of open space neighborhoods, and the resolution of expansions over 50 percent on non-conforming homes have already stirred debate.
Communications companies have recently shown great interest in the construction of cell towers in town, and Town Meeting voters will be given the opportunity to approve a moratorium which might slow the process.
Likely to be a sticky point for discussion is whether the town should adopt the provisions of the Quinn Bill which would increase education-based benefits for policemen, who are currently in negotiations over their contract.
Those are just a few of the hot topics but there's lots more in the Warrant for voters to hear live, on Tuesday, in Corey.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito