Friday, September 3, 1999
Fall Town Meeting set for Nov. 2, content under debate
The selectmen are still debating the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting now set for November 2, but all agree on one goalkeep it short and simple. "We can't go more than one night," advised selectman John Ballantine.
At the meeting, voters will most likely review the new cell tower bylaw being prepared by the advisory committee, given that the moratorium approved in the spring will expire on November 11. Selectmen mentioned there may also be a Warrant article regarding adjustments to the police department budget.
Other than the above two issues, there is no consensus among the selectmen about further items on the Warrant. According to board chair Doug Stevenson, the planning board has expressed an interest in bringing up changes to the senior residential open-space community bylaw not moved at the spring Town Meeting. That article, placed on the Warrant by petition, requested that the minimum age requirement be lowered from 62 to 55 and the maximum square footage be increased from 1,400 to 2,400 square feet. Stevenson added that the planning board also wants the town to consider some bylaw changes more in the nature of housekeeping details.
In addition, housing authority chair Marty Galligan stated that he might be ready to ask for transfer of a portion of the Conant Land to begin constructing up to 12 units of affordable housing. Galligan said that he will ask to be on the Warrant if at least 50 percent of the financing is in place for the affordable housing. Last spring, voters approved $30,000 for the planning and design of the proposed units.
Selectmen were reluctant to choke the Warrant. "We should keep the fall Town Meeting as clean as possible," said selectman Michael Fitzgerald, noting that there is usually greater attendance at the spring Town Meeting to consider bylaw changes. Both Ballantine and selectman Vivian Chaput observed that bylaw changes are usually addressed on the second night of Town Meeting when attendance is traditionally lower than on the first night of the fall Town Meeting.
"Should we change the whole way we approach Town Meeting?" asked Stevenson, suggesting that in the spring the town just consider financial questions and in the fall consider zoning changes and everything else. Stevenson admitted, "This would be a revolution for this town," but no final decisions were made.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito