The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 10, 2000


Town Meeting to consider funds, jobs, mosquitoes

A Warrant of twelve articles will be the agenda of the Special Town Meeting on Tuesday November 14. The Meeting will convene in the auditorium of the Corey building, Carlisle Public School at 7 p.m. A brief background and summary of each article follows.

Article 1. Reports

Article 1 presents interim reports of town officers, boards and committees. The pedestrian and bicycle safety advisory committee will summarize the results of its questionnaire distributed to the town. The housing authority will look for feedback regarding affordable housing.

Article 2. Transfer of funds

Article 2 includes bookkeeping transfers and corrections as follows:

· $30,000 transfer (exact amount to be determined prior to Town Meeting) from free cash to the Carlisle Public School account. This is the amount of money collected through bus and kindergarten fees.

· $47,500 to Public Works/Transfer Station to cover under-budgeted costs of $122.59 per ton (versus $98/ton budgeted) for waste disposal. The escalation to $122.59 was per our contract with North East Solid Waste Commission (NESWC).

· $39,000 to cover an escalation in group insurance rates for all town employees, including school employees. Group Insurance rates have been rising over the past several years.

· $7,771 to complete the wage adjustment process for town employees, based on the new Wages and Salary Classification, bringing them from the minimum salary in their classification to their proper salary level, based on seniority.

· $19,965 to the Public Works/DPW site account for work by ENSR, consultants on the DPW site cleanup. Due to an oversight no money was budgeted last year, so to fulfill our contract with ENSR the money was taken out of the Highway Department budget. This item will allow replenishing of the Highway Department budget and finance on-going site work.

The finance committee approves this article.

Article 3. Salary adjustments

Article 3 requests a transfer of $39,097 between funds to adjust salaries in accordance with the wage and classification study ($31,326 already approved plus the $7,771 above). Town administrator Madonna McKenzie explained that this amount will bring all employees to their correct levels within the salary range, based on years of service.

While the initial placement of salaries within a job classification is based on longevity, the personnel committee is developing a policy for future salary increases which includes performance merit.

The finance committee approves this article.

Article 4. Unissued Debt

Article 4 asks to rescind unissued debt authorized under previous Warrant articles:

Town Hall $3,500

O'Rourke Farm $1,800,000

The Town Hall funds were not needed due to lower than expected costs and interest. The O'Rourke Farm was subsequently purchased by the federal government as conservation land.

The finance committee approves this article.

Article 5. Reimbursement grant

This article directs the anticipated $320,000 grant from the state's Agricultural Reimbursement Program, partially reimbursing the town for the purchase of the Wang-Coombs Land, into the stabilization fund. Although no one knows whether the check will appear this fiscal year or next, the town administrator must have a place to deposit it within a set time frame. Otherwise, the money will disappear into the general fund and voters will lose the opportunity to decide how they want it used.

The finance committee approves this article.

Article 6. Treasurer and Tax Collector positions combined

Article 6 asks the town to approve a home rule petition to the state legislature to combine the positions of town treasurer and tax collector. Town Meeting approval and, more significantly, an act of the legislature are necessary to accomplish this seemingly administrative task because Carlisle does not have a town charter, explained town administrator Madonna McKenzie. If the town had its own charter, combination of these roles could be accomplished by the selectmen; without a charter, the selectmen have power to act only within the general town bylaws. Adopting a charter is a very long process, said McKenzie.

The petition also confirms that the combined position of treasurer/collector will be an appointed office whose holder will be chosen by the board of selectmen for a term of one, two or three years. Earlier, anticipating the retirement of both long-time town treasurer Nancy Koerner and long-time tax collector Bill Koerner, the town voted to change both positions from elected to appointed. In mid-September, the selectmen appointed Ann Vandal as treasurer part-time (25 hours a week) and as a "special town employee" to perform duties as tax collector part-time (ten hours or less a week). McKenzie explained that this appointment was specially crafted so as not to violate any prohibition about combination of these two roles.

Town counsel carefully worded the proposed legislation and the rest of Article 6, said McKenzie. The article gives the selectmen the authority to make constructive changes in the bill within the scope of the general public objectives of the petition should changes be necessary to secure passage of the bill. The legislature usually approves this sort of petition if the townspeople have shown their support, said McKenzie.

Article 7. Mosquito Control

Article 7 asks residents to participate in the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP). Twenty-nine other communities, including our neighbors Chelmsford and Billerica, participate in the program; Concord, Acton and Westford are considering joining. The CMMCP program includes larvaciding, water management and spraying of adult mosquitos, if necessary for adequate control. The Project's goal is to reduce mosquito exposure to the public, and the potential for disease transmission. The assessment for Carlisle FY/O1 would be in the range of $24,000. The amount would be withheld from the State Cherry Sheet assessment. more information can be found at the website: .

Both the board of health and the conservation commission have taken positions against this article. (See Board of Health, page____) The finance committee will take a position on this article at the Town Meeting.

Article 8. Kindergarten fees

by Lee Milliken

Article 8 will establish a 53E1/2 revolving account for school kindergarten fees so the school can draw on the funds without the need for a Town Meeting vote. This year the kindergarten program, which previously ran five mornings a week, has been expanded to include two full days. Since full day kidergarten is not covered by the 2000-2001 school budget and is not mandated by state law, a fee of $85 per student has been established. Ninety-eight percent of the fees have been collected for a total of $6,640.

The finance committee approves this article.

Article 9. Rename Wang-Coombs

Article 9 asks to rename the Wang-Coombs field north of Curve Street to "Hutchins Field," and the field south of Curve Street to "Robbins Field." The conservation commission voted last spring to name the temporarily-designated Wang-Coombs land, acquired by the town in 1999, after two 17

Articles 10-12. Zoning by-laws

Articles 10 through 12, placed by the planning board, change the wording of Carlisle Zoning Bylaws related to Conservation Clusters, Special Permits, and Private Driveways-Drainage. They will explain the significance of these changes at the Town Meeting.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito