The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 15, 2002


Having wrestled with revenues, department budgets, and debt through dark winter nights in cozy obscurity at Town Hall, the finance committee and board of selectmen last Wednesday unexpectedly found themselves at center stage, literally in the spotlight. So many Carlisle school parents showed up at Town Hall that evening that fire chief Robert Koning declared the Clark Room beyond its capacity, and ordered the joint meeting to the school auditorium, where members sat on stage in the formal configuration more usual for Town Meeting than routine budget hearings. ...more

The attention the public pays to the budget process increased dramatically last week, as Carlisle school parents focused on the deliberations of the board of selectmen. These five have final authority over what articles will be placed on the Town Meeting Warrant and what Proposition 2-1/2 override questions will appear on the ballot at the town election on May 14. The board can refuse to put any override question to the voters, or can develop multiple override levels (sometimes referred to as "pyramid," "menu," or "tiered" overrides). They can accept the Carlisle Finance Committee's (FinCom) recommended levels, or craft their own. ...more

The release of $50 million in Chapter 90 funds last week will aid local communities as they prepare for town meetings and the spring construction season. According to an analysis by Senator Susan Fargo, a member of the Transportation Committee, Carlisle town coffers will get $67,563. ...more

In October of last year, the Carlisle Finance Committee (FinCom) developed a budget for use as a "guideline" for town departments to use in formulating requests for next year. In theory this budget "balanced" revenues and expenses, allowing an increase of 5% in the operating budget for the Carlisle Public School, 5% in the town's assessment for CCHS, and 2-1/2% for all other departments. Throughout the fall and winter, FinCom learned that some expenses that the town would be required to pay would be much higher than the October plan had allowed, and lowered estimates of revenues the town would receive from the state and from a free cash transfer. [For details on these nondiscretionary expenses and revenue changes, see February 1 and March 1 Mosquito.] ...more

It is not surprising that parents' concerns can spill over to their children. Last week Carlisle School parents reacted strongly to threats that cuts in next year's school budget, recommended by the finance committee, may lead to the closing of the school library and cutting back the popular full-day kindergarten program to its earlier half-day sessions. (See "School budget cuts stir emotions" starting on page 1.) ...more

On Tuesday night the selectmen agreed to consider placing three or more possible Proposition 2-1/2 override questions on the ballot. They plan to vote formally at their meeting next Tuesday, March 19, on the following possible override levels and estimated tax increases: ...more

This year students at Concord- Carlisle High School will be able to utilize a new weather station that was bought with a grant from the Concord Education Fund. Piercing the skies over CCHS is the new weather station which includes instruments to record temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction as well as rain totals in Concord. ...more

Concord-Carlisle High School's health board sponsored a Health Awareness Week March 5-8 to raise awareness on a variety of health issues that affect the student community. Students could sign up to attend talks and demonstrations presented by outside speakers as well as school staff on a range of topics including healthy eating, with a smorgasbord breakfast supplied by Bread & Circus; the dangers of alcohol and smokeless tobacco; the signs of depression; positive body image; stress management and skin care. High school staff participated in yoga exercises each day. In addition there was an evening presentation on March 5 to discuss teen stress and ways to deal with the demands teens face each day. The high school cafeteria participated by offering new twists on their regular selections, such as a "no fry zone," a salad day, pasta bar, and a "brunch lunch." Fresh fruit was available all day in the nurse's office. ...more

It's back! A bit of déjà vu. On February 19 digital cell phone company Nextel Communications, Inc. filed an application with the Carlisle Board of Appeals (BOA) for variances to place a cell tower at 1 River Road. And so, another round of contentious standing-room-only hearings is expected. The board will have 100 days from the time of application to give their opinion. ...more

· Water corrosion control. The Massachussetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved the school's plans for the installation of a corrosion control system on its public water supply, according to a letter from supervisor of buildings and grounds David Flannery. The DEP is requiring the school to install post-aeration chlorination in addition to the existing chlorination system that disinfects the raw water before it reaches the storage tanks. Construction quotes are now being solicited for this work and costs are expected to be in the $15,000-20,000 range. The school has already expended approximately $5,500 on engineering. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson said she hopes to bring the entire system into compliance by summer. The school's drinking water is not affected by these changes. ...more

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito