Thursday, October 27, 2016
Ten Year High
The Special Town Meeting starting November 14 has 23 articles on the warrant -- the most in ten years -- including controversial zoning articles and of course the $66,339,000 debt exclusion for the new Mega School. Zoning and Debt Exclusion require a challenging two-thirds vote to pass.
Thus it's a pretty safe bet the number of cold dark nights 150 or so Town Meeting members will have to trudge to the Middle School Auditorium will be in the neighborhood of 5 (as it was in 2007 with a 20 article warrant).
Jerry Guidera's three zoning articles to make it reasonably easier to do commercial development on the immediate outskirts of the downtown will bring out the NIMBY crowds in full force.
And the Planning Board's attempt yet again at "Inclusionary Zoning" -- requiring larger housing developments to have 10% of the units affordable -- will also be controversial as some view it as anti business and others think it's not anti business enough.
The Fire Station $75,000 for phase 1 feasibility and site selection should fly through as the average age of Town Meeting is ancient and therefor they understand how vital AFD is for Emergency Medical Services (as well as fires of course).
But the $350,000 for phase 2 of the new DPW building schematic design and construction cost estimate will certainly not get the same smooth sailing, especially if the Mega School mega million debt exclusion passes earlier in Town Meeting.
With the Charter Commission starting to align Town Meeting in the crosshairs for possible extinction at least members will be on their best behavior (which is not saying much.)