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Summary of Action Taken at 2012 Annual Town Meeting
At Monday's first session, voters recognized citizens (Article 1) and passed over Article 2 - pay bills from prior fiscal year - because there were none to pay.

Voters first rejected an amendment to Article 3 - current year transfers - to fund permitting alternative and supplemental discharge area for the wastewater treatment system 220-213 before approving the article as presented in the Warrant funding payments to Minuteman Regional Vocation-Technical High School by a vote of 394-58.

Voters rejected 417-283 a petitioner's article (Article 4) to change the method of seating the Finance Committee from appointed by the Selectmen to elected.

Voters first modified petitioner's Article 5 that would have created an audit and review committee by stripping the investigatory power before rejecting the amended article 390-283.

Voters rejected a petitioner's article (Article 6) to reduce the CPA tax 403-213.

Voters rejected 187-89 an amendment that would have delayed transferring current water special revenue funds before approving the article (Article 7) establishing an enterprise fund for water services and transferring fund balances on July 1, 2012 into the new fund by a vote of 164-119.

The first session of Annual Town Meeting adjourned at approximately 11:05 p.m.

At Tuesday's second session, voters considered and approved (with amendments) Article 8 - FY2013 operating and capital budget.

Voters rejected 254-132 an amendment to reduce the School Department budget by $545,946, which would have applied excess revolving funds to certain transportation and athletic expenses in FY2013.  The School Committee has already voted to apply these funds in FY2012.

Voters approved 220-198  an amendment to eliminate the OPEB contribution of $1,313,000.

Voters approved 211-197 to appropriate $1.5M in water reserves and make those funds available to the Board of Public Works to consider reducing water rates in FY2013.

With those amendments, voters approved the operating budget by a vote of 366-24.

Town Meeting then considered, amended and approved the capital budget.  The final vote was 209-13.

An amendment to delete $55,000 for the wireless fire alarm system for public buildings failed 248-97.
An amendment to delete $700,000 for the wireless water meter system passed 157-155.
An amendment to delete three trucks and a backhoe (items 5d, 9a, 9b, and 12) failed 154-120.
An amendment to condition the Middle School roof replacement on receipt of state construction grant funds failed 152-92.  However, an amendment to acknowledge that the state construction grant is discretionary and must be used for the project if awarded passed 210-19.  The language is required by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

As a result of Town Meeting votes on the annual operating and capital budget, the Town estimates that taxes on an average home assessed at $600,000 will decrease by 6.9% or $788.  The estimated tax rate is 17.70 compared to the current rate of 19.01.

The second session of Annual Town Meeting adjourned at approximately 11:25 p.m.

At Wednesday's third session, voters disposed of 11 articles.

Article 9 - voters rejected 134-93 a petitioner's article to fund a study of teacher compensation.
Article 10 - voters amended by a vote of 130-106 the proposed zoning bylaw which added "public works facility" to the permitted uses in the Refuse Disposal District by removing the word "primarily" as it pertained to the use.  The zoning bylaw was approved 180-69, allowing a DPW facility to be sited within the area bounded by Route 20 from the Sudbury town line to the transfer station and behind the landill to the town-owned land on River Road where the sand and salt storage dome is located.
Article 11 - voters approved the resolution designating the River Road parcel for the future DPW facility 184-70.  The resolution included language restricting access to River Road, requiring traffic to use the facility from Route 20.
Article 12 - voters appropriated $725,000 for design and construction documents for a new DPW facility by a vote of 150-97.
Article 13 - voters approved setting the compensation of the Town Clerk by a vote of 187-19.
Article 14 - voters approved the personnel classification plan for FY2013 by a vote of 155-42.
Article 15 - voters authorized disposal of surplus vehicles by a vote of 183-16.
Article 16 - voters approved a motion to encourage donations of gifts of land by a vote of 165-11.
Article 17 - voters approved real estate tax exemptions for seniors and others by a vote of 169-14.
Article 18 - voters passed over 104-92 the Assessor's recodification bylaw based on sentiment that there should be additional opportunities for public comment before considering it at a subsequent town meeting.
Article 19 - voters approved 130-46 adding a bylaw requiring boards and officials involved in completing the forms for the tax recapitulation process by which the tax rate is set each December to hold a public hearing on the data.

The third session adjourned at approximately 10:40 p.m.

At Thursday's fourth session, voters approved Article 20 by a vote of 153-31 setting aside and reserving 10% of CPA tax collections to each of the three required categories.
Article 21 - voters approved 226-16 a proposal advanced by the Economic Development Committee to study land on Boston Post Road for senior, independent housing.  Voters rejected two amendments attempting to condition the work on successful environmental testing, instead deferring to pledges from the EDC to sequence the work and suspend due diligence efforts if test results so indicated.
Article 22 - voters approved 205-50 CPA funding in support of the affordable housing project on Stonebridge Road.
Article 23 - voters rejected by a vote of 145-108  an article that would have allowed Minuteman Regional Vocational-Technical High School to establish a stabilization fund for capital projects.
Article 24 - voters approved a zoning bylaw to establish an advisory design review committee by a vote of 210-38.
Article 25 - voters rejected a zoning bylaw amendment governing the definition of service stations by a vote of 167-91.
Article 26 - voters approved an amendment to the town code clarifying the role of the Board of Public Works in traffic calming measures by a vote of 176-33.

Shortly after making the main motion for Article 27, a citizen had a medical emergency and the proceedings were suspended at approximately 10:45 p.m.  

The conclusion of Annual Town Meeting has held on Monday, April 23, 2012 at the Middle School auditorium.  Because of the suspension of proceedings on April 12 and rescheduling the final session until after the end of spring school recess, there was no electronic voting for this session.  All votes were by voice vote or confirming hand or standing count.

Article 27 - voters approved a proposal that the Board of Selectmen and Recreation Commission swap jurisdiction of two small parcels of land, with the Selectmen acquiring 26 Lakeshore Drive and the Recreation Commission acquiring 24 Lakeshore Drive.  Town Meeting authorized the sale of 26 Lakeshore Drive, subject to an appraisal and a requirement that the purchaser pay all closing costs, and authorized the Recreation Commission to grant an easement for septic purposes at some future date to either 22 or 30 Lakeshore Drive when needed for septic purposes.
Article 28 - voters approved a motion directing the Board of Selectmen to request the State Auditor to conduct an audit of school fee-based programs and revolving funds since FY2007 to be funded with an appropriation of $30,000 from free cash.
Article 29 - voters received and accepted the reports from various committees printed in the Warrant, and an oral report from the Public Ceremonies Committee announcing the recipient of the Lydia Maria Childs Award.
Article 30 - voters approved the slate of officers annually chosen at town meeting.
Article 31 - voters approved the resolution requesting funds for electronic voting be included in the proposed operating budgets for the next three fiscal years.

The fifth session of Annual Town Meeting adjourned sine die at 10:02 p.m.

Fred Turkington
Town Administrator