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 Wednesday April 23, 2014 |  5:53:07 p.m.

2012 Town Meeting

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YourArlington.com | Your news, your views in Arlington, Mass. - 2012 Town Meeting

Town Meeting logoSession 8: Meeting concludes by knocking out concussion article, backing Citizens United push

Session No. 8 on Wednesday, May 16 concluded the 2012 Town Meeting with votes on a series of articles on issues ranging from signs promoting town history to a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog | Wes Beal on concussion effort | Word on Street on Mass. Ave. issues | Official votes


Unofficial info on Twitter, Dan Dunn's blog | Official info (town website)

Session 7: Limited gas-powered leaf-blower ban OK'd

In session 7, the meeting approved a bylaw allowing use of gas-powered leaf blowers on private property from Oct. 15 to May 15, a period when leaves are more likely to be on the ground. Members also heard a range of discussion about the school budget before passing all town budgets.

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog | TruePersons.com questions budgets, Dunn |  Wes Beal's view before leaf-blower vote | Official votes

Session 6: Meeting backs Minuteman budget, discusses leaf blowers

In session No. 6, held Wednesday, May 9, the meeting approved a bylaw article to control when trash is brought back from the curb and supported Minuteman's operating budget after lengthy debate.

Members shot down reconsideration of proposed financial restructuring. Discussion about an article that would ban gas-powered leaf blowers was spirited but had not yet concluded. 

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >> Wes Beal: Town Meeting attendace >> Official votes >>

Session 5: $200K one-time energy-conservation fund supported

At session No. 5 on Monday, May 7, the meeting approved the town's capital budget at its regular meeting. In the Special Town Meteing, a one-time, $200,000 fund for energy conservation drew support, but a measure making that fund permanent was rejected.

Discussion began on the new recycling and trash contract and was to continue in session No. 6, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >>  Wes Beal explains his vote on fund >> Official votes >>

Session 4: Lower tax interest rate for seniors, parking study OK'd

Town Meeting on Wednesday, May 2, dealt with 16 more articles, but postponed some bigger issues, including budgets. The meeting voted to lower the interest rate on taxes deferred by some seniors and to approve a parking study. A variety of options were discussed about the perennially intractable issue. Session No. 5 is set for 8 p.m. Monday, May 7, as is a Special Town Meeeting. 

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >> "Vanishing water"? See Wes Beal's blog >> Official votes >>

Session 3: 18 articles pick up pace

Town Meeting quickened its pace Monday, April 30, moving through 18 articles, rejecting accessory apartments and keeping the meeting start time at 8 p.m.. Selectmen Chairman Kevin Greeley lashed out at comments from member Chris Loreti about board "favors."

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >> For opinion, see Wes Beal's blog >> Official votes >>

Session 2: Cremains at Cooke's Hollow rejected

In session two of the 2012 Town Meeting on Wednesday, April 25, members voted down, 75-95, after lengthy debate, a proposal that would have permitted burial of cremated remains in Cooke's Hollow, a small open-space area behind the public-safety building on Mystic Street. No vote was taken on Article 8, which would establish accessory apartments in town.

For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >> For opinion, see Wes Beal's blog >> Official votes >>

Session 1: Mixed-use zone turned down

In session one for 2012 on Monday, April 23, Town Meeting voted in favor of a measure that helps promote the inclusion of public art, clarified rules about banners for historic areas and voted down on voice vote a main motion aimed at creating a mixed-use zone, where the first floor is for commercial or light industry and upper floors are residential.

>For reporting and commentary, see Dan Dunn's blog >> Official votes >> Discussion of proposed zoning bylaws on accessory apartments and burial of cremated remains were postponed.

Electronic voting, parking meters, Mass. Ave., dogs and Citizens United -- these are among the issues to be raised during the 2012 Town Meeting in Arlington. A Special Town Meeting is set for Monday, May 7.

The public is welcome to attend Town Meeting, but is restricted to balcony seating. Only Town Meeting members are allowed on the floor while Town Meeting is in session.

Town Meeting meets every Monday and Wednesday at Town Hall until all warrant articles are voted upon. Each session begins at 8 p.m. and, in most cases, ends at 11 p.m.

Follow Town Meeting Online and on TV
You can find Town Meeting information including next-day voting results of warrant articles, resolutions, and actions while Town Meeting is in session as well as a listing of Town Meeting members, reports to Town Meeting, and more online at arlingtonma.gov/townmeeting.

Video icon Watch Town Meeting on TV. Arlington Community Media (ACMI) plans to air Town Meeting live every Monday and Wednesday evening on the Government channel until the session ends and replays throughout the week. Please visit ACMI's Web site for channels and replay details at arlingtonstudio.com.


The update to the April 30 meeting corrected the reference to a 7:30 p.m. start time.

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YOUR VIEW: This site's only blog

  • Small-world logo

    Small world after all

    Then I see words I had first read right over: The story's dateline is Arlington, but it's the one near D.C. "Anchored by Nordstrom and Macy’s and home to more than 170 stores," the news release goes on, "The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has been a staple in the Arlington community since it opened in 1989." This could have been about the Burlington Mall, but it wasn't. Why was a p.r. firm letting YourArlington know? Because the website has a little button called "Send news" at the top right. Through that button, anyone can send anything. And they do. News and opinions are edited before publication. The first test is whether the item relates to Arlington, Mass. Spam goes right in the trash. In this case, Chelsea Bohannon of Brave Public Relations in Atlanta must have thought one Arlington is as good as the next. I let her know she had the wrong locale. "Sorry," she wrote, and I decided to have a further exchange. You can title it "Our Incredibly Shrinking World." I wrote ...

  • Dollar image

    Treasurer gets deputy after urging vote

    "Below please find the date-trail where important actions took place: "• Internal posting - December 12, 2013 "• External posting- December 12, 2013     o Town Website        o Monster.com "• Review of applicant resume's and credentials - January 13, 2014 through February 3, 2014 "• 1st round of interviews- February 6, 2014 and February 13, 2014     o An Excel-based budgetary exercise situation problem was administered to each applicant during the first round of interviews "• 2nd round of interviews-February 21, 2014        o A writing skills exercise containing an investment scenario was administered during the second round of interviews "I am extremely pleased that we were able to attract and obtain a candidate with Mr. Morse's qualifications, skills, experience and passion. Mr. Morse will bring an array of valuable skills and experience to the Deputy Treasurer's position. "I strongly ...

  • William Hayner

    School Committee reminded of its standards

    School Committee: Norms and Standards (policy BDA-E) We, the Arlington School Committee, acknowledge that a School Committee meeting is a meeting of School Committee members that is held in public and not a public meeting and that we will make every effort to ensure that meetings are effective and efficient. To that end, we acknowledge the importance of subcommittees and we and the superintendent agree to utilize them to focus on specific topics in-depth and to prepare for presentation, deliberation, and possible action by the School Committee.  We, the Arlington School Committee, set forth these Standards and Norms that we will all commit to abide by as individuals and as a committee:     1. Represent the needs and interests of all students in the district.     2. Exercise leadership in vision, planning, policy making, evaluation, and advocacy on behalf of the students and district, not in managing the day-to-day operations of the district. &n ...

  • Dollar image

    Vote *against* Community Preservation Act

    If you can afford it ... The CPA is a good deal for municipalities whose residents can afford it. In exchange for a property tax surcharge of 1 to 3 percent, the state will provide matching money (used to be $1 for $1, is now more on the order of 50 cents state matching on each dollar of local property tax surcharge). At least 10% of the match must be spent on each of 3 categories - open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing; the remaining 70% can be spent on a much wider (but still limited) range of possibilities. Spending is thus on projects which most communities would like to spend money anyway. The state match reduces by half the cost of extra spending. Bottom line is that CPA money is worth spending on, if one can afford it. I suggest that individual support for or opposition against the CPA is based largely on one's personal finances. Those who feel they can afford to pay more have compelling reason to support it; those who feel they can't have compelling rea ...

  • Metco image

    Long Live Metco, Starks writes

    The reason I co-authored the article with Mr. Foskett was to make sure that as we head into the need for future overrides for our schools that we make sure that we are talking about all of the costs that our public schools are asked to take on and that we as a town decide whether to continue to support them or not. As I had hoped, the discussion that has ensued about Metco has been a positive response to keeping the program going. I will continue to work to get more funding for the program and make sure that our legislators know how woefully underfunded it is. But my stance on Metco needing more funding is not a reflection on whether or not I think it is an important program that has a long future here in Arlington. Education itself is woefully underfunded, but you will not find a more passionate advocate for it than those of us who serve on School Committee. This letter was published Friday, April 11, 2014. ...

  • Arlington Avocado image

    Avocado slices, dices town election

    Kurt Fusaris, who writes The Arlington Avocado blog, takes his political knife to the April 5 town election. He takes a look at how his forecasts turned out. He also takes a close read of the results and makes some conjectures as to what happened and why. See his detailed post here >> Kurt is not curt. This blog link was published Wednesday, April 9, 2014. ...

  • An old-fashioned reporter

    OPINION, NEWS, TIPS: Let us know what you think

    The annual town election has passed, and life in Arlington continues. If you have a letter about any subject related to our town, or news you want residents to know, send it to YourArlington. Here's how: -- Your opinion and news should be related Arlington, Mass. (News about neighboring communities is welcome, but can be published as the publisher's time allows.) -- If your news is an event, you must provide the name of the sponsor (and a way to contact them), what the event is, where it is to take place, when it will happen, why it is taking place and any further information helpful to understand your report. -- There is no restriction on length for your letter or for news, but you should understand that if you go on too long, you run the risk of losing readers. -- Email letters and news as plain text (no formatting, no Word docs). -- If you have a photo, attach it to the email. -- Email [email protected]          -- Or send it dire ...

  • Douglass T. Davidoff

    Two modest proposals for after the election

    Suggestions for renaming First: Let’s rename the Board of Selectmen to the "Select Board." Second: Let’s rename the Town Meeting to "Representative Town Meeting." As a relatively new resident of Arlington, having moved here only four years ago, I don’t know if these two ideas that gnaw at me have been debated before in the town. If they have, it’s a marvel that the Arlington I have come to know wouldn’t have moved sooner to address deficiencies I see in naming our chief town governance structures. The New England tradition of town meetings and "select men" elected to manage town affairs between meetings of the town citizenry is well documented. From Maine to Connecticut, town meetings and select men have run affairs of New England towns for centuries. But in Connecticut, where I grew up, the towns that grew in population and abandoned the town meeting because it became unwieldy often replaced it with elected leaders who sit in what’s usually a "Representative Town Meeting." My h ...

  • Vision 2020 logo

    A question of vision: Now what?

    But today, Vision 2020 is facing some big questions, the biggest of which is, "What's our purpose now?" Clearly, the organization is still functioning, but is having trouble drawing enough citizen commitment to keep working as it was intended. Just go to the website, arlington2020.org, and one of the first things you see is this statement, "Most of the material here, except for the Reservoir and Fiscal subsites, is a couple of years out of date." Hmmm. Not very visionary, I guess. I'm not blaming anyone for this, either those involved in Vision 2020 or any members of the public. I think most people involved have put in an honest and sincere effort. And the public can't be blamed for putting their attention elsewhere these days. After all, with the year 2020 itself approaching, the very idea of having a long-range vision for the town by 2020 is not as compelling as it once was. Instead, I think we are now in a position to take some very bold steps, almost as bold as the steps we too ...

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