Select Board Members Determine which Petitions, Articles to Support for special Town Meeting

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Select Board members spent a portion of their Sept. 29 meeting debating whether to support nine petitions and articles for the upcoming special Town Meeting. In an earlier meeting in September, the board members voted on a group of other petitions and articles. In all, there are 27 measures to be acted upon.

During the Sept. 29 meeting, the board decided on the following:

Article 6 — is seeking approval to apply $11,186,152 to cover capital improvement and capital equipment costs. The five-member board voted favorably.

Article 7 seeks to reduce the amount raised by taxes in fiscal 2021. Select board members voted to recommend the measure 5-0.

Article 11 – The second Monday in October may soon be called “Indigenous People’s Day” instead of Columbus Day. The article won the approval of three select board members. Mark Kost and Scott Hazelton abstained.

Article 12 — will be dismissed on the Town Meeting floor. This petitioner was seeking an alcohol license. But  in light of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, he withdrew the measure, according to Town Manager Jodi Ross. The board voted to

Article 13 – A petitioner sought to change wording in the memorandum of understanding between the town and WestfordCAT. The language would guarantee news coverage as a fundamental function provided by the TV station. Select Board member Tom Clay recommended the petitioner file a resolution on the floor of Town Meeting. (See disclosure below).

The board took no further action on the petition.

• Article 14 — sought a resolution to promote Clean Energy and Reduce Fossil Fuel Use. The goal is to achieve the commonwealth’s limit of Net-zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050. The measure passed 4 to 1 with Kost dissenting.

Article 15 — would have authorized the Select Board to shorten the poll hours for Local Elections. At Town Clerk Patty Dubey’s request, the article was dismissed.

Article 16 — seeking to regulate blasting in town, will be removed from the warrant. According to Ross, the matter is not a simple fix and will require more time for her and her staff to review.

Article 17 — Amend the Town’s General and Zoning Bylaws to reflect inclusive language amendments to the town charter pending before the General Court.

Article 27 — The board unanimously approved a home rule Petition regarding Rome Drive Extension. According to Chair Andrea Peraner-Sweet, these are the funds that are being held as a result of having been recovered from the developer of Rome Drive Extension.

Town meeting will take place outdoors on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Trustees Field, 30 Patten Road. To watch the entire Select Board Meeting, visit WestfordCAT.org

DISCLOSURE from Joyce Crane: The petitioner, Ray Mascola, is my partner. I’m aware of but not involved in his activities regarding this matter or any matter related to my employer, WestfordCAT.