The Board of Selectmen (BOS) on Monday, Dec. 9 convened a Special Town Meeting (STM) at the Wellesley Middle School Auditorium. The 199 STM members in attendance voted on whether the Town should allocate $5 million for design development funds for the Hunnewell Elementary School construction project.
162 members voted Yes to allocate the design funds. 35 voted No. There were 2 abstentions. Therefore, the two-thirds vote needed for the article to pass was achieved, and the design process for a new Hunnewell School will go forward. (Wellesley Public Media recording of meeting embedded below.)
Town Meeting is made up of 240 elected voting members in eight precincts.
For the first time, electronic voting devices were used to tabulate votes. Town Meeting members took a test run with the devices by doing some practice voting ahead of time. One of the practice questions was whether the Patriots would be one of the two teams in the Super Bowl. That question passed by a yes majority, but not by as wide a margin as the Hunnewell Design Funds vote.
Superintendent David Lussier in a tweet said, “Thank you to Wellesley Town Meeting for your overwhelming vote of support tonight to move forward with the detailed design of a new Hunnewell School. One more important step in bringing much-needed, new elementary schools online in Wellesley.”
Wording of Article 2:
“To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, or borrow a sum of money, to be expended under the direction of the Permanent Building Committee, for architectural and engineering designs, plans, and other specifications, bid documents, permitting, and any associated costs related to the reconstruction or replacement of the Hunnewell School located a t 28 Cameron Street, and for any other services in connection therewith and, for the purpose of meeting such appropriation, to authorize the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow said sum in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 7(7) of the Massachusetts General Laws, or any other enabling authority and to issue bonds or note of the Town therefor, and that any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of the issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to payment of costs approved by this vote in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 20, of the Massachusetts General Laws, thereby reducing the amount to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount; or to take any other action in relation thereto.”