Wellesley Town Meeting, when it meets starting on March 27 at the middle school in person for the first time since pre-pandemic days, will have 47 articles and who knows how many motions to decide upon.
You can wade through the articles yourself below, plus get a richer understanding by checking out the Advisory Committee’s hearing on the articles on Thursday, Feb. 9.
We saw no big surprises on the warrant, though plenty for Town Meeting to chew on.
While about half of the articles come from the Select Board, the Board of Public Works will keep Town Meeting busy with a handful as well. These include approval for funding an Enterprise Stormwater Utility Fund to enable Wellesley to more fairly pay for handling stormwater in light of increased rules for doing so. This effort has been in the works for the past couple of years. The fund will result in yet another bill for property owners, though the Department of Public Works has tried to soften the blow for many by pointing to a set-up that will result in colleges and other big property owners paying more for such services than they have under the current system. Also on tap from Public Works is an article to fund a huge project to reconstruct, rehab and repair Weston Road this summer.
Article 17 pairs adoption of an anti-racism and anti-bias resolution and funding of a $100K equity audit. The audit will establish a baseline to understand how racism and unconscious bias might affect town polices and practices, and help to develop a path forward to address such issues.
Town Meeting may or may not be asked to approve more funding for the Hardy Elementary School construction project, as the latest bidding amounts, per School Committee member Melissa Martin at a recent meeting, have come in lower than expected. More data will become available between now and Town Meeting, but to play things safe, Article 19 from the School Committee and Permanent Building Committee has been included on the warrant. (See also: “Hardy School in Wellesley within budget—for now”).
There’s 1 citizen petition on the warrant, and it seeks to pause installation of new field or court lights on public land until a committee is formed to analyze the costs and benefits associated with adding lights. A private fundraising effort to cover the cost of light installation at Hunnewell track & field is well underway after a contentious decision-making process regarding light installation. The Natural Resources Commission last year approved a School Committee plan to add lights.
Other articles deal with topics such as greener building standards, more accessible public housing, a big battery storage system, extending the term of office for the moderator from 1 year to 3, and putting more teeth into wetlands violations.
Leave a Reply