The town of Wellesley has released its 2024 Annual Town Meeting warrant, which includes articles on everything basic budgets to special capital projects and from zoning changes to citizen petitions (see warrant embedded below). If you’re into utility and drainage easements, this is the place for you.
There are 52 articles on the warrant, and many of those will have multiple motions on which Town Meeting will vote. Town Meeting is Wellesley’s representative form of government, and serves as the town’s legislative branch. Wellesley always has an Annual Town Meeting in the spring, then sprinkles in Special Town Meetings as needed. Last year’s Annual Town Meeting lasted 7 nights and 4 weeks.
The town’s Advisory Committee is currently vetting articles presented by various sponsors and departments.
This year’s warrant includes familiar topics related to projects that have been delayed or just taken a while to complete. For example, funding will be sought for an overdue overhaul of the Recycling & Disposal Facility administration building, to repair Weston Road, and to supplement outside funding for the team rooms at the Hunnewell track and field. Wellesley Square is set for a revamp as well, including street, sidewalk, lights, and other work. Community Preservation Committee funds for projects such as the Morses Pond bathhouse and beachfront will also be on the docket.
General bylaw changes will be up for discussion and voting, including the change in oversight of the town’s human resources director and staff as well as the fire chief to the executive director. There will be a followup related to the town’s approval last year of an enterprise stormwater fund, a new program that results this year in property owners getting a new bill.
Zoning bylaw changes are also proposed under the 2024 warrant. A big one is the town’s effort to get its MBTA Communities zoning plan approved in order to comply with new state rules designed to encourage development of multi-family housing. Town officials really don’t want this plan’s approval to drag into a later Special Town Meeting in light of a year-end deadline from the state.
This warrant also includes a handful of citizen petitions, which almost always ensure some lively discussion on current topics. This year’s batch cover voting for 16- and 17-year-olds in local elections, the garaging of the town’s weed harvesters, and a change to the definition of ‘”minor construction projects” that would benefit the local colleges.
The 2024 Annual Town Meeting starts on Monday, March 25, 7pm, in the Wellesley High School Auditorium (50 Rice Street).