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Annual Town Meeting on May 23

The Finance Committee is finalizing its recommendations this month on the proposed $95.3-million Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) operating budget and $1.3-million worth of spending articles that appear on the warrant for the May 23 Annual Town Meeting.

As of April 27, the committee had "accepted" all departmental budgets, but had not yet voted its official "favorable" recommendation on them as an entire budget. Nor had it finalized its recommendations on the two articles pertaining on salaries and wages for non-union employees and compensation for elected officials.

Non-financial articles on the warrant include:

• The Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee want to amend the town's General By-Laws to abolish the Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) and have the Finance Committee evaluate the capital needs of the town;

• The Commission on Disability wants to amend the wording of the town's General By-Laws regarding how its members are selected;

• The Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen want to replace the entire section on "sign regulations" in the town's Zoning By-Laws with a new section designed to comply with federal court rulings by making the regulations be "content neutral";

• 5 Water Street, LLC wants to amend the Zoning By-Laws to allow retail uses in the Office Residential (OR) district by special permit, provided that the uses are within existing conforming non-residential structures, are consistent with the historic development pattern in the immediate area and can provide adequate off-street parking.

Decisions made at the Annual Town Meeting will be highlighted in the May 27 issue of the Town Crier.




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