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Brookline Town Meeting 2012 Warrant Article Roundup

Brookline Town Meeting is coming up at the end of the year, and there is a slew of articles to be discussed.

Each year, the Town Meeting Members (TMMs) of Brookline gather to discuss a warrant composed of articles proposed by officials and residents around Brookline. This year, Town Meeting begins on May 22 and will run until Town Meeting Members vote on the 30 warrant articles.

See the PDFs to the right, or check the Brookline Town Website to see the full warrant, explanations, and the combined report on the article.

 Some of these articles may have changed from their original versions as petitioned. Voting at town meeting may be on a different version of the article than presented. 

 

Article 1: Measurers of Wood and Bark

Submitted by the Board of Selectmen

  • Two Measurers of Wood and Bark will be appointed as a tradition.

This article has been voted favorably by a unanimous Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article. 

Article 2: Collective Bargaining Agreements and Salaries

Submitted by the Human Resources board

  • Yes Vote Means: The town will fund various unions without contracts and pass salary increases for town employees.
  • No Vote Means: Voters may not approve some of the unions’ collective bargaining agreements, and there may not be salary increases across the town.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 3: Compensating Balance Agreements

Submitted by the Treasurer/Collector

  • Yes vote means: The Town Treasurer can enter into agreements between banks and patrons who agree to waive interest deposits in exchange for other bank services. This will be accounted for in the town budget and it is addressed at town meetings.
  • No vote means: Compensating Balance Agreements will not be added to the town budget.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 4: Special Appropriations

Submitted by the Board of Selectmen

  • Yes vote means: Special appropriations in the budget are approved.
  • No vote means: The town would make different changes to the budget.

This article has been voted no action by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee also voted no action on this article.

Article 5: Unpaid Bills

Submitted by the Board of Selectmen

  • Yes vote means: The town will pay any unpaid bills from. They must use funds left over from prior years’ budgets do so.
  • No vote means: These unpaid bills would otherwise remain unresolved. Selectmen must approve the use of last year’s funds for this purpose at a Town Meeting.

This article has been voted no action by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has also voted no action on this article.

Article 6: Property Tax Exemptions

Submitted by the Board of Assessors

  • Yes vote means: The town will raise property tax exemptions for widows, the elderly, the blind and disabled veterans. This has been approved at town meetings for more than 20 years.
  • No vote means: Property tax exemptions will stay the same for specialized classes.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 7: Year-End Budget Adjustments

Submitted by the Board of Selectmen

  • Yes vote means: Adjustments to the year-end budget, including the Pierce School Auditorium project which requires additional funding because it came in over-budget, are approved. 
  • No vote means: The town would make different changes to the budget.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has not yet voted on this article.

Article 8: Next Year’s Budget

Submitted by the Advsiory Board

  • Yes vote means: The town will approve budget items for fiscal year 2013. This is the .
  • No vote means: Voters may modify some of the budget items for fiscal year 2013.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 9: Open Meeting Hearings

Submitted by Jonathan Davis, Pct 10 TMM and Regina Frawley, Pct 16 TMM.

  • Yes vote means: At least one meeting from each committee discussing town meeting warrant articles will be publicly noticed hearings. 
  • No vote means: The current system for warrant articles discussion remains in place. 

This article has been referred to the Committee for Town Organization and Structure by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on an amended version of the bylaw, based on this article.

Article 10: Weybridge Road Local Historic District

Submitted by the Preservation Commission

  • Yes vote means: 26 Weybridge Road becomes part of a new local historic district.
  • No vote means: Zoning remains unchanged.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee and Planning Board have both voted favorably on this article.

Article 11: Weybridge Road Preservation Restriction

Submitted by the Preservation Commission

  • Yes vote means: Preservation restrictions on the property at 26 Weybridge Road are established.
  • No vote means: No preservation restrictions are established.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 12: Raise Tobacco Sales Age to 19

Submitted by Eric Dumas, Brookline High School student

  • Yes vote means: Tobacco will not be sold to people under the age of 19. 
  • No vote means: The age of tobacco sales will remain at 18 years old. 

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 13: Small-scale Fitness Clubs

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: Zoning will allow by-right use of small-scale fitness clubs in small storefronts (500 to 2,500 sq-ft), rather than requiring the full permitting process for larger clubs. 
  • No vote means: Zoning will remain unchanged, small-scale fitness centers will require permits.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 14: Doggie Day Care 

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: Doggie day care facilities would be allowed in certain business and industrial districts by special permit. This is a use that does not yet exist.   
  • No vote means: No permits allowing doggie day care facilities will be created. 

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 15: Floodplain Overlay District (Update)

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: The town updates the floodplain overlay district zoning bylaw and corresponding maps. Norfolk County is updating its flood maps, this vote corresponds with that update.
  • No vote means: The bylaw remains as it is. Residents may not be able to participate in the federal flood insurance program.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 16: Zoning - Dimensional and Parking Review

Submitted by Michael Oates, TMM Pct 12

  • Yes vote means: The zoning bylaw is updated in accordance with the so-called Dover Amendment, which exempts certain educational and religious facilities from certain zoning bylaws. 
  • No vote means: Zoning remains unchanged.

This article has been referred to the Zoning Bylaw Committee by the Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee. The Zoning Bylaw Committee recommended no action.

Article 17: Zoning - Public Benefits

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: Zoning bylaw will be updated to clarify that, for projects with "public benefit," that benefit must not be something required by any zoning or codes in order to receive the floor area or height bonus for public benefits.
  • No vote means: Zoning bylaw remains unchanged.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 18: Zoning - Time Extensions

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: Zoning bylaw updated to allow for time extensions on projects without requiring planning board approval first. Special permits will be allowed a year extension, six months for variances.
  • No vote means: Zoning bylaw remains unchanged.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 19: Olmsted Hill Road Acceptance

Submitted by the Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Yes vote means: The town accepts Olmsted Road as a public way, which serves a development off of Fisher Avenue.
  • No vote means: The road remains a private way.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 20: Retiree Minimum Retirement Allowance 

Submitted by the Retirement Board

  • Yes vote means: The minimum monthly allowance for member survivors increases from $250 to $500. There are less than 25 such people currently in town.
  • No vote means: The minimum remains at $250.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 21: Retiree COLA Increase

Submitted by the Retirement Board

  • Yes vote means: The base from which cost of living adjustments are calculculated is increased from $12,000 to $13,000, resulting in a $30 annual increase per retiree. Approval will increase unfunded pension liability by $2.2 million. 
  • No vote means: The base remains the same. 

This article has been voted no action by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has not yet voted on this article.

Article 22: Retirement Board Stipends

Submitted by the Retirement Board

  • Yes vote means: Members of the retirement board are paid an annual stipend of not more than $4500. 
  • No vote means: Retirement board members remain unpaid. 

This article has not yet been voted by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has not yet voted.

Article 23: Contraflow Bike Lanes

Submitted by Lee Selwyn, TMM Pct 13

  • Yes vote means: Contraflow bike lanes will not be permitted in Brookline.
  • No vote means: No policy decision about contraflow bike lanes will be made yet. 

This article has not yet been voted by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee voted favorably on an amended version of this article, which requires input from the Brookline Commission for the Disabled and the Brookline Council on Aging for contraflow lanes. 

Article 24: Removal from Norfolk County

Submitted by Frederick Lebow

  • Yes vote means: Ask the state to remove Brookline from Norfolk County.
  • No vote means:County inclusion would remain as is.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 25: Resolution-Abolishment of Norfolk County Government

Submitted by Frederick Lebow

  • Yes vote means: Would place request for the abolishment of Norfolk County government.
  • No vote means: Town of Brookline would not request the abolishment of Norfolk County government.

This article has been voted no action by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee also voted no action on this article.

Article 26: Resolution on Runkle School

Submitted by Stanley Spiegel, TMM Pct 2.

  • Yes vote means: The town will allocate some funds to attempt to address the .
  • No vote means: No such resolution is made. 

This article has been voted no action by the Board of Selectmen in a 4-1 decision. The Advisory committee voted favorably on an amended version of this article.

Article 27: Resolution Regarding Slavery in Brookline

  • Yes vote means: The town acknowledges its slave-owning past and publicly expresses regret for that past. 
  • No vote means: No such resolution is made. 

This article has not yet been voted by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has not yet voted.

Article 28: Clean Construction Standards

Submitted by Catherine Marris, Jake Wolf-Sorokin, and Pema Doma, Brookline High School.

  • Yes vote means: The town will limit the emissions coming from construction vehicles during projects, and will step up enforcement of the No-idling bylaw. 
  • No vote means: Construction standards will remain unchanged.

This article has been voted favorably by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has voted favorably on this article.

Article 29: Resolution on a Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United

Submitted by Frank Farlow, Pct 4 TMM, David Klaftler, Pct 12 TMM and Heleni Thayre.

  • Yes vote means: The town will publicly support a constitutional amendment dedicated to reversing the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, calling upon Congress to allow state and federal agencies to regulate campaign spending. 
  • No vote means: The town will neither support nor oppose such an amendment.

This article has not yet been voted by the Board of Selectmen. The Advisory committee has not yet voted.

Article 30: Reports

  • Additional reports will be read from town officers and committee members.

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