Daily Buzz | General Bylaw Review Committee to Submit Hybrid Town Meeting Articles for January Town Meeting
And don't miss Alcatraz book talk tonight!
Only two more days for early in-person voting at Town Hall. Be sure to take advantage, if you’re planning to. But first, be sure you’re aware of the offices and questions on the ballot so you can be prepared for your very important job as a voter!
Yesterday I learned that the construction to improve the entrance to the Sculpture Park is scheduled to happen in the spring. I’m really excited to see how it comes out!
On Tuesday, the General Bylaw Review Committee talked about the articles they’ll be sending to Town Meeting this January to allow hybrid access to Town Meeting. There will be 5 articles altogether; two pairs of them are companion articles for the state legislature and our town bylaws, and the fifth is about the number of people who must be present in person:
Accessibility to the Town Meeting by a video conferences platform (hybrid access): One article requests the state legislature to amend Chapter 686 of the Acts of 1970 (the authorization for the Town of Burlington to have a representative Town Meeting), and then the companion to this article creates a section in Article II of the Town’s General Bylaws which would permit hybrid access.
Accessibility to the other types of meetings held by the Boards, Committees, Commissions, Departments and any subcommittees governed by Open Meeting Law (OML): One article requests the state legislature to allow a new section of the OML authorizing the Town to have the hybrid meetings, and then the companion creates a section in Article II of the Town’s General Bylaws to extend this permission to the town.
Open Meeting Law Quorum Requirement: Currently, a quorum of a town Board must be present in person in order to be able to vote at these meetings. This article requests an exemption from this requirement.
Burlington has had a hard time getting our May Town Meeting certified by the Attorney General’s office because it was hybrid, according to Town Counsel, which is one reason TM was in-person in September with no hybrid access for participants. Other meetings are permitted to occur in hybrid format by special legislative order through March 31, 2023, but there isn’t currently an official law on the books. These articles would legally formalize the option for hybrid access and participation in both Town Meeting (which isn’t governed by Open Meeting Law) and meetings of other Board, Committees, etc. (which are) at both the state and town level.
Brookline’s Town Meeting has already passed some similar articles (with overwhelming support), which are with the state legislature currently. Burlington’s articles will now go to the Select Board for a vote and the Town Clerk for inclusion in the January Town Meeting Warrant. I’m not sure how the state legislature would combine articles sent to them from different towns, but given what I know about the legislative process, I would assume they’ll just consider them together and morph them into one amendment to the state’s general laws.
Thanks to Scott Martin from the General Bylaw review committee for this information!
Today in Burlington
Meetings and Events
Tonight is David Kruh’s talk about his novel Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure, which promises to be really fun! I don’t think I’ll be able to make it, but if you do, and want to send some highlights (or, better yet, connect me with the author!), I’m not gonna say no!
8:30 AM-4:30 PM - Early In-Person Voting - at Town Halls
9:00 AM - Town Clerk - Advance Ballot Processing
7:00 PM - Planning Board continues their public hearings about the 22 Terry Ave project, and opens a new public hearing for a special permit for a wireless communication facility, petitioned by AT&T/Smartlink. (Join online)
7:00 PM - Historical Society - historian, author, and playwright, David Kruh, speaks about his novel, Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure.
Sports and Activities
Today, I have a great opportunity for you to support STEM education in our community. Our robotics team is a group of about 30 kids and 12 adult mentors that work together all year. Currently, they’re working hard to plan for this year’s tournaments, which occur throughout the state. This team also participates in town-wide events, providing demonstrations and STEM education for kids. Read more and support our awesome team here.
Today kicks off the MIAA Division 2 Volleyball Tournament. We will host Milton at 5:30 PM. Good luck, players!
MSMS Junior Devils Football wraps up their season at home vs Reading
That wraps things from my end. I hope you have a great day. See you tomorrow (the best day)!