Daily Buzz | More Profiles Are Ready
Plus a reading guide for the BEC Candidate Guide
Good morning, Burlington!
Last week, because I didn’t have anything better to do 🤣, I got to work editing a few more of my Facebook posts into proper profiles. Here they are:
Select Board and Board of Health are under the Local Government header, and the Burlington Volunteer Reserve Corps is under Community Information. All are shiny and new, so check ’em out!
Also, I didn’t give the Burlington Equity Coalition Candidate Guide 2022 the treatment it deserved Monday, so I really want to be sure you know what an amazing resource it is. I spoke with the candidates for School Committee and Board of Health (the only town-wide contested races) a few weeks ago, and wrote up those conversations as profiles (rather than Q/A interviews). That was a general introduction to these candidates, but the Candidate Guide goes so much deeper. The questions are specific to each seat, and the answers are in the candidates’ own words. And, they didn’t profile just the contested seats, either. They managed to reach just about every town-wide candidate and many Town Meeting candidates as well.
That said, there’s a lot of information here, so you’ll want to get started now to be sure you’re informed ahead of the election on April 9 as well as any candidate events you plan to attend.
Here’s how I’m going to chunk it, personally:
Day 1: School Committee
Day 2: Board of Health
Day 3: Select Board
Day 4: Planning Board
Day 5: Moderator/Library Trustees/Constable
Day 6: My Town Meeting precinct
You could do this in any order you want, but I do think it’d be helpful to give yourself some time to digest rather than trying to get everything in one go. If you’re planning to attend any candidate events, watch the debates/forums, or go to meet & greet events, maybe review the candidates you’re particularly interested in or uncertain about ahead of time so you can ask them specific questions.
Remember the School Committee and Board of Health both have 2 open seats, with one incumbent running against two challengers. The outcome of these races will benefit from your engagement, so it’s my goal (as well as the BEC’s!) to be sure we are all armed with the information needed to make an informed decision!
Alright. Now, would you believe I didn’t get a chance to attend a full meeting last night? I had a meeting of my own at 7:30, so I was only able to check out a little of School Committee:
Contract negotiations, about 10 minutes in - it’s been six weeks since the last negotiation session, due to multiple scheduling difficulties, and teachers haven’t had a signed contract since July. There’s palpable frustration on both sides, but also a commitment to continue working together. The next negotiation session is next week.
Policy adoption, about 20 minutes in - A policy about identifying students with special needs was absent from our Policy Guidebook. So we adopted one. Importantly, the School Committee says we already have the procedures in place and Mr. Larkin, Assistant Superintendent, stated during the meeting that we are following state law. But the School Committee sets policy (which is related to procedure, but not exactly the same) and the SC wanted to be sure we had the policy on file.
I hopped back on at about 1 hour and there was a presentation about a potential new social studies curriculum underway. It was fascinating to hear all the innovative ways this curriculum reaches learners and their families.
Some proposed budgets were presented. I can’t confidently say much more than that, but if you’re interested in the school department budget, definitely watch around 1:15.
I also learned the Groundwater Separation and Stormwater Management conversations were continued at the Land Use Committee. So there was just the CPA presentation (which Larry and I shared with you yesterday, and which has its own website!) and the petition for rezoning the space where FedEx is on Middlesex Turnpike (which I didn’t see, but I have it on good authority it happened).
Don’t forget to check BCAT’s Government Access Facebook page if you want to check out specific meetings.
Here’s what’s on the docket today in Burlington:
9:00 AM - Ways & Means Subcommittee meets to discuss the Building Department budget for the coming year.
6:00 PM - DEI Subcommittee meets to discuss next steps. (Join via WebEx)
6:30 - Zoning Bylaw Review Committee meets to discuss some proposed warrant articles for May Town Meeting that have been discussed at various committees recently: Groundwater Separation, Rezoning Corporate Drive, and establishing a Town Center Multifamily Zone. (Join via Zoom)
7:00 PM - Ways & Means Committee reviews the budgets discussed in subcommittees this week. (Join via Webex)
See you tomorrow!