Daily Buzz | Town Meeting Profile is Live
Plus more from School Committee and some more discussion of stormwater tonight
Good morning, Burlington! Enjoy the photo of the gorgeous new Francis Wyman mural I forgot to share yesterday! Mr. Bataclan created this mural with input from every single student in the school!
Just a quick note that the Health Fair vendor application is due on Monday, 3/14. If you’d like to have a table at the health Fair on May 21, be sure to get your application in!
Also, the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee met last night to continue discussing, among other things, the proposed rezoning of the area around Roger’s Piano, and the Ways & Means Committee met to discuss several departmental budgets. I wasn’t able to attend (because I was sitting with the lovely Linda McNamee on her BCAT show, Something to Talk About), so anyone who did is welcome to drop a few bullets in the comments.
I did manage to attend most of the DEI Committee meeting. I wasn’t taking notes and can’t summarize the whole thing, but I will pass on that Dr. BJ Addison Reid, the chair of the DEI Committee, offered executive coaching services to the Select Board for a fee of $1 for as long as her services are required. This is how passionately she feels about the need for a more inclusive Burlington. Sounds like a steal to me.
I talked with Town Clerk Amy Warfield this week, and we had a lot to talk about. We talked about the difference between Open and Representative Town Meeting (I finally got the Town Meeting profile up in the Local Government section!) and discussed how accessible Town Meeting is as an entry point to learning more about the town and getting involved with low time commitment (and coincidentally, the Letter to the Editor I published a couple weeks ago in the Union).
We also talked about ballot write-ins, are going to be a big focus of conversation for the next few weeks leading up to the election. Tomorrow looks like a light day, so I’ll save that discussion for then. For now, just know that you can write yourself or someone else in, it’s very easy, and there are a number of open seats for both Town Meeting precinct-level positions and for town-wide positions.
Just when I’d thought I was finished with School Committee from Tuesday, I learned there was more meaty discussion after I logged off. Specifically, the preliminary estimates to repair just the HVAC at the high school and bring it up to code were in the $65-80-million-dollar range. This is still much less expensive than building a new school (not to mention where we’d actually find space to build one) but needless to say, some difficult conversations are forthcoming with respect to how we fund this project and why there isn’t money set aside for this kind of expense. (Or is there? I truly don’t know.)
It was stressed during the meeting that these are preliminary estimates and there are many, many line items to consider - but also that these numbers are based on comparable projects going on around the state, and that inflation and other factors are involved.
I’m eager to hear more about this process. 👂
Something else I neglected to mention from School Committee was that there was a report on the numbers of students leaving the district. The percentage of kids leaving for private schools has been stable; the only increase has been in kids leaving to attend Shawsheen Tech. We have been encouraging that, and the Tech has been accepting more Burlington students, possibly because the other communities served by the Tech have new or newer facilities.
Today in Burlington:
9:00AM - Housing Authority meets. They’ll talk some financial stuff, vote on approving an upcoming utility allowance for the Section 8 program, and hear reports from the Tower Hill and Birchcrest Arms Tenant Associations.
4:00PM (hybrid) and 6:00PM (in person) - Town Clerk Amy Warfield meets with various boards for a training on Open Meeting Laws.
6:30PM - Equity Audit Town Hall, for anyone wishing to learn more about the Equity Audit in BPS and what it will entail. All are welcome; click the link to register.
7:00PM - Conservation Commission meets to continue public hearings on the proposed changes to stormwater management bylaws, among other public hearings regarding three Notices of Intent and one other application. (Join via Webex)
7:00PM - Library Trustees meet to review reports from the Trustees and the Director, and for a policy review. (Join via Webex)
Almost Friday, friends.