Weekend Buzz | Ways to Give and Receive Assistance in our Community
Plus, some odds and ends from the week
Hello! This weekend is gorgeous, but I have a feeling by the time I finish writing this my entire computer will be covered in a layer of pollen. I’m racing against the clock, people!
To Give and Receive
I’ve been meaning to put together some resources to give and receive assistance here in Burlington, and this seemed like a good weekend to do it. I spent some time with People Helping People Pantry Manager, Julie Lewis, several weeks back (Listen to us on the Buzz podcast!), and she and other community members have helped me compile a list of places where residents in need of help can get a helping hand, and those wishing to volunteer or donate might find some opportunities. You can check those out - and bookmark them - here! (I also emailed it out separately - on purpose this time!)
Burlington Students Earn Seal of Biliteracy
Fourteen BHS students earned the Seal of Biliteracy this year. Students earn this honor by reaching high levels of functional and academic proficiency in English and another language by the end of high school. Students get a seal on their physical diploma as well as a statement of accomplishment they can use on school and future employment applications. The students were recognized at the 5/24 School Committee Meeting. Congratulations to them all!
Madison B. - Spanish
Sean G. - Spanish
Navya G. - Hindi
Meriam H. - Spanish
Courtney M. - Spanish
Gerson P.A. - Spanish
Thomas R. - Spanish
Ana Carolina S. - Portuguese
Josie T. - Spanish
Kasper M. - Latin
Quinn M. - Spanish
Juan P.S. - Spanish
The remaining two students achieved the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction because of their high test scores. Congrats to them as well!
William H. - Latin
Armen M. - Armenian
Thanks to Renee Dacey for providing this info!
Hybrid Town Meeting Subcommittee
The Hybrid Town Meeting Subcommittee of the General Bylaw Review Committee met this week to discuss all the considerations that should be made when crafting a bylaw to allow hybrid Town Meeting. There are a lot of things at play here.
There is a special act in place allowing all meetings of town Boards and Commissions that are required to abide by Open Meeting Laws, as well as Town Meeting (if deemed necessary due to a health concern by the Town moderator), to take place in remote/hybrid format.
That act is in place until July.
The State Senate has placed an extension until December into the budget bill, which will be voted on this month, I think. Not sure if that clause will ultimately go through or not; stay tuned for that.
After that act expires, either in July or December, town Board and Commissions can remain hybrid, as long as
remote participants have a reason approved by the Committee’s or Board’s chair.
there is a quorum of members present in-person.
each vote is a roll call when any voting members are attending remotely.
However, Town Meeting is not covered by OML and therefore this exception doesn’t apply. Additionally, there are only 35 Representative Town Meetings in Massachusetts (Burlington is one of them) and the rest are Open Town Meetings. Open Town Meetings have never had the hybrid/remote participation option, all through the pandemic.
There is legislation moving through at least one town (Brookline) to allow hybrid participation permanently, but it doesn’t appear it’s been voted into law yet. (When Town Meeting votes to approve a new or amended bylaw, the state legislature must then ratify that bylaw before it can go into effect).
It costs money and takes time to run a hybrid Town Meeting - not to mention the fact that it needs to be set up and taken down each time. (Are there ways to mitigate these issues? Is it worth the money (which amounts to about 0.02% of our annual operating budget) to increase access?)
The question of engagement comes up often with remote participation - if people’s cameras are off, are we sure they’re participating?
The Committee is going to get in touch with our representative in the state legislature, Ken Gordon, and our town counsel, Lisa Meade, to see about getting answers to some of these questions.
The next meeting isn’t for another month or so. Any proposed bylaws wouldn’t be finished in time for the 6/28 deadline, so they’re going to aim for January instead, assuming it is feasible in the first place.
I promised Facebook a funny on Saturday since I forgot Friday, but I didn’t follow through. Here’s a makeup funny - two of them, actually. I hope together they’re at least twice the funny, as a reward for having to wait. :)
Where my nerds at?
And my outdoorsy folk?
I do hope you enjoyed those as much as I did. 🤣
Catch you tomorrow, friends!