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Town Meeting 2012: Opening Night Articles and Actions

Here's a quick rundown of articles taken up during the March 26 opening session of 2012's annual Town Meeting at Cary Hall in Lexington, including a little bit about each article, what it asked, what happened and what that means.

Article 3:  Appointments to Cary Lecture Series
What it asked: To authorize appointment by the moderator of three citizens to the Cary Lecture Series.
What happened: Passed unanimously
What that means: The moderator appointed the three committee members, as is done annually. 

Article 27:  Establish Qualifications for Tax Deferrals and Exemptions
What it asked:  For the town to adjust eligibility limits for property tax referrals.
What happened:  Indefinitely postponed
What that means: Previously set eligibility limits will remain in place until a new vote says otherwise, according to selectmen Chairman Hank Manz.

Article 28: Accept MGL Chapter 200 A Section 9A
What it asked: To provide an alternative procedure for the Town Treasurer to deal with funds abandoned as a result of town checks not being cashed.
What happened: Approved unanimously
What that means:  That the town has streamlined the process for dealing with uncashed town checks. More info to come.

Article 29:  Accept MGL Chapter 40U (Municipal Fines)
What it asked: To adopt rules and regulations relating to collection of municipal fines for infractions related to municipal housing, sanitary or snow removal requirements.
What happened: Approved unanimously
What that means: Basically, that the town now has means to collect on these infractions. According to Town Manager Carl Valente, the intention is for this action only to apply to housing, sanitary and snow and ice removal infractions, but if it can’t reconcile the bylaw with statue, it will apply to all municipal infractions.

Article 30: Amend Non-criminal Disposition Bylaw (Park and Recreation Facilities)
What it asked: To establish fines for non-criminal disposition (ticketing) for prohibited activities on park and recreation facilities 
What happened: Indefinitely postponed
What that means: n/a

Article 32: Amend General Bylaws – Dog License Fee
What it asked: To adopt a sliding scale of late fees for late applications for a dog license in the place of the $25 fee that was instituted whether the fee was a day late or a hundred days late
What happened: Approved unanimously
What that means:  There is now a sliding scale for late fees for dog licenses, from $5 to $50.

Article 33: Approve Town Seal
What it asked: To see if the town would vote to establish a town seal as the current seal differs from that which was previously approved, and there are about nine currently used.
What happened: Indefinitely postponed
What that means:  According to Hank Manz, the selectmen chairman and spokesperson for this effort, the group working on crafting an official seal intends to go ahead and use what they come up with and come back for Town Meeting approval after the fact.

Article 38: Accept Gift of Land – Between Munroe Cemetery and Bike Trail
What it asked: For the town to accept a gift of a 2,448 square foot parcel of land that’s currently part of a subdivision along Mass Ave, but which is commonly used as a cut through between the cemetery and Minuteman Bikeway
What happened: Approved unanimously
What that means: The informal but widely used cut through will continue to be used as a now town-owned cut through between the cemetery and bikeway.

Hank Manz March 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Some amplifying information on Article 33 can be found in a Patch column published a few months ago. You can find it at: http://lexington.patch.com/articles/taking-it-personally-town-seals

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