Weekly News Update – 03/12/2023
SAVE THE DATE: KNOW YOUR VOTE 2023 • Town Election 2023 – List of Candidates • Select Board, School Committee continue budget talks • School Committee chair: Requested budget cuts would ‘end district as we know it’ • Residents asked to discuss walkability at March 21 meeting • Facilitator works with school leaders to move forward with SEPAC • Planning Board discusses proposed amendments to zoning bylaws • Elementary School Building Committee discusses LEED checklist, MSBA reimbursement • UCTC debates presentation of committee content, chair’s TCMC appearance • Upper Charles chair visits TCMC meeting to address differences in perspective • Conservation Commission holds fines against Turkey Ridge developer in abeyance, citing progress • Select Board roundup: Proposed gun club amendment sparks debate; alarms raised about budget • Town of Hopkinton Announces Retirement of Parks and Recreation Director Jay Guelfi • School Committee endorses new school site, adds paraprofessionals
SAVE THE DATE: KNOW YOUR VOTE 2023
eHop will hold its 11th Annual Know Your Vote forum on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 7-9 pm. This will be an in-person forum at Hopkinton High School (90 Hayden Rowe St). It will be broadcast live on HCAM-TV and YouTube. This is a unique opportunity to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting.
Town Election 2023 – List of Candidates
There are two new town election candidates for Planning Board this week. The Planning Board 2-year seat is the only contested race. All other seats are currently unopposed.
Running List, last updated 03/10/23.
Select Board, School Committee continue budget talks
Last week, the School Committee expressed surprise about its proposed $60.1 million budget for fiscal year 2024 potentially facing a $1.7 million cut. The proposed school budget reflects an 8.3 percent increase over the last fiscal year. Meanwhile, the town announced a directive last fall that departments should adhere to a 5.1 percent hike when budgeting.
School Committee chair: Requested budget cuts would ‘end district as we know it’
Hopkinton Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh and School Committee members said they were taken by surprise when the Select Board requested they come back with a budget reflecting a 5.1 percent increase rather than the $60.1 million fiscal year 2024 proposal, which has an 8.3 percent increase.
Residents asked to discuss walkability at March 21 meeting
One of the Planning Board’s goals for this year is to increase safe and inviting ways for allowing pedestrians to travel through Hopkinton, and it is seeking the community’s input at a virtual public forum on Tuesday, March 21, at 7 p.m.
“The majority of respondents said they want to have more trails and sidewalks,” Trendel said of the survey results. “These are the people who get out three, four, five or six days a week.
Facilitator works with school leaders to move forward with SEPAC
Consultant Amy Rebecca Gay led members of the Hopkinton School Committee, administrative staff and the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) through a two-hour working session on Wednesday to see if they could repair their communication issues and work effectively together in the future.
SEPAC members were among the individuals speaking out against proposed cuts to therapy services earlier in the budget process. They expressed concern at that time they were not receiving timely or accurate information and were left “out of the loop” regarding the budget.
Planning Board discusses proposed amendments to zoning bylaws
The Planning Board met for four hours Monday night and reviewed several proposed amendments to the town’s zoning bylaws that will come before Annual Town Meeting voters on May 1.
The changes to the town’s current Flexible Community Development Bylaw dominated the discussion, as members debated the benefits of more inclusionary zoning versus the impact on property values of those who live in more expensive homes.
Elementary School Building Committee discusses LEED checklist, MSBA reimbursement
On Wednesday, the Elementary School Building Committee got an update on tweaks to its preferred schematic design, reviewed an energy and environmental credit checklist, and learned more about the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s reimbursement formulas.
Noting that the Hopkinton School Committee and Select Board both endorsed its selection of a design for the proposed Elmwood School replacement, the ESBC looked at what VERTEX project director Jeff D’Amico called “fine-tuning of the floor plan.”
UCTC debates presentation of committee content, chair’s TCMC appearance
The Upper Charles Trail Committee at its meeting Wednesday night debated the content and formatting of committee documents contained on the UCTC page of the town’s website, with some members asking that more details be added.
At the meeting’s opening, chair Jane Moran said the current trail map should be broken down into three segments to provide more clarity. The idea was mentioned in previous meetings that the current map be broken into three sections — north, central and south — to facilitate discussion.
Upper Charles chair visits TCMC meeting to address differences in perspective
During the public comment period Thursday, UCTC chair Jane Moran took issue with the citizens’ petition, a position she expressed at recent UCTC meetings.
“My reason for being here tonight is to offer a perspective on the recent suggestion from your chair that the UCTC be disbanded,” she explained.
LaGoy interjected to note that the citizens’ petitions he filed were as a private citizen and not on the TCMC’s behalf.
“We have worked very diligently to make sure that this committee has not made any comments with regard to the Upper Charles Trail Committee,” he said. “I as an individual have a different perspective.”
Conservation Commission holds fines against Turkey Ridge developer in abeyance, citing progress
Conservation Administrator Kim Ciaramicoli initially ordered a partial cease and desist order on construction for violations of erosion controls she witnessed on Dec. 29 after a large rainstorm. Although the developer took measures to remediate the situation, including installing hay bales and mulch, a significant rainstorm on Jan. 26 led to subsequent violations being cited because there was still a large amount of unsecured soil on the site, some of which seeped past the barriers.
Select Board roundup: Proposed gun club amendment sparks debate; alarms raised about budget
A citizens’ petition proposed that gun clubs move indoors to protect “we the people, babies, animals and birds” from noise pollution.
Bob Draper, president of the Hopkinton Sportsmen’s Association — one of four gun clubs in town — said the proposed amendment would violate an agreement the facility has had with the town since 1931 as well as state law.
Elementary school plan endorsed
The Select Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to endorse the plan for a new elementary school on Hayden Rowe Street that would house Grades 2, 3 and 4.
Alarms raised about budget
During a discussion about the town’s budget, Select Board member Muriel Kramer noted the huge school projects coming up and said the town almost assuredly will lose its Triple-A bond rating due to the large amount of funds the town will be borrowing.
SELECT BOARD ACTIONS TAKEN 02/28/23
Town of Hopkinton Announces Retirement of Parks and Recreation Director Jay Guelfi
Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Commission Chair Daniel Terry announce that Parks and Recreation Director Jay Guelfi will be retiring from his position later this year.
Director Guelfi has been with the Town of Hopkinton since January 2015. During that time, he has overseen the department and all of its programming and events, including archery, art classes, softball, chess, filmmaking, fishing, golf, playground groups, STEM classes and more.
School Committee endorses new school site, adds paraprofessionals
At its Thursday meeting, the Hopkinton School Committee endorsed the Elementary School Building Committee’s choice of a site on Hayden Rowe Street and a design called “Village East” for the proposed Elmwood School replacement.
ESBC chair Jon Graziano and vice chair Tiffany Ostrander shared presentation duties, highlighting the process and what led to that choice.