Select Board - Oct 22nd, 2018

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Janet Road. The residents of Janet road are using the town's betterment bylaw to repave their private way. I was interested in this agenda item because the select board's packet included an estimate for repaving -- $36,000. I stopped by the area a couple of days ago. Janet Road is about 25' wide and 330' long, so this works out to roughly $4.26/square foot.

One of the abutters asked why he was on the list. I believe the side of his house faced Janet road, but the front did not. The Select Board said he was considered an abutter because his property was adjacent to the road.

The Select Board approved the betterment petition, which set the next deadline in motion. Residents will have to deliver checks for a portion of the total cost.

Discussion: Ballot Question 3: Referendum on an Existing Law. Mel Goldsipe made a presentation to the Board. Arlington's LGBTQIA+ commission passed a resolution supporting MA ballot question three. Ms. Goldsipe spoke about the federal government's attempt to define gender as an immutable trait which is determined by one's gender at birth. Ms. Goldsipe says this is a very important issue which will affect many people in Arlington, including several she knows personally.

Arlington added gender identity to the town's non-discrimination bylaw in 2016. In the same year, Massachusetts added gender identity to the state's equal access laws. Opponents of question three are trying to wage a fear mongering campaign. These laws have been in effect for two years, and haven't resulted in a wave of tragedy.

The board drafted a proclamation in support of question 3, which was unanimously adopted.

Article 3: Acceptance/Local Option: Recreational Marijuana Excise Tax. This was the first warrant article hearing for the upcoming special town meeting. Special town meeting will consider changing the town's zoning bylaw to permit recreational marijuana facilities; this article would adopt local option legislation for an excise tax. The town manager recommended the maximum excise tax of 3%, but notes that the Finance Committee will also weigh in. The Board voted for favorable action on Article 3.

Article 4: Bylaw Amendment/LGBTQ + Rainbow Commission Membership. Article 4 would give the LGBTQIA+ commission the option of having more commissioners. The commission's work has been well received by residents, which in turn means more work for the commissioners. The Board moves favorable action.

Article 5: Bylaw Amendment/Certain Personnel. Treasurer Dean Carman presents on Article 5. This article would make a series of small changes to town bylaws, to reflect the fact that the Treasurer is an employee of the town, rather than an elected official. The Treasurer's office would no longer produce a report for town meeting; the report would come from the town manager's office instead. The Board moves favorable action.

Article 6: Endorsement/The John J. Bilafer Arlington Citizens' Scholarship Fund - Dollars for Scholars. Dean Carman presents on Article 6. The JJB scholarship fund manages about $150k/year. Last year, the scholarship committee didn't meet at all. Mr. Carman would like to take a formal look at the committee and propose modernizing measures. He proposes a five-person committee composed of a member of the Finance Committee, a member of the Treasurer's office, a member of the Select Board, and two town moderator appointees. The Board moves favorable action.